Lately I've been feeling fairly overwhelmed. There just always seems to be a lot going on and I feel like I'm not managing it well.
I've decided that there are things I need to change but there is too much to do it all at once so I've decided to do it slowly instead so I don't get burnt out.
One of those things is self-care. I need to take care of myself better: drink more water, exercise, get enough sleep. Well this month I decided the only thing I was going to concentrate on changing was drinking more water. 64 ounces a day.
Maybe making one small change will help move into bigger changes.
I say I want to live with less, live more mindfully and with greater focus on what's important and yet...
When the glow of the holidays fade I find I did the exact opposite of that. I got caught up in what was least important. In the momentary glitter and not in the things with the soft eternal glow. In the stuff and not in the people.
For a bit over a year now I've been making a serious effort to get rid of a bunch of stuff we never use or will likely never need again.
Out the door has gone clothing, books, kitchen gadgets, college papers, movies and even sewing supplies.
I've tried to think more carefully about what I'm bringing in. Instead of buying books, I've checked the library and waited for a copy. Instead of purchasing items for new projects, I've more carefully dug through what I have already.
I've tried to think it through for myself.
Then comes my oldest son's 4th birthday.
We bought him stuff. Maybe too much stuff. Then the grandparents bought him stuff. Then we had a party and was given stuff.
I'm not ungrateful for the things he was given. We had a lovely time at the party and they are things he will enjoy but I'm wondering where to draw the line.
It's much, much easier to flow the tide of my own consumption but not so easy to think it through for my kids.
I'm in th quiet side when you first meet me because I hate small talk and generally like to get a feel for people and situations before I engage too much. Some people will at first confuse that quietness with timidity but it's not.
I yell at the tv when I'm listening to something that ticks me off.
I can rant on a moments notice and often tend to be the bull in the china shop because I really honestly don't pick up on a lot of the nuances in the culture where I currently live.
All that being said, I feel a strong call these days to live a more gentle life - more gentle with my family, more gently with the world around me and more gently with myself.
My intent here is to give myself a bit of accountability as I start this and to be honest about the difficulty of change. I want to be more gentle and that's a complete contradiction to my normal character. I want to change but font believe it will be easy.
Ah, the letter B. There were a lot of things I considered doing for the letter B but these two made the most sense to me. First, the nice little controversial topic of breastfeeding. It’s amazing how much one little topic can create controversy. There are countless medical studies about the benefits of breastfeeding and countless opinion pieces about how much it’s “not a big deal.” I won’t lie. It was tough at first. So very, very tough. I cried every day for probably two weeks. I’m sure hormones had something to do with it. Then for the first month when he wanted to feed every hour and a half, I kept thinking about how nice it would be to kick my husband out of bed with the baby and a bottle so I could get some sleep. Now? I really love it. I love having him cuddled up next to me and I love how happy he is when he’s nursing. I love how excited he gets when I grab the boppy because he knows he’s going to be able to nurse. I love the relaxed feeling I get from all the nice hormones that come along with it. I love the cuddle time. I love how relaxed it makes him. Strangely, I even miss the middle of the night feeding sessions right now. I’ve never been a great sleeper and I didn’t realize just how much those nursing hormones had been helping me get rested. Now that he’s sleeping in five hour stretches, I’m getting less sleep because I don’t get relaxed and doze back off. I didn’t think I’d ever miss those 2 am sessions, but I do. Weird. I guess I’m just trying to say how much I enjoy it now. How much I treasure our nursing time and how short it really is. I’m going to miss it when it’s gone. The other B? Babywearing. This one I kind of fell into by necessity. Wiggles does not care to be left by himself to play. This is especially true if he’s overtired or teething or not feeling well for some reason. Tara loaned me a moby wrap and I loved that thing when he was little. He’d cuddle in and generally doze right off. Since he’s gotten heavier, the stretchy wrap really isn’t supportive enough for him. These days I either tend towards either a woven wrap or a ringsling. Neither of these is a really great picture of him in the ringsling. His bum should be in a deeper pocket and his knees much higher up. The picture of me was taken when I was first trying to learn to use it and didn’t quite have it down yet. Phillip said that someone he knows is interested in sewing one so here’s all the information on it: The material is a twill fabric that I bought from hobby lobby when it was on sale. The rings are from slingsings.com . Don’t try and use craft rings or purse rings or anything like that. You really need something that is weight tested to keep the little one safe. The instructions I used are found for free here at http://www.sleepingbaby.net/jan/Baby/sling.html and I used the pleating directions that are linked on that page. It makes my life so much easier because while I can’t do dishes or cook, I can pick up around the house, transfer laundry into and out of the dryer and it makes wiggles happy to see what’s going on. Hope that helps someone!