It has been a long road of doing most of the parenting without taking much for breaks. Rod has had an extrememly busy two months since the purchase of our new studio, the dance season, and the beginning of wedding season. It has been fairly bearable with the taking of naps etc. But ironically, the holidays did me in. Too many people, not enough sleep and some crazy long drives with early mornings...and of course, dealing with children in a new environment where they need more constant supervision.
So, yesterday, I found myself in the bathroom, sobbing on the toilet. Exhausted, frustrated, and at my wits' end. R for some reason has taken to sleeping only when rocked (she missed two naps, but on the upside, went to sleep extra early at night). I'm going with it in the hopes that restoring a good schedule will restore her previous habits. J, though tired, has been refusing to nap in true J fashion, but then has a tougher time playing on his own during quiet time (and he has no door on his room because it used to be a livingroom) and therefore keeps bugging me while I'm trying to nap. So, after one of these afternoons, I was crying on the crapper.
The kitchen was in complete chaos after only two days and I had no gumption to do anything about it. I didn't know what to do with myself. All I wanted to do is crawl in a hole somewhere. Have someone take my kids away. Something.
At some point that day, I managed to pick up my Bible for a bit and even more importantly, just write my feelings down. After the kids were in bed (blissfully at 7:45), I went to my bed and picked up a Julia Cameron book, "Walking in this World" (the sequel to Artist's Way) and began to read. I had been tempted to read it earlier when it would have just been dodging time with God. But now, it was just something to enjoy while J was falling asleep.
One chapter affirmed to me that I do indeed need to take personal time...and that it's okay (even necessary) to do something that feels selfish often in order to have a self to give and to express. As an artist and a mother, this is paramount. I find that mothering actually takes quite a lot of creativity to respond in ways that build rather than tear down or even to respond at all sometimes. And the irritable and demanding spirit they described when this doesn't happen, fit me to a tee.
Another chapter talked about the value of doing things like straightening out your house or finishing projects or valuing what you create enough to organize it (Hmm, like actually typing out my songs?!!). Anyways, I suddenly felt inspired to tackle and finish all the dishes. And as extra inspiration, I took my beautiful birthday bouquet downstairs to put on the counter in order to showcase it after all the mess was gone. I stayed up until 11 or 12 (Rod came home around then) just cleaning up the dishes and the main floor. What a lovely thing!
Unfortunately, I got a little bit too much adrenaline going, spent another hour on the computer looking up landscaping for kids and stuff and went to bed around 1:00 and then couldn't really sleep until 4. But despite, the lack of sleep, the energy from my clean kitchen has kept my spirits up and I've managed to do the dishes after each meal, just to preserve the beauty.
This morning, we didn't go to church as Rod had another wedding. So, I enjoyed a worship time and a quiet time without having anything hanging over my head.
And that's a glimpse into my life these days.