Friday, March 21, 2014

Humanizing myself

This evening as the girls were starting dinner I picked up a book that was on the table and closed my eyes and asked to be taken to a page that was right for me in this moment. The book is "Heaven on Earth" by Sharifa Oppenheimer which i used a lot when my oldest was even younger but havent looked at in many years. It is a treasure and proved itself again this evening. I turned to a page on telling stories, not only the soul quenching fairy tales of old but stories about me and my early days. Sharifa mentions to tell stories in sensory detail; tell of the textures, the sounds, the smells, of days we remember of our youth. Tell our children about the little things that we liked and didn't like, give them tastes for what it was like to be us and small and how we navigated our worlds.

This reminds me now that Aiyana often ponders "i wonder what its like to be you, mama". So giving her these little stories of little mama megan is the tastiest little treat. I found that out tonight. I closed the book and started talking about "when i was little"......And the first thing that came to mind was what i got to eat when i visited my dad in Michigan in the summers. I told them that my mama and papa didn't live together and i got to fly from California to Michigan with my older sister and order anything I wanted on the plane and also at restaurants the entire summer with my dad. It felt sweet and tender to talk openly about my imperfect family situation. In that, it felt so perfect. No shame or wishing things were different even though i felt i had never been able to speak so openly about the dynamics growing up.

I went on about my dilemma at most meals of whether to have the grilled cheese or the cheeseburger with french fries and ketchup.  I reminded them that their Oma, at the time, was back in California and was a super healthy, wheat grass drinking vegetarian and I had an unrequited love for cheese. I told the girls that i drank a spicy pop called vernors almost everyday and many of these little things made my days special and easier to be away from my mom.

I told them how my dad's shirts were so perfectly pressed and tucked into his shorts and his top siders were scuff free. I remembered how he smelled of fresh soap and cologne and how he always had extra baseball caps in his sparkling clean convertible to keep our hair from getting all tangled in the wind. I told them through teary eyes how i loved seeing my dad and how i felt like the whole world stopped when i was with him.

When i put them to bed tonight they wanted more, especially my older one. "Tell me more about when you were little".  I found it so nourishing for all of us. It felt good to remember.

"The very best gift we can give our child is the gift of ourselves. One of the most satisfying ways we offer ourselves to our children is in telling them stories about ourselves......You can tell her silly little goofy things you like to do. It will make you that much more human." (page 137)

So often in parenting we take on the role of the teacher, the guide, the healer, the knower of all....and what i love about this sweet practice is that in telling our children about "when we were little" we are telling them that we are on this journey together and that is so fortifying for us all.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

To school or not to school

The big question....to put my kids in public school or keep homeschooling them supplemented with their nature and performance based programs.

I'm so confused. I have moments where I feel somewhat clear and then. I head straight back into the fog of uncertainty. My sweet precious girls are deep into their childhood and I mean deep. They are saturated with it....with all the great stuff that is old fashioned now.

They play all day everyday and don't tire of creating their imaginative worlds, they play cars on the rocks outside with gnomie (our gnome statue) there guarding them, they talk about how sneaky hob goblins are and about how the fire spirits quicken the seeds underground this time of year. They search for treasures and stomp in the mud, they make up their own songs and put on performances. Their love for Mother Earth and all her magic is palpable.

They have a beautiful innocence that I don't see as often as I'd like. They haven't experienced a lot of pressures, bullying, and overstimulation of ideas, noises and crowded classrooms. They are confident in their own circles and are surrounded by other kids and folks who also cherish the magic of a world unseen.

I can see that many children do very well in a public school environment but I see a system that is broken, overcrowded, pressured by financing, testing, wages....I see a place that lacks in educating the whole child; an institution that is so concerned with plowing through material that it overlooks the hands, the heart and the soul of an individual. I just feel that our children and even us are capable of amazing things and most importantly capable of a life brimming with deep satisfaction, introspection and expressed joy. Don't you? But I feel that our education systems do not set our lives on this path.

I have interacted with parents of public schooled kids and they are burnt out .....even the ones in first grade. They are thrilled for days off and holidays. My kids are super bummed spring break is coming and their programs will closed. Public schooled kids are often fried....overworked, and underplayed!

My mind goes around and around.....and there are even days where I lean towards putting them in school....stay tuned.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Self Care

Slightly blurred vision, light headed, dry and cracking hands, oily massaged face, and yoga pants. I have cleaned the kitchen twice, taken a shower, given myself an oil massage, drank coffee, texted randomly, shopped online without a single checkout and have forgotten to eat lunch. My children and husband have been out of the hose since 10:30. It is now 2:30 and my heart is still racing (possibly from too much caffeine) trying to figure out how to relax and fully rejuvenate before they return, which at this point could be soon.

