I feel like this is a supremely appropriate time to give credit where credit is due… to those amazing angels who come into our lives to give us a little space to breath.
We are halfway through Oliver’s spring break and I gotta be honest, it’s kicking my ass. Granted there have been some extenuating circumstances that have piled an even larger helping than normal upon my plate this week, but still, I am very much missing my 5 hours every morning with only one child.
When I last had the boys alone everyday, Nicco was still an infant – and a pretty mellow one at that. It has always been hard to handle them both, but with Nicco in full on destruction mode at every moment of the day, maintaining functionality in our little world seems almost impossible.
Three days in, my house looks like a literal tornado hit it. There is a laundry mountain threatening to eat Oliver’s massage table. We have had popcorn for dinner the last two nights, which honestly is probably safer because my kitchen is absolutely unfit for human habitation. I am behind on all my phone calls and my desk is a clusterfuck of madness. Also, my returning of phone calls and text messages has pretty much ceased.
I’ve honestly been a little shocked at how quickly the wheels have come off this week! LOL
It has been an awesome reflection though, of where I really am in this whole process and the people and circumstances that have made the growth I’ve been feeling, possible.
(It’s now Friday night… I didn’t have any chance to finish this before now… spring break is finally over and WE ALL SURVIVED!!)
I have to give myself credit and affirm that I did totally make it through the first 3.5 days of this week very strong. I maintained my positivity, let go of the expectations of a clean and orderly house, and tried to be as present as possible with my babes. I noticed beauty and found peace throughout the days and focused on the many blessings that make up our life…. And then the last 24 hours happened and things pretty much fell apart. LOL
This is FAR better than I would’ve done in the past year, given the same challenges of this week. So I applaud myself for the success, and now must give full acknowledgment of the fact that the only reason I’ve been able to improve in this area AT ALL is because I have been given the SPACE to do so.
If you listen to the spiritual lessons or new age advice of the day, you are given the impression that any and all situations can be used for evolution of ones’ soul, regardless of circumstance, you need only control your mind for immense change to come about. And…. on one level, that is true I suppose. HOWEVER…
If you happen to find yourself in survival mode…. If you stay up all night trying to sooth a child whose body won’t let them sleep… If you are trying to juggle fussy children who voice their discontent loudly for hours on end… If you are preoccupied with fighting for basic needs of a special child… Or anything else that looks even remotely like this, then you are in survival mode. You are merely coping with stressors that hit you like waves one after another without an opportunity for a breath. I’ll admit that, sure, there is a slim chance that one could grow under such duress, BUT it is absolutely NOT ideal, nor possible for most of us at our current level of evolution.
This week I’ve realized how much I’ve just been surviving. I’ve been maintaining. I’ve been focused on keeping little humans alive and fed and somewhat calm and also been trying to keep all the rest of the balls in the air. I’ve had absolutely no time to write, no time to reflect, no time to focus on anything but surviving the spring break storm.
I think so often we compare ourselves to what we SHOULD be doing. How we SHOULD be parenting. How we SHOULD be able to get through the grief and the sorrow and become whole again, without acknowledging that we first need the SPACE to do so.
Why did the yogis give up the Babylonian world and go live in caves? Why do people go to Vipassana retreats to sit in silence for 10 days? Why do so many of us attend yoga or meditation classes? The answer to all of these questions is… to create SPACE. To allow ourselves to drop back into our parasympathetic nervous systems, escape the exhausting hamster wheel of the fight or flight mode and to just BREATHE.
Why don’t we acknowledge the need for this space in our lives? Maybe it’s just me, but I have a hunch that it’s not…. Why do we hold ourselves to idyllic expectations without putting the proper supports in place to get there?
This week has allowed me to realize that the way our life and schedule has fallen into place over the last couple months IS what has allowed me to expand and finally move through some of the pain and grief that I’ve been stuck in for so many years. Since Oliver’s birth I have literally not had an inch of the space that has recently been carved out to process and move through the trauma. This week was a great reminder of what that survival mode feels like and how destructive it is to ones’ health.
I sit here typing away at 11:30 at night, my aching back hunched over, trying to focus my tired eyes on the screen because now that I have discovered this outlet, I have longed for it so many times this week. I’ve missed this opportunity to pause, reflect and do something that makes my heart sing…. Writing.
So, to the respite workers, the one on one aids, the grandparents, the family and friends, the special needs teachers and the therapists of the world, thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you do.
This week I have realized how much space you have created in my life and I will be forever grateful for that gift.