Reporting A Divine Life Change

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I am now a mother of two.

Anna Rose joined us almost a month ago, and life has been filled with moments of bliss, exhaustion, and every range of emotion in between.

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There is more love and more challenges. I’m searching for a set of operating instructions* on how to create a harmonious existence with a toddler and a newborn, while honoring myself, and my husband. Does such a thing exist?

I suspect I will have to write my own…as I go along.

The first section of this instruction booklet will be healing practices to engage in daily. These practices have become essential.

Things like:

arranging flowers around the house // lighting candles // meditating (if only for a minute) // taking baths // yoga // napping // drinking cups of tea // eating too much chocolate // processing through writing  // listening to beautiful music // reading poetry //

These acts have helped me hold onto myself, which of course is the hardest thing to do when everything else is pulling me and crying (literally) for my attention.

Wondering what part of this lovely puzzle I will figure out next… There is certainly a lot to fit together. Advice from seasoned professionals welcome.

Patience + forgiveness, extremely necessary.

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*This phrase was prompted from the title of Anne Lamott’s book Operating Instructions : A Journal of my Son’s First Year –  which I am currently loving.

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Baby Moon ….

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Before the three of us become four we went on a little baby moon to reconnect. Luca stayed in Lancaster while we travelled to Hilton Head with a leisurely day in Savannah. It was blissful. Although, I did have to get over some initial, and then somewhat lingering, guilt in leaving Luca…luckily he was in good grandparent hands.

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I got to finish a really good book – Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins, do an 11 minute meditation (uninterrupted!) every morning , take an abundant amount of naps (like 4 in a day), have an affogato (espresso + ice cream = divine pick me up), dine with my Hilton Head family, and perhaps most importantly be completely and totally with my husband, which was so refreshing not having to split our attention for those collection of days.

And of course, in spending time away, I got some (seemingly good) ideas about Charm & Magic and the upgrades I’d like to make + new collection that is in the works and will hopefully be ready by next new moon.

Hope you are enjoying all the shifts and changes this fall season brings. Sometimes they can feel quite intense, like the wind tossing us around. If you are feeling wobbly, know that things will settle and pass, and surely bring upon a beautiful evolution of some kind.

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The Longest Shortest Time

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Motherhood.

The days are long, the years are short.

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My mom says this time flies by, but I mostly wonder how on earth I am going to occupy my toddler for two full hours before dinnertime.

 

This is the first of three weeks that I am with Luca full time. I’ve always been with him, but I have also had a little break thanks to daycare. A morning a week at nine months, turned into a day a week at 11 months, turned into two, or sometimes three days a week once he turned one. So it’s been a while since it’s just been him and me straight, and I catch myself wishing and waiting for his “school year” to begin in September so I can have some time (other than his nap time) to myself.

 

I also caught myself fighting back tears today in the waiting room as I read the editors letter in a parenting magazine. She talked about how her daughter cried every day when she went to pre-school, and eventually how she cried when her little preschooler left for college 15 years later. This mom reflected on how quickly time passes, and whatever stage we are currently in will be always shifting and changing, so it’s important to notice where we are today.

 

I’m sure I will look back on these toddler years as some of the sweetest times. The times where hugs + kisses were plentiful, when he would crawl into our laps with a book for us to read, when he reached out for our hands and held tightly onto our pointer fingers while strolling around, when he would  point to the part of his body that he hurt and look for a kiss to make it feel better, or when he giggled with ridiculous amounts of joy with a little tickle, game of peekaboo, or hurricane of kisses on his belly.

 

If I plug into that, well of course I want time to move as slowly as possible. I want to savor it all. But mostly from the day to day I just get frustrated for feeling like I have no time for myself and can’t help but feel slightly trapped. I find myself wishing I could write a thought down without being interrupted, let alone read an entire newspaper article, or have a solid chunk of uninterrupted time for my charm & magic projects. It’s tricky to connect to myself when tending to a little being around the clock, it requires extra effort and a lot of devoition.

 

But I know this feeling will pass, and will come back, and circle around again and again. I know I am incredibly lucky to have all this time with him. I know time for myself is ridiculously important, and I will get it soon, and until I do everything can wait for a while.

 

So in the meantime, between breakfast and lunch – I’m going to remind myself how incredibly precious this longest shortest time is, and just like nap time… how fleeting it can be.

 

P.S. I did not come up with the phrase – longest shortest time, and I’m not sure who coined it necessarily, but I heard it from a great parenting podcast titled just that. Also, I think Gretchen Rubin said, “The days are long, but the years are short.”

 

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You’re Doing Great

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My mom took me to my first yoga class, prompted me to make my first necklace, and continues to tell me about the next spiritual book to read.

She has supported me and my dreams from the beginning, and has always let me be me.  And even though we certainly have had our ups and downs, I am thankful that she was the woman who raised me – in just the way she did.

When I first became a mom – I wanted to be perfect : cloth diapers, organic homemade food, medicines that had no chemicals, or dyes, or flavors for that matter, wooden toys, etc… After 15 + months I realize perfect doesn’t exist (duh!), but I still have to remind myself of that over and over again. Now I feel lucky if I resemble my mom in any way.

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Motherhood is hard, and these past few days have been particularly challenging while tending to a sick Luca, letting go of my work commitments, and feeling like no matter what I do I am letting someone down.

Often, I wonder if I am doing a good job, as there a million other ways to do any one thing in a given day. There are so many choices to navigate, and they require a lot of trusting in my own heart that I in fact know what’s right. This video (that I sobbed through) – pretty much summed it up : You are doing a great job, regardless if you are a mom or not, as long as you can tune in and truly listen to yourself you can do no wrong.

So – write your mom AND yourself a sweet little note, gift her something charming, and remember you are doing your absolute best… and that’s all you can do – even if your mind tries to tell you otherwise.

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Mom Guilt

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Being a mom is complex! I finally have the morning to myself and I feel guilty. But even when I am with Luca I still feel guilty. These thoughts constantly circulate:

  • Am I talking to him enough?
  • Am I providing enough stimulation for him?
  • Am I feeding him nutritious and nourishing meals?
  • Am I keeping him on a good schedule?

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Which all boils down to:

  • Am I good a mom?

Judging by his smiles I probably am, but it’s nearly impossible for me to FULLY believe it. I doubt, I wonder, I question, and I feel guilty for having time to do my own thing every now and then.  I want better information for my heart and mind to process.  I want to release this guilt that holds on so tight.

I noticed if I change the order of the words from AM I a good mom? to I AM a good mom! Well then…I am sending myself a completely different message.  I am going practice this order and remind myself even new moms need time for themselves and their dreams.

Thank you Ashley for sharing this talk by Louise Hay that reminded me there is just no place for guilt.

 

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Change the Conversation

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Lately being a mom has felt super hard, heavy, and challenging.  I told  anyone who would listen:

“I don’t know what to do.  It’s impossible to get him to sleep.  I have no time for me.  He is moving all over the place. He fell off the bed (!).  I’m such a terrible mom.”  

On and on I went.  This language and way of thinking really just made things harder and heavier.

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So I am changing it up so it feels lighter and more graceful:

“Being a mom is awesome (because it really is).  He is forming a new sleeping rhythm that I am figuring out. I consciously make time for me.  He is growing, creeping, and exploring constantly.   I am doing my very best.”

I need to vent sometimes, but it reaches a point where I am just deepening the groove of whatever message I am saying and choosing to believe.  Words have tremendous power.  Change the conversation you are having with yourself and others and you will change your reality.

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