Wednesday, January 29, 2014

She says.

There's a noisy voice in my head lately.

You have to be doing something all the time, otherwise you are wasting everyone's time.  Otherwise you don't deserve to be home with your kids.

If you are doing something all the time, it will spoil and smother your kids.  Educating your young children isn't a good use of your time. It's unnecessary.  It's something rich, white, stay at home moms invent so they don't have to work.

Your privilege is shameful.  You have to be humble.  You have to be grateful.

You have to be snarky so no one knows you actually care about being good at this.

You can't admit that you're not good at this or people will think badly of you.

You can't admit when you're good at this or you might make someone else feel bad and then they won't love you anymore.

It is ridiculous to think that your blog matters.  Blogging is frivolous, self involved, selfish.  You are deluding yourself.  You are embarrassing yourself.

The things you want are stupid and worthless.

You are stupid and worthless.

You're always supposed to make everyone happy, to take care of their needs before your own or else you're a bad mother, a bad friend, a bad wife.  Or else they wont' love you.  Or else they'll leave.

They'll all leave.

Even your kids, soon they'll realize that everyone in the world is better at this than you and then they'll prefer being anywhere but here.

You shouldn't care what people think of you.  You shouldn't try to make people happy.  You shouldn't hustle.  You should know better.

You don't matter.

Who you are isn't good enough.

You don't exist.

You are only good for making other people happy.

You shouldn't be proud of that.  You should be ashamed of that.

You aren't good enough.

You have to change.

You aren't good enough.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Space Between

"Jump up and down, spin around!"  chanted the girl on the song I'd just downloaded.

"Listen, BG, let's dance!" I prompted and burn off all that energy and take a nap later.

She stood still for a long moment, her head tilted to the side, staring me straight in the eyes.  Then she turned her back to my jumping, spinning self, walked over to her toybox and emerged with a tiny drumset.

"I need my glasses."

After a little more digging, my sunglass-clad preschooler perched on top of the ottoman, tapping on her tiny drums with an air of gravitas.

I couldn't make these things up.

There are moments in my day, brief moments usually, when I look at my kids and everything about parenting makes sense.  When I know that they are going to be okay, that I am going to be okay.  When I can see the delineation between the two. When I understand my role in this relationship.  When I can really, for that moment, believe that it's all enough.

And they're never moments when we're doing something I planned.

Often I feel desperate to fill every moment of our day.  Either I am  carting my children to activities and planning crafts and projects for them to do with me, or I am plopping them in front of a screen and tuning them out so I can work my way down my own to do list.  

Why is there nothing in between?

The space between is the terrifying part.  The being instead of doing.  The trusting that even if I don't have a plan, if I'm not in control, everything will be okay anyway.  The trusting my kids and myself to know what to do without a checklist.

If I go through all the motions, if I get to the end of the checklist - both for my kids' activities and for my own self care - then I will have a metric to know that I succeeded.  Then I won't have to face the anxiety and discomfort that comes with the stillness, with not knowing what's going to come next, with not knowing how to measure whether what I'm doing is enough.

But the space between is also where everything that is beautiful happens, where there is the capacity to be surprised.  Where I can see who my kids really are, what they really want and love.

Where I can see who I really am.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Have you seen me?

I've been missing someone lately.  She's about yay high, answers to the name of "story."  Have you seen her?


Lately, I've been feeling like I've been missing something.

I wanted to feel more purposeful, so I've been planning more stuff with the kids.  I wanted to do more self care, so I've been reading more, doing yoga, putting my feet up, having treats.

So why is it that I'm disappearing?

What I need, what my soul craves, isn't more frivolous comfort.  It isn't more chocolate or bubble baths.  It isn't a glass of wine at the end of the day.

What my relationship with my kids needs isn't more worksheets, more sensory bins, more choreographed activities.

What my marriage, what my friendships, what my causes need isn't for me to be more of a martyr or more off a spoiled cream puff.

What we all just need is me.  To be me.

I love, with all my heart and self.
I have words that are important, that make a difference to the people who hear them.
I pay attention.  I hear people, what they say and what they don't.  I see you.
I care.  I care about doing a good job.  I care about people around me being happy. I care about the reasons behind the things I say and do, about the theory, about the analysis.
I recognize the good and the value in people and can help them to see it.
I learn, really quickly and voraciously.  I trust research.  I think about things.

That's who I am.  That's what I do.  I need space and time and quiet to recharge and process  but I also need to connect.  I need to help.  I need to show up in the world and be present with people.  To engage in a relationship of equals.  One where I do not try to fix anyone, including myself, but only say "I see you.  Do you see me too?"

I need to be seen.  Even if I don't want to be seen.

I don't need to be fixed.  I'm not broken.  I just need to show up as scary as that may be.


I'm back.