A Hot Toddy with a Side of Mom Guilt

지난달

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Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash


My two seedlings are wonderfully energetic creatures, almost feral at some points. We live in a safe place off the beaten path so that they can climb trees and build forts and take risks. But sometimes, it is just too much. These tiny little bodies are so fragile. And even in the most innocent of circumstances, disaster can strike.

As my partner worked on the itinerary for our upcoming adventure to Mexico, I decided to spend some time writing in our bedroom with him. The seedlings were clean, fed and in jammies, happily enjoying a DVD. The all-is-calm feeling permeated the 740 square foot home, and I thought it would be safe to add a splash of whisky to my homemade herbal tea to create a lovely hot toddy, and take the edge off my scratchy throat.

I sipped and jotted down some ideas for a post, and noticed that the seedlings were giggling as they teased each other in the living room, not 12 feet away from me. The teasing led to a game of chase, and I reminded them to avoid the area with the wood burning stove, to which they complied, staying over on the kitchen side of the space. Relaxing back into my work, a thud and the pregnant pause that comes just before the cry of anguish when a child is really hurt, filled my ears. I actually felt the disaster before I heard it, and reached him before the full effects of the pain set in.

I have been carving out space to grow myself in this year of log cabin livin’. I paint, and write, and read, and sit quietly doing nothing. None of these things come easily for me as I was raised to emulate the practices of a typical American mom and housewife - do all the things for all the other people. But I know I am a better me when I take time to nourish me. I believe my partner and kids deserve the best me. So, I am taking time to care for me to be the best me for them. (See that twisted logic? I have to be the best me FOR THEM. I see it. I know that is false self care. I am a work in process.)

Me choosing to relax and write in a quiet moment before the evening bedtime ritual was a hard sell to the little voice in my head shoulding all over me. I should do the laundry. The dishes. Read a book to my kids… But I did sit. And I did write. And I did have a hot toddy. And my seedling did get hurt. Badly.

In their effort to avoid the wood stove, they were chasing back and forth around the kitchen table. In his pre-going-to-bed-5-year-old state, my youngest seedling tripped and planted his mouth into the corner of the bench under the table. He busted the inside of his lower lip, ripped open the wound that was still healing from the surgery to remove his upper lip tie, and knocked crooked his top two front teeth.

A cold rice pack from the freezer and two doses of Traumeel stopped the bleeding and the pain. A restless night’s sleep in mom’s bed and a visit to our integrative dentist the next day relieved any worry about long term damage. But after the need for mom-in-crisis-mode dissipated, the mom guilt creeped in. And this time the guilt threw a ticker-tape parade to announce it’s arrival.

How could I have indulged in something so self-indulgent as writing in bed while dulling my senses with whisky and lemon balm? Seriously. Seriously! I could have prevented the teasing from escalating to chasing. I could have snuggled on the couch and watched the DVD with them. I could have put them to bed early. I could have done all the things differently.

I did not listen to my gut. I had a vision of seedling two hurting himself earlier that day. I did. I saw it in my head, and I did not listen. The tragedy and catch 22 in all of this is that in order for me to be in tune with my intuition, I must spend time nourishing myself. In order to spend time nourishing myself, I need to be unleashed from the duties of motherhood and partnership. I have been spending time prioritizing the responsibilities of a household with children. And I did not listen to myself.

I really don’t know what the answer is. It seems like an issue of balance. A yin and yang thing. Or, maybe it is a motherhood thing. It is a gigantically awesome responsibility to keep two little humans safe. It is part of our family prayer at night. “You are safe, and you are loved,” is what I say before namaste. I want my children to feel safe enough to grow and change and to learn from failure, knowing that they are always loved. Maybe, that is the nugget of wisdom in all of this for myself, too.


I am grateful to find a place with rich soil to grow a community. May we take root, and flourish together.

@Bia.Birch 🌱

All artwork, photographs, and content are original and created by @bia.birch unless otherwise credited

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Hi and congratulations, you have been announced as a winner for the month's delegation in this round of “For the Love of Comments.”

