I feel like in the last couple of weeks, I have been subject to a near-perfect storm of fuckery that has conspired to make me as hot and miserable (in all senses of the word) as possible. When you’re this frigging pregnant (and in the middle of a summer heat wave), even the most saintly among us will have a hard time keeping their cool. To complicate matters, it’s not as if you can go out for a drink with friends to take the edge off or indulge in whatever your substance of choice might be. And if one more person tells you that “stress is bad for the baby,” you’ll have to add hiding the body to your third trimester to-do list. I wanted to share a quick list of my favorite, non-controlled-substance, mostly summer-friendly ways to relax when you’re very, very pregnant and maybe very, very mad.
Going for a walk
Reading something that makes you feel understood. For me, that’s Tiffany Dufu’s Drop the Ball.
Indulging in something yummy (my favorites right now are mochi ice-cream and poke bowls)
Cleaning (this is a psychological tactic called sublimation, and it’s a great way to get some stress out AND satisfy the nesting urge. Particularly if it involves beating rugs).
Swimming, or, for the lazy, float tank therapy
Blogging/writing in a journal
Sex (if you feel up to it and don’t want to kill your partner. And if you do, go solo 😉 )
Quiet time (particularly if you have a small child already)
Get something crossed off your to-do list
Try a class or something you won’t have time to do after baby gets here
Watch something on TV
Take a walk on the beach
What works for you when you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed?
It’s very, very early in the morning. My husband and I are sitting in our living room, quietly scrolling through our phones. Despite our best efforts to stay positive, cheerful and productive, we have had extraordinarily trying days. We are emotionally and physically wiped.
Part of the stress, I realize, comes from having to pretend that everything is A-okay all freaking day. It’s absolutely not. We’re dealing with work and school and family and finances and self-doubt and clutter and all kinds of other stuff too. I realized today what I needed to do was just sit with the negative feelings, because I was wasting a lot of emotional energy trying to avoid what most people I knew would inevitably say. Continue reading →
I am a naturally affectionate person, and I love my kids like you wouldn’t believe. I was the baby of my family—the youngest out of all my grandmother’s grandchildren—so I never grew up around really little kids (and definitely wasn’t in charge of caring for any of them). So when I had my daughter I was over the moon with affection and oxytocin. I wanted to snuggle her non-stop and smell her little baby head. I knew I would be firm, but gentle. I would listen to her. I would be compassionate and engaged.
As the saying goes…everyone’s a great parent until they have kids.
Sunday was Mother’s Day, and I had no expectations. My husband and I have been arguing, money has been tight, and the schedule has been packed. I felt that there was no point in getting my hopes up that “it would be my day.” Being that my kid isn’t even two, I doubted I’d even get so much recognition as a macaroni necklace.
Mother’s Day is hard for all moms. It sucks to have people tell you that it’s all about you, when really, as soon as they say “Happy Mother’s Day” and throw their last-minute, everything-else-was-sold-out gift at you, they’re off the hook and it’s back to the same grind that you do every freaking day. It’s especially hard when your own mom isn’t around anymore. For the last nine years, Mother’s Day has been more about what I didn’t have than what I did. Continue reading →
It’s been quite some time since I posted. Valerie and I optimistically took on this self-care challenge at the beginning of this year, hoping to lead by example and help parents (especially moms) everywhere learn how to prioritize their own health and well-being. I was so excited. I’ve been burning myself out trying to juggle school, the (multiple) sites I write for, my full-time job, my part-time job, planning an overseas trip, my kitchen renovation, and of course, my toddler.
In one organization that I’m affiliated with, they say that when you make a new commitment to something, what will inevitably start to happen in your life is that you will see all the things that no longer fit with who you want to be. It’s not that things are so wrong, it’s just that you’re seeing them in the light of the new determination that you’ve made. Continue reading →
Okay, folks. We’re almost one month into this self-care thing. How’s it going?
Yeah. I thought so. Me too.
It’s HARD to take care of yourself. It’s hard to prioritize your own care in a world that is constantly pulling on you in every direction. How can you afford to take the time to take care of yourself when you can barely hold it together at work? Continue reading →
I’m obsessed with New Year’s. Being an extremely Type-A, high-strung perfectionist, I love any special day dedicated to making lists and making improvements in my daily life. But for many years in a row, my resolutions have all been about getting more done, getting stuff accomplished, and generally just a twelve-month long to-do list.
In my first full year of parenting, I’ve realized that the cliche is true–if mama’s not happy, no one’s happy. So this year I want to try to do something that I’ve never done before. Something much harder. And I want you to do it too.
“Yup, everything looks good from what I can see. You’re good to go.”
Congratulations. You have kept your bouncing bundle of joy alive for half a year. Twenty-six weeks ago, you pushed this miracle into the world in all their tiny wriggling glory. Twenty weeks ago, you checked in with the person that took care of you and your growing family for months, maybe seeing you every day as you got closer and closer to delivery. But at that six week check-in, they glanced at your stitches, told you how beautiful your new baby is, and sent you on your way, figuring that you were okay.