Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Taking Care of Me (and other musings)

My dad is (officially) dying, and a number of friends have expressed heartfelt concern that I'm going to get so caught up in taking care of my family that I'll not allow myself the opportunity to reflect, absorb, grieve, and heal myself.  As appreciative of the concern that I am, I had not been worrying about that aspect of things myself; I'm not sure I need to be, either.  But today I decided to go with it, or perhaps use it as an excuse, whichever works.

With four hours of babysitting time at my disposal, I did the following:
  • Dropped June off at co-op
  • Did a workout
  • Took a shower
  • Bought takeout lunch and ate it outside in the sunshine
  • Read a book while lying in the grass in the middle of Logan Boulevard
  • Picked June up from co-op
After this, I texted Joe that I love him and that I love my life.

  • It is amazing what a little sunlight and fresh air can do for one's soul.  
  • Chores and bills that are already overdue can wait one more day.
  • I am so spoiled lucky to be able to ever spend four hours like this and am immeasurably grateful for it.
  • This morning was not at all representative of what an average day is like for the average stay at home mom, but it is representative of the moments when I pause and thank God that I am not currently employed.  I do not know how I would have juggled work with family obligations this spring, so I am glad to be "on hiatus." 
  • It is amazing how an activity like leisure reading outside, which would have been a treat in my twenties but nothing worth writing about, now that I have three children feels like such an indulgence that I must fight the urge to feel guilty about it.  I don't know if that's a good thing, because I'm appreciating and getting intense pleasure out of things that previously seemed ordinary, or a bad thing because it is a sign of both limited free time and the pervasiveness of the guilt of motherhood?  No matter, because I enjoyed the hell out of it.  
After about a three week layoff, this week I'm tackling exercise (in baby steps).  Next week, food.  These are the things that you know will help you through stressful times but ignore anyway, because guess what Sherlock, Oreos also work - to a point.  I've done my part in the last month to drive up the global price of Double Stuffs, though, so perhaps it's time to move on to whatever the next phase of this god-awful process is.

The book I'm reading is Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne, and as I wandered away from my responsibilities to read it, I couldn't help but chuckle at the thought that surely I've already mastered this philosophy by simply outsourcing the parenting to a sitter!  Alas, this was not the author's point, nor would it be a good long term solution, but it did the trick today.



Danni said...

I'm so sorry. I figured as much from your prior post.

Ignore people who tell you how you should grieve and process and do whatever the heck you want to or need to do. We're all different. I lost my mom when I was 22 after a somewhat proctracted demise and so I feel like I get to offer that :p Times like this are the times to employ whatever coping mechanisms you've developed over the years...

Maggie said...

Okay, see my email about the emotionally heavy portion of this blog post. BUT I just want to say that I read Simplicity Parenting a couple of years ago and now that everyone is jumping on the Simplicity Parenting bandwagon, I feel sorta smug. I'm just going to admit it, I feel smug like I discovered an indie rock band before they got big...

Karen said...

Sorry to hear that. I'm with Danni, we all deal with life differently, only you know what is best for you and your family.

jessica said...

Love you!

Kelly said...

Hugs, hugs, and more hugs, Kate :)

Ann said...

Thinking of you and your family, Kate, in this awful time. I'm sure it wasn't easy to give yourself the space to do it, but I'm glad to hear that you did something just for the pure joy of relaxing. You deserve that. And mostly, I love that the book was on parenting. That made me laugh. It seems even in our "indulgences," we find ourselves going back to our roles as mothers. Go figure! Big hugs and stay strong (or not).

Kate said...

Thank you all. Seriously, thanks for your thoughts and prayers.

Danni - wow. I knew you had lost your mother, but I did not realize you were but a wee babe of 22 years. Hard at any age, but man that's rough.

Ann - yes, I had the same thought about the genre. Too funny.

Maggie - WHAT? There is a bandwagon?! I had no idea. Figures I am late to yet another party. Oh well, go on with your smug self.