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Thank you @minismallholding! What a cool way to be recognized. I appreciate it 🌱

Kids will be kids
Being a helicopter parent and hovering vs being there to allow them to explore and learn

I have been both and the hovered child is now afraid of so many things and always second guessing
The younger ones (there were one too many to hover over) are more independent and assured of their abilities

Don’t beat yourself up
Taking care of No.1 for long term is good
Put on the oxygen mask first 😉
There was damage control after and that’s ok .... we can’t control everything 💗

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Great advice @kaerpediem! I needed to hear this about the hovering. I tend to do this quite often being at home all the time. I want my kids to grow independently so I need to keep this in mind.

As an adult I am afraid of quite a bit because my parents hovered over me and over exaggerated certain things which made me scared to even leave the house at times. 😬 I’m grateful they were protective but being overprotective does backfire sometimes.

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We live and learn :)
And I am sure you are doing great with your kids <33

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💚💛❤️

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post. I sincerely appreciate your pat on the back. Just one more lovely example of how Steem builds community - people lifting up people when they could use a hug 🌱

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We gotta lean in :D
Hugs

First let me say I really enjoyed reading your post and your style of writing, it was well put together.

I am a stay home homeschooling mom of five and have learned if I don’t take time to nourish myself, self reflect and miss my kids then no one is happy. 😆 If I’m miserable and overworked mentally and physically, doing my job is not enjoyable and my family will be miserable right along with me because it shows in my attitude and actions.

Trust me I’ve been here, I’ve felt that guilt of sitting on my butt thinking I should be up working, on Steemit when one of my kids gets hurt or even locked in my room sipping on some coffee when they are knocking to get in. What I do is analyze and say

Okay I’ve done housework, spent time with my husband and kids and everyone has been fed. It’s okay if I take some time doing what I like to do to relax and refresh. There will always be work to do and sometimes it just needs to wait.

Although we feel guilty we shouldn’t. We definitely can’t control everything and it is meant for our kids to learn some things on their own. I’m so sorry your son was hurt in the midst of you being in your own space but it’s not your fault. It’s not a crime for mommy to have some down time to regather herself. It’s a MUST if we moms are going to give the best of ourselves. You hit it right here...

But I know I am a better me when I take time to nourish me.

and here...

I have to be the best me FOR THEM.

Well said! We just have to do our best to balance our time...that is our me time and family time. You’re doing great mama and I know your family adores you, thanks for this post. Keep taking that time out that you need ~ 😊

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Thank you @crosheille for your thoughtful and supportive post. This is one of the reasons I enjoy Steemit so much, people lift each other up here, from all across the globe. Your wisewoman words, There will always be work to do and sometimes it just needs to wait. will get tucked into my heart to pull out again when that mom guilt makes a return. 🌱

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Absolutely! I think it’s so important to lift one another up as we as mothers face similar situations and it helps knowing we are here for one another. So glad I could share a little of what I have gained along the way :)

Congratulations Mama! This post has been selected to be featured for the @Steemitmamas Sunday Shares Curation Post!

To view your post along with other great selections please visit: Steemitmamas Sunday Shares #17 - Easy Reads For Your Weekend.

Thank you for your quality post!

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Thank you!🌱

Amazing write-up by an amazing mom of 2. First, am happy your article is now nicely formatted. Second, its usually almost impossible to prevent kids from doing like - well kids! So don't feel guilty that you could or should have avoided the injuries. For me, it's part of learning - yes learning that there are causes and effects. Third, you are doing great to take care of yourself for them. Its the type of balance that most moms have failed to strike. If you are not whole and healthy, you can't be the best mom for your kids and partner. Happy with all you do to keep those 2 special humans intact. Keep it up! By the way, I will make a post to answer your question about my journey of freedom. Have a nice day - or night!

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Oh @focusnow, thank you for your thoughtful and kind comment. I sincerely appreciate the wisdom you shared, and the pat on the back. 🌱