Well, hello there. Can you believe another week has passed? I hope you accomplished something great and wonderful last week, but if you’re not quite there yet, well, join the crowd! Let’s pledge to try again until Friday Finds Vol. 18 rolls out next week, shall we?
For me, this past week was a big one. I finally acknowledged that being a stay-at-home mom was something I no longer wanted to pursue. It sounds terrible, and I suppose I do feel some measure of guilt, but truthfully, as unhappy as I was I don’t think I’ve been doing a very good job at parenting lately. My patience is worn, my temper is short, I am fatigued. We all know the glossiness of social media is a great distraction- while you get busy looking at everyone else’s “perfect” life, it puts you off rescuing yourself before the meltdown occurs. Well, I certainly didn’t react in time, and boy, was that some midweek meltdown.
It did, however, force me to confront the problem, and together we came to the decision that it is time for the Baby (at 2.5 no longer a baby, really) to start part time daycare so that I can finally take some time for myself. I know on the surface it doesn’t seem like a big deal at all- I mean lots of kids go to daycare, right? But since I’m not working (my work permit was unfortunately delayed), I felt guilty for even suggesting that we divert funds to a pre-school when, after all, I am home myself. Obviously that didn’t work out as wonderfully as it should have so I think the two days a week that she’ll be in daycare will give me the break I need to figure things out. It is wonderful to finally acknowledge out loud that I am more than the sum of skinned knees, dirty diapers, and school runs. I am also a writer, a graphic designer, a curator of lovely things. I am an advocate of self care. I am fortunate and grateful to be a wife and a mother but I am so excited to finally get to be “me” again.
This week’s Friday Finds are a reflection on marriage, motherhood and self care. I hope you enjoy them.
1. On Marriage.
I don’t know how I missed Erin Loechner and her wonderful blog for so long, but now that I’ve discovered her, I am devouring everything she writes. I don’t always agree with her perspective but I find reading her words so soothing. She is the kind of mentor I would love to have, and her “Good List” daily posts on Instagram are so uplifting. She wrote a post on an important decision she made, and it resonated with me, although I don’t know if I’m quite there yet. Read the post first and then come back and tell me what you thought! I think it’s worth a discussion.
2. On Motherhood.
This sweatshirt made me laugh and laugh because #truth. I need it immediately. Also, a very strong tea. I need that too. And about 55 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Parenting, amirite?
3. On Self Care.
Lately, I’ve spent quite a bit of time reading about self care and this was one of the quotes from Diane Von Furstenberg that I came across that I loved. It’s funny and true in a matter-of-fact kind of way and I thought it would make a great free printable too! You can download this free printable poster in both colour and black and white. FYI the print is 8×11 but I’ve sized it with a 1/2″ white border (not shown below) which you can keep or cut, whichever you prefer.
4. On Living Practically.
Because I’ve been thinking about this topic so much, I thought I would also share a list of the top 5 ways I aim to practice self care and self-love.
1. Say no. Really, just say it. Not everything has to get done right now, not everyone needs your attention. Your kids will survive playing alone, no one will be traumatized by one more night of eating take out, those errands can wait. Say no to everyone else, and then go and do something you want to do instead.
2. Which brings me to this: Get outside. Whether there’s warm sun or freezing cold wind, just get out. It will boost your mood and lift your spirits, guaranteed.
3. Get a manicure/pedicure. I know it seems like a trivial thing, but it really is something that always cheers me up! Who doesn’t love foot massages and pretty nails?
4. Talk (don’t type) to a friend on the phone, or better yet, see them in person! Friends are the healing balm we all need. I just spoke to my best friend (Hi, V!) and now I feel like I’m sitting on top of the world.
5. Reconnect with your partner. Dating when married is such a cliché but it truly remains one of the most important things you can do for your relationship. Every time we stumble into last-minute plans or accidental alone time, I am reminded of how much fun we have together. It really is something that falls by the wayside too often, especially when you have small kids.
6. Start a gratitude journal. It might sound like hippie dippie baloney, but taking just five minutes at night to mentally list off or write down what I’m grateful for, can make things seem much better. At the very least, you will have something to look back on when you’ve had a crazy day. Above all, it’s a good reminder too that things could always be worse, and are worse, for so many people right now. Putting words on paper can put your own life into perspective and that is so important.
7. And lastly, forgive yourself. I don’t know about you, but I am often very hard on myself. I hold myself to a standard of perfection that can be exhausting. Too often, it is a standard that remains in my mind, because by the time I get around to putting it into practice, I am worn out. This leads to anger and a sense of worthlessness and then the cycle begins over again. So I’m just going to say this: It’s ok to be flawed. It’s ok to not be your mother and do things the way she did. It’s ok to carve your own path and put your own priorities first vs. what you “should” be doing as a mother, a wife, a career woman, a stay-at-home parent, etc. Love yourself first and everything else will follow.
I know I typically do five Friday Finds but I think this post has said everything I need to say so I’ll wrap it up now! Please let me know what you think in the comments below. I love hearing from you!
Until next time my friends,
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