It Begins With Me
We have been in what I'd consider the newborn and toddler trenches for almost four years now, and I've finally gotten the hang of what works for us in terms of routine and activity level. And as soon as that happened? Change!
In the newborn days, I've been told by seasoned moms that it does get easier in some ways, but harder in others, and I am completely finding this to be true. In a couple of small ways, it feels like we're coming up for air a little bit. We are sleeping, the girls take their three-hour nap simultaneously each afternoon, and for the most part they really do play so nicely together, especially when I'm not in the room. Now I race and chase all day long (and still get nothing done). Same tired, different reason.
Spring is always a busy time, and I always fully expect times of busyness to be met with toddler meltdowns, things gone awry, etc. And guess what? Almost none of that has been happening lately, despite our busy schedule. I think we are maybe graduating to a slightly higher tolerance for out-of-the-house-ness, skipped naps (SOMETIMES), later bedtimes, etc.
And guess who has had the worst attitude about all of this? ME!
Busyness and change, I do not like. I like routine, predictability, and downtime. I can be a good mom when those conditions are met. And then they're not? Lately gems like "I'm done dealing with you, take care of yourselves" and "Are you kidding me with that pizza?" can be heard flying out of my mouth :/
I've been doing a lot of thinking about attitude lately, and the phrase "It begins with me" keeps going through my mind.
When I am distracted on my phone at 10am and Amelia dunks her babydoll in the toilet because she's sweetly playing and pretending that her doll is going potty, I can't be upset with her because it begins with me being engaged and present. (I try not to be on my phone during the girls' waking hours--naptime and nighttime only--and whenever I stray from this I seem to pay for it, whether in child misbehavior or making my brain feel scattered. So sorry if you can't reach me for most of the day, but not really.)
If I haven't gotten up and dressed in the morning before they girls are up and therefore am trying to get ready while they are underfoot, and if they get antsy and go downstairs, and if when I get downstairs I can't find them and look outside and there they are:
I can't be upset because it begins with me preparing for the day.
And most importantly, it begins with my attitude! Mood is contagious, and it is my job to set the tone of the day, even if that means fronting stressful situations and putting on a happy face. I do NOT excel in this area. Why is being nice to the ones I love sometimes the hardest thing to do? Why am I so selfish with my time? I have my moments of Zen, but I am still so often disappointed in how selfish and rude I can be about things interfering with "my time" or productivity.
I got routine bloodwork done a few weeks ago and my blood sugar was at the high end of normal. I am on week two of making a few changes to my eating habits, and I hope that by making little shifts to take care of MY basic needs, I can be more patient, joyful, and gracious as I take care of everyone else. (And in the meantime, I am feeling pretty terrible. Eating the healthiest I have in maybe ever and yet I feel super sluggish. Kind of what it sounds like to go through a Whole 30--feeling worse before you feel better. Is this possible or am I just a tired mom?)
Was any of that remotely coherent? How do you take care of yourself so you can give to others? How do you accept busier seasons with grace?