So i find myself wiping the crumbs off the counter, sweeping the hall, putting a few things away, lying in bed for a few minutes and basically trying to stuff this solitude and peace down my throat til i feel it in my toes. AND IT DOES NOT WORK. I feel nothing.

i think the real problem is that i have too many things to accomplish and sometimes i dont know where to start. I know that i need self care and that should be priority whenever i have moments alone and yet i also need to use the time to put our house back together after a long drawn out rebuild after the flood that began two and a half months ago. There are boxes in every room and random things scattered everywhere. I can hardly relax in this space and yet that is what my body and mind yearns for.

A good question for all of us mamas: how do we care for ourselves, our bodies? What things make us feel juicy and loved? And how can we incorporate things daily into our lives? what small things can we do for ourselves that make the day sweeter?


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

the land of crank

I am drowning in mama overwhelm right now. it wasnt even a bad day. it was good. not great but good. i tried to keep myself in the background for the later part of the day especially after i saw that cranky inner witch poke her nose out. I yelled and rolled my eyes at aiayna . i dont even remember what it was about. Who's the child, here? I guess we both are. What a mix!

When i am irritable, cranky, bitchy, and generally just off the girls sense it with their little energy antennae and they get all out of it,too. It's hell, really. Some days i just want to be out of it and stew in my misery but it makes it so hard when i have two little mirrors showing me just how heinous i really look.

 It's so hard to be in a pissy mood when you know that everything that comes out of your mouth can throw the whole family into the land of crank. It feels like SO much responsibility. I hold the balance of our family. Our moods are so hugely dependent on my energy and most definitely my reactions. if i am centered enough to hold the space for meltdowns, owies and screaming tantrums then they pass thru like a tornado. Horrible, but completely gone after their mess is done.

BUT, when i am scrambling to pick up the pieces of my center and every whine feels like acid on a burn I crumble and then whole crew comes down with me. They are watching me ALL the time. HUGE responsibility.......
Yes, it's a ton of pressure, daily. Motherhood is a moment to moment in your face daily practice of letting your shit GO and looking in those little mirrors and admitting how ridiculous you can look.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

mama guilt

What is it that creeps over me like a plague, slumps my shoulders and sucks all my goodness right out of me? Oh, is that mama guilt? that intense feeling that comes when i am doing anything that might resemble something "just" for me?

like sitting here at the computer in the daylight hours and NOT playing with my kids or cleaning the floors or preparing wholesome foods...i have this sick idea of what the perfect mother is. and i get so frustrated that she is impossible for me to live up to. I dont know where it comes from or how it snuck itself into my head. but its there and it sucks!

there are actually certain mamas that host certain blogs that i cannot even look at because they portray themselves as that perfect matriarch with those sweet kids , that great house on all that land with all her freshly baked bread and crafty cuteness. i love it so much that i can't stand it!

Monday, May 7, 2012

weaning the littlest

She is curled up in her bed while i caress her big sister to sleep. she didnt want me to snuggle her tonight.
first time ever...she always wants me. strange. its another phase in her process of letting go of her babyhood, i suppose.
today is monday and she had her "last nurse" on friday night. it is so bittersweet for me. i have been wanting to wean for several months now. she loves the boob so much but about half the time we nursed i felt so irritable like i wanted to flick her off.
terrible, i know.
so, i knew our time was drawing to an end. on saturday we made a big deal of her first day of being a big girl. she got a "big girl" water bottle and i baked her a cake and we even got a few balloons at her request. i told her how proud of her i am and she said, "i'm not going to cry, i'm not going to be sad, i am going to be happy".
hmmm, i loved her attitude but of course it didnt last too long ;) i thought maybe i would let her nurse til she weaned herself but knowing her, she would nurse til she was 8! the last 8 months have been just for nap, bed and if i am lounging in my bed in the morning.
so, it wasnt on demand, thank god!
My body is ready to be mine...all mine again.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

cooking like a supermom

I feel like a super mom on the days when i have projects going, bread baking, soup simmering and i have not let myself get all wound up with every little tantrum.

Most of all, I really feel pretty darn amazing when i cook great, nourishing food for my family. I have been loving to cook lately. I don't necessarily like doing it 3 times a day 7 days a week but i thoroughly enjoy about half of those. I have been wanting to delve into one cuisine maybe for two weeks or so and just really explore the flavors. Not sure where to begin. maybe indian, thai, mexican????? I have to figure out how to set this up simply, so i dont fail. I usually get totally inspired to create these magnificent meals and then 2 days later i am staring into the fridge not knowing what in the world to feed my children.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

who am i, anyway?

I have never thought of myself as controlling. i am soft, easy-going, flexible...right? Hmmm...well, the other day a dear friend was told by another that she is too hard on herself and those around her.

