I’ve been blogging consistently since June of 2009. I’ve never taken more than 3 weeks off in the very beginning.
This winter has been tough, and I’ve been running on empty. It took forever to shake off the holiday stress. I also completely underestimated the need to regroup after pouring my heart out into my first rough draft of my book.
In addition to my struggles, Marie was having her own, and this was in fact, my breaking point. Issues from her babyhood that I thought were far behind us started to sneak up on us again. Her anxiety also spiked during the holidays. I was doing my best to hold it all together while taking Marie to her various appointments, but I was overwhelmed and scared. And of course mom guilt generously paraded out the what ifs, forcing me to reexamine every parenting decision I have made over the last 9 ½ years.
Oh, mom guilt. It’s the absolute worst.
That aside, seeing your child struggle is so heartbreaking. As a mom, my wellbeing is tied so tightly to each child’s contentment. As much as I believe this is an inescapable dynamic of motherhood, I was so tangled up with her that I could not tell where her pain ended and my suffering began.
The energy needed to manage the kids’ daily activities was already spent obsessing about Marie’s needs. The constant hum of fear made me feel grumpy and irritable which, inevitably, turned to into depression.
I cried a lot. I had unexplained headaches for weeks on end. Hip and joint pain. Stomach cramps.
I began to suspect something was seriously wrong, but at the time, I honestly did not see a correlation to my health ailments and stress. But I knew something had to change.
After a long week of running the kids around to their appointments, swim practice, and gymnastics while Harrington was out of town, I decided to go to a Friday night yoga class. Usually Friday nights are reserved to eating pizza and watching a shitty kids show before racing off to swim practice and then passing out at 9:15pm. *If* I am lucky.
Instead, I gave myself two hours off. I was not responsible for taking Marie to swim. I didn’t have to stay home with Thomas and play (re: be directed by his specific storyline) with his Imaginext characters.
After class, I felt amazing. The weekend was definitely more chill. And only then did I realize how much I needed to just take a break from the grind and just breathe, not only for me, but also for my family.
I have decided to up my Tuesday/Friday practice to a 30-day challenge: everyday for 30 days I will do some sort of yoga. Red Lotus Yoga is one of my happy places, but I will also be doing some at home.
I’m a few days in, so I’ll definitely check back in and let you know how I am doing. What I know for sure is that if I am going to show up for my family and be ready to write, I need to give my mind a break from all of the thinking.