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Sunday, May 1, 2011

On self care and kindness to ourselves


My family has gone out shopping and left me at home to sleep.
I couldn't resist popping on here for a quick post, though.
I'm not sure if this is to be a rant or just a release, but here goes, we will see what comes out...

I am tired.
I run a house.
Look after two children.
Cook.
Clean.
Do laundry.
Read too many books about childrearing.

Spend too much time on other people's blogs.
Looking at their amazing lives.
All the beautiful things they create.
Their perfect homes.
All the fun they have with their children.
All the baking that they do.
Knitting.
Sewing.
Growing vegetables.

And in all their photos, their lives look perfect.
And there is never a rant.
Never a sad moment.
Never a moment of tiredness.

Now, maybe I just don't have stamina like all these women do.
Or maybe I haven't found the zone one needs to be in to be able to keep going like this all the time.

But, when I speak to other women in real life, they are even more tired than me.

I do yoga.
I self reflect.
I go for regular acupuncture and take Chinese herbs.
I take naps during the day.
I don't send my children to any after school activities.
I try to keep our lives as simple as possible.

And yet, at the end of the day, I am tired.
I am raising small children.
No easy task.

And I look at these blogs of all the super women and I feel bad about myself.
Because I am not perfect like they appear in their blogs.
So I don't write.
Because I have nothing super creative that I have produced.

Raising children is intangible.
You only see the result of your work many years later.
My oldest is five.
So I have many more years in front of me.
And I pace myself.

But, I worry that women are reading these things and they are thinking that they are not good enough.
Because they don't see the tangible results of their constant giving.

I see the need to share all these wonderful things.
They are inspirational.
And I personally do not want to put up a photo of my ever increasing laundry pile.

I want to look at my own blog and feel inspired.

But I wonder how real that really is?

Are we so ashamed to share our darkness with others?
Our imperfections?
Our bad days?

I don't want to.
And why is that?

We are all here together.
A sisterhood of women.
We are all on our journeys.
And none of us have it figured out.

I have a friend who is turning fifty soon.
She has recently declared that her gift to herself is to forgive herself for not being perfect.

I think I need to give myself the same gift.

And now I am off to have my nap.



9 comments:

  1. How funny, what a very similar sentiment indeed! We are all real, going through the same day to day trials and tribulations. Oftentimes we can see the silver lining, but as you say, it's not easy. Motherhood is hard work. I hear you and support you and know that you ARE a very inspirational, positive and loving Mother. Even on a bad day. xo m.

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  2. It is so hard being a mother, wife and to be yourself too. There are days when you would just love things to go perfectly but life is not meant to be perfect, mine isn't. Lately I've felt things have been challenging me and I just cry especially when I try my best always. But I like to keep my blog happy, to try and focus on those happy moments and not to give the sad moments too much credit. Just know that you're not alone, you are a wonderful mother and person, learning how to live life in a way that is kind and loving. Take care of yourself. xo

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  3. i know that feeling very well. xx.

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  4. It's so hard not to compare yourself to others, but you are on the money, with blogs you are only seeing one side, usually the best side, and it's not healthy to compare yourself to that. I read somewhere recently that with blogs we are often comparing our worst to someone elses best.
    I love your friend's attitude about gifting herself with forgiveness. I think this is so important to living a healthy, happy life.
    Lovely to read your thoughts, Ola.

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  5. First and foremost, Ola, welcome back. I missed reading about your beautiful life in Australia.

    I personally would love to write more honestly on my blog, but my husband would prefer me not to do so. He doesn't want me airing our "dirty laundry" to our friends and family. On top of that, the moments of pure imperfection that I would write about come at moments when I can't write (because I am engrossed with the kids). And later they usually aren't as potent or free-flowing.

    Plus, I try not to focus too much on the negative - I don't want people to think I am throwing myself pity parties every two seconds. That said, I think it is important to keep it real.

    Thank you for keeping it real, yet very positive, on your blog. So glad you're back!

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  6. Synchronicity! I've got a post in draft related to this.

    I've been in the blogging world some years and I read a post like this on a regular basis.

    Thing is, I believe most people want to write inspirational posts or at least positive ones. They feel that others don't want to read about the screaming match they had that morning with their 2 yr-old. Or perhaps they just want a journal they can look back on of all the fun stuff they got up to.
    A bit like when putting a photo album together, especially of our children, we include the best photos. We know it's not indicative of all of our life.

    Other mothers then get the impression this is their whole life and feel inferior. I know mamas who have stopped blogging because of it and it's such a shame.

    I don't think people want to hear post after post of how tired we are - let's admit it, it's boring. Partly because most/all of us are tired and we just get on with it and it's nothing new or interesting. But raw posts chatting about the tough week we just had and being reflective about it are useful and interesting to ourselves and others.

    Naps are precious, enjoy them fully!

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  7. Hi Ola - so nice to see you back in this space. I've missed you. xo

    I totally hear what you are saying...and have stopped following certain blogs that do not (in any way, shape or form) seem to be rooted in reality. I mean, how can a mama with young children NOT feel tired and overwhelmed. I love inspirational posts just as much as anyone, but what really draws me in (and keeps me as a reader) is a blog that is reflective, that shares the ups AND downs of motherhood. We all know how that feels, to have spent the last week amidst chaos and yet we only talk about the good? Nah - that's not the whole truth.

    Many times I've read mamas say that they want their blog space to be "positive" and I get that. But when their space starts to make me feel like I'm less of a mother because of their perfection and my lack thereof...something is wrong.

    I've shared (many times) instances where I've been in a bad place as a mother, struggling with Isaac. The response is always so validating. "We've been there too." Ah...thank goodness.

    You are a wonderful, attentive, reflective, caring and nurturing mama. NONE of us are perfect. We are all doing the best we can. And we all love our children mmore than anything.

    Sending you much peace, my friend.
    Debbie
    xoxo

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  8. ps - this is the sort of post I keep coming back for. Raw, honesy and real. xo

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  9. Oh wow, everyone, what great comments! I am always amazed at the great comments I get on here when I write from the heart. It is really making me reconsider what I want this space to look like. More heartfelt stuff I think!

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