"Come Away With Me" (says Norah Jones)... Moms: TAKE A BREAK.
I've heard to never start out a piece of writing with the weather stats. You know, like "It was a cold, December day..."
I don't know why that's a no-no, but I guess I'll stick to it even though my initial thought was to start out with how chilly its been... whatever.
I've been in a funk. In a state of sulking you could say, for a few weeks now. There's been a permanent pity party set up in my room since the whole hospital thing. I don't eat dinner too often. The kids and I have been hermits, staying in, avoiding the functioning world. Because the truth is, my kidney's freaking hurt. And to be brutally honest here, my kids are wearing me down. I friend of mine blogged recently about her struggles with being a stay at home mom. She spoke my truth. And she will remain nameless (unless friend, you'd like me to include your blog link?).
I wouldn't trade my life for the world. My kids are my heart and soul. But my gosh. Being a stay at home mom is hard. Like, really, really hard. Especially when you're sick and feeling like your kidneys are being stabbed by forks. I've unfairly taken a lot of my frustration out on them these past few weeks. Instead of focusing on their little hands working on a lego tower, I'll take a seat on the couch, tuning out the whirl of the room, rolling my eyes at their playful screams, cursing the loudness and praying for quiet. Kind friends cheer me up with messages saying "it's all part of this motherhood thing." And while it bandages the stinging wound of guilt for a minute, it always comes back at the end of the day.
Why didn't I hold Stella more today?
Why didn't I sit and read with Henry this evening?
Why didn't I play dress up with Maeve?
This time of them being little, believing in me, believing in me as this "flawless, boo-boo healer, magic cookie maker" is too fast. And I feel like with each passing day of being in this "funk" I'm giving them the wiggle room they need, to realize I am not what they think I am. Does that make sense?
Yesterday I had a photo session. A real one. Not a "friend" or "pity" session. But a legitimate, "I like your photography, would you take our family pictures?" I think my lack of photo sessions has added to the funk. When you're heart is so entwined in and heavy with a passion, its hard to not be recognized for it. I haven't had a photo session (a legit one) since June.
Waking yesterday, I was hyped up, knowing I'd perhaps be jumping back into my element.
At 4:00, I met the awesome Martin family downtown. And it all came back. My love for the art of photography, people, life. I laughed, talked candidly and most importantly, had a really, really good time.
In fact, I left the session on such a high, I couldn't bear to come off it by just driving home. (I hope that doesn't sound awful). I had my camera, an empty car. Music and coffee. All of these spelled out: SOLO WALK ON THE BEACH. NOW.
I couldn't help it. My hands moved the wheel and before I knew it I was crossing the bridge over to the island. I felt horribly guilty as the ocean came into view, knowing good and well how much my kids love the beach. However, I was unable to turn around (and not because of traffic reasons).
There's such a distinct change, when crossing over to the beach side. The air becomes heavy. You can literally feel it seeping into your pores, filling up the empty spaces. Your skin seems to thicken and warm from the salt.
Stepping out of the car, the cold hit me. It's windy and chilly on the beach right now. But it didn't feel that way. My nose and ears were cold to the touch I'm sure, but as I walked (and walked, and walked) until the sun went down, I felt nothing but pure freedom. Bliss. Restoration.
The beach was mostly abandoned aside from crazy northerners (I'm assuming) that were IN the water. Nuts. I was bundled in a coat and scarf.
I took pictures of everything, because I could. I took pictures of my Ugg boots stepping in various plant life... just because. I took a zillion photos of the setting sun, unable to get enough of the beauty and warmth it eluded.
I tried taking some photos of sand pipers. But they flew before I could get close enough with my fixed lens.
And then I found a log... actually it was a giant piece of beautiful driftwood. It screamed, "COME SIT ON ME!" So I did. ;)
Bon Iver in my ears, camera in my hands. The salt thickened air hitting my face... and the endless view of the ocean.
The ocean; it has its ways; its secrets of centering you, pulling you back into reality, kicking you in the butt and quite frankly, giving you a good slap in the face.
It's impossible to sit and watch such power and not feel completely humbled.
Because I watch too much Dateline, I started feeling skittish as the sun dipped lower. Hopping off the drift wood, walking back to the van, I had a (quite literally) frozen smile plastered to my face.
This incredibly descriptive trip to the beach? What does it all mean?
Here's the message: Moms. Take a moment. An hour. Two hours. Two days. Whatever, take time for yourself. It's unhealthy for your psyche to have your identity wrapped up in how many lego towers you built (or didn't build) with your son.
I am first and foremost, a child of God. And He's the reason I'm able to mess up with this parenting thing over, and over again. Secondly, I am me. I'm allowed to feel sad. I'm allowed to be frustrated. I'm allowed to feel the need to go grab a cup of coffee or read a book, and not feel guilty for it.
And of course, I am a mother. And while I would like to rank this role higher than myself and my priorities, it's not a smart thing to do. To live in the moment with your kids. To be healthy for them, and happy with them... it requires YOU to be whole and full, well and happy.
And now that you've muddled through that post, here are some pictures from my walk. My happy, soul restoring, rainbow walk on the beach.
OH! And thankful day, 9: I am thankful for a husband who understands his wife needs an hour on the beach with her camera and coffee. Love you babe.
( a couple IG photos ;)
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