All night and day these words repeated themselves in a whisper simmering deeper and deeper thru the layers of my psyche until i felt a release, an admittance.

thank you. this has been me. I feel there is a part of me that is so rigid. so stuck. so scared that i might lose my hold on myself, my children, my household, my health, my beliefs.....I dont think i have always been this way. i dont think it's my natural way but somewhere on my life's journey i stiffened up; traded my magic wand for a sharp-edged sword.

its subtle. meeting me and even being a close friend you might not see this, it may even surprise you that this rigidity is such a tethered core in my being holding me together. hmmmmm

Sunday, January 8, 2012

alone time


There is a light dusting of snow on the ground this morning. It looks pretty from inside my little home with my hot coffee steaming next to me.

papa took the girls to a birthday party this morning so i have a couple of hours to myself. it's quiet. i can hear the heat blowing from the vents. strange. i have a million ideas of what i can do with this time and as i sit here i see the minutes ticking by and a brief panic washes over.

i want to relax, feel nourished, get energized and do nothing all at the same time.....maybe read a book, take a nap, talk to a friend, take a bath, go on a walk, get my dried paints and lonely brushes out, write here in this dusty blog, eat, drink more coffee and give myself a facial....and the clock keeps ticking and stealing away my precious minutes alone.

i even pondered going with them today. i kinda didnt want to miss the cuteness of it all. i like watching my girl's reactions to new experiences, i like to witness their joy and see their smiles and their delight. I dont like to miss any of it and i havent missed much in the last 5 years. but now i realize that its time to miss some of those moments because it is only then that i can catch glimpses of a woman i once knew.

the mama mask can sit on the shelf for a few luscious moments and i will only be the better for it.

Friday, September 23, 2011

"does that tree feel fall too mama?"


Sitting here with the smell of squash, sage and onions roasting in the oven. mmmmmmmmm fall. I haven't experienced fall for 3 years! the changing of the leaves from green to yellow, red, orange, the soft light in the afternoon, the crisp air in the morning and night (well, actually the freezing air!) I love it all. my body is soaking this up and melting into this change. We are all "feeling fall" and starting to show our softer colors, our deepest hues.

yay, hibernation is right around the corner and oh do i need this. I'm not fooling myself....i know there is not going to be much down time with two littles in the house but the energy is different in the winter; its slower, quieter, less is expected, less goes on. this time brings about the desire to bake, drink tea, stare off into the trees, draw, tell longer stories, snuggle more, love longer.

i feel full of joy for this experience, this time, this place, my family, the love, the mess, the joy.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

going numb

My tendency is to go numb whenever there is alot going on emotionally for me. I go on auto pilot taking care of all my family duties blindly but my essence is stuck somewhere hovering inches above my body and i just do what i have to to get by day to day.

I do all that i can to keep myself from entering this hole of unknown gunk...the emotional laundry that has been piling up for weeks now...months probably. In my moments alone I eat, i clean, i watch movies, browse the internet, drown myself in worry and guilt for all the things i do wrong as a mother....really i stuff my head, my heart, my face with anything that can take away the blinding fact that there are tender spots inside me that need tending to.

Why am i so resistant to taking care of myself? yes, i give non-stop all day long to my children so the moment i leave their room at night i crave a quick fix, something that will momentarily quench the thirst for true connection; chocolate, wine, pastries, stupid tv shows, internet shopping.....My energy is spent, my reserves are empty. But is that excuse enough? I want to be a mother more than anything else in this life but i also want to find that sweet balance where i have space to shine no matter what is going on within my household.

I know what i need. i need hot baths, facials, quiet reading time, meditation, yoga, walks, sleep. Any one of these on a daily basis would slowly start to take the tip off the mountain of self-neglect. But even though i "know" what i need i usually choose the quick fix. what's wrong with me? how do i get ahead just enough so i have the energy to give back to myself?

well, even as i write this i feel my breath deepen and a familiar part of me awaken. it has been too long....this time away. how can i as a mother not disappear as a woman? and maybe even blossom and thrive? is it possible to be the kind of mother i am and want to be and be fully myself? hmmmm.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

landing

We arrived here in Boulder 4 weeks ago already. I am so in love with the smells, the feel here. i feel comfortable... at peace and so grateful that this place is my home. what a life i have!

the food at the stores, the organics, the baked goods, the take out places...oh my! I love that i can get to the store in 2 minutes and get all the things i have been dreaming about for 2 years! the body care, the supplements, the coconut ice creams! i really have to limit my trips out because i just want everything!

It's a bit overwhelming at the same time. i feel like a kid in a candy store who is getting all she wants and is about to freak out in tantrum. I havent had the space to process any of this. the move. the newness. the familiar. our old house. old friends. with 2 kids i focus solely on getting us all clothed, fed, hugged, walked, rested. i dont know how to take moments to let this all soak in. or maybe i do but for some reason i am wearing water repellent gear and none of it is getting in.

I want to lie down in this place and wrap the streets, the trees, the people, the food, the air, the rain all around my body so tightly until i feel satiated. I want to land in this place and i dont know how to make that happen. I feel spacey and scattered. and maybe that's ok for now. maybe that's just what is and the rest will come.