I dropped the ball on something big in my personal life. Like, really big. (This is Erin writing today, just confessing my sins to all of the internet.) Luckily my family is made up of kind, forgiving people, so it’s probably all going to be OK, but I made the kind of mistake that’s caused me to lose sleep for weeks, feel sick to my stomach, obsessively think about the issue way past the point of it being productive…the whole nine yards.
If there’s a silver lining to this situation (and I’m trying to convince myself there is), it’s that it caused me to take stock of the fact that I’ve been running around like a chicken with my head cut off for several months now. I’m working a ton, managing the construction project at my house (which is now months behind – you can all feel free to laugh at me), volunteering more than I ever have at my kids’ school, plus handling all the logistics of all the kids’ standard activities, including spending several late nights hand-rhinestoning three elaborate costumes* for my daughter’s dance team. This is typical working mom stuff, but the chaos dial has been turned up to eleven for longer than usual, and if I’m honest, something was bound to give. I am probably very lucky that I screwed up royally with my family who loves me and will forgive me, rather than at work where my clients might not be so inclined.
Oh, and you know how they say misery loves company? Heather’s not doing a whole lot better than me. While she hasn’t made the kind of epic mistake I made, she’s got her own crazy crises in progress. The pipes in her house froze and burst a few weeks ago due to the bonkers Atlanta weather, which means her entire house is now under construction too, to try and fix the water damage. Plus her nanny suffered a broken bone and is not able to work for a few weeks. If you’ve ever relied on childcare that suddenly becomes unavailable without warning, you will feel great empathy for how this has impacted her day-to-day life – it’s like the bottom drops out on all the carefully organized logistics. And her work has been next-level busy too.
So here are the two of us, trying to blog about how great it is to be working moms, while we kind of watch things collapse in shambles around us. Making matters worse, we’re not sleeping enough, we’re not eating well, we sure as hell aren’t making time to exercise or see our friends or read a nice thick book. All we’re doing is running around like cartoon character stress cases.
Here’s the thing: if Mama falls apart, it all falls apart.
That is why we have both decided to do a thing we almost never do: spend some time focused on self-care. Honestly neither of us has the time or energy to do a complete overhaul of our eating or anything like that (sorry Whole30, I’m sure you’re great, but no), but there are definitely small, manageable things we believe we can do without too much impact on our schedules.
Here’s our starting list. We will try:
- Using a meditation app once a day
- Using less social media, including taking social media apps off our phones (!!!)
- Being less self-critical and cutting ourselves a little slack, meaning mindfully speaking to ourselves with kindness rather than judgment
- Drinking a bunch of water
- Treating ourselves to small kindnesses, like maybe spending ten minutes drinking a coffee in a coffee shop with a book or the newspaper
- Foam rolling three times a week so our muscles don’t permanently lock from tension
- Less wine?!?
- Other ideas??
We’d love to hear from you. What else should we try? We’ll report back on all of this, of course. Happy January, friends. We are determined to pull it together and make 2018 a great year.
*I RHINESTONED THIS GIANT EMOJI COSTUME BY HAND. Do I get some kind of award or medal?