Self Care, Where Art Thou?

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image©nicolediatto/patchworkpoppies

This month’s Hoagies’ Gifted October blog hop is on Self Care… something I haven’t done in a LONG-LONG while.

I need to implement more self care.  Ha! Who am I kidding?… I just need to implement it, period! As a parent of a gifted toddler, I can attest it is at times beyond exhausting and draining. Couple this with 1 yr old twins that can be intense like their sister…  this momma has had one ROUGH year.

Yoga without the Yoga…

I’ll be honest, I really wanted to pass over this topic. Its been a blessed year but its also been a really tough year. We don’t live near family that can help much and its really just been up to my husband and I to carry the load of 2 new infants plus an intense, high-needs emotional toddler. Self care hasn’t been a part of my life this past year.  I’ve been living in yoga pants slathered in food, drool and spit up and the word yoga hasn’t even been in my vocabulary for a year and a half. Some days I’ve had at most 4 hours of broken sleep in a 24 hr period…  Twins are twice the blessing but they really are Half the sleep! Between taking care of two sensitive and emotional infant poop machines and a high-needs emotional toddler, I’ve lost myself in drool, diapers, in-stereo crying and intense toddler tantrums up to my ears. To top it off, my husband and I seem to breed children that don’t understand the concept of sleep, AT ALL. I’ve been consuming lots of coffee a day just to keep up with my kids and life (not a good habit). There really has been NO me time.

My sad version of self care…

My sad version of self care has been hiding in the bathroom (while babies plead and beg at the door driving me and my husband crazy), sitting in the grocery store parking lot or my driveway in the car and eating some take out in peace while reading the news, a book or just Facebooking. Its been a challenging rough year, to say the least. Quite frankly, I feel quite pathetic. Pre-twins, my self care was decent. I was able to take my daughter out on walks. I was able to work part time with my photography business and to me that was part of my self care. I Loved it and strangely, I felt refreshed when I came home from work. I use to have regular date nights out and time to our selves because we were able to make the time. I use to meet up with friends and chat about things. Since I’m a SAHM and my husband works around the clock, things have been vastly different post twins. The last few times we have gone out on date nights, we’ve come back to the horror of my in-laws on the brink of insanity thanks to our kids.  Now my husband and I have limited our times out to solo trips trading our time between each other as we watch our kids ourselves until this time of separation, anxiety and intensity passes in our twins. The one thing I have done is took up the good ole art of taking baths. I’ll admit this isn’t so sad. I really do enjoy that hour of headphone induced peace while dreaming of being somewhere tropical far far away. This has become my normal form of stress relief and relaxation.

No one will do it for you but you… Self care, where art thou?…

I use to wait on my husband to notice I needed a break.. Oh what a mistake and immature thinking. I can’t wait for self care to come to me. I need to be the one to push aside time for myself. I’ve come to the conclusion that if others can do it, so can I. Its about shifting priorities and getting my life in better order. Its understandable that there are going to be times in our lives when self care goes to the back burner, but it can’t stay like that. Once that stretch is over, its good to remind ourselves that we need balance in our lives; and what a good reminder this blog hop is!  We each need to find what will work for our own unique lives and families and then implement it. It could be exercise, fitting in a nap, starting a new diet,  finding a hobby, taking up a craft, going to meet ups, taking an enrichment class, going to a coffee shop, reading a book, meditation/prayer time… etc.

Time to implement self care…

Even though I wanted to skip this blog hop, this topic of self care couldn’t have come at a better time. Things naturally ebb and flow in our life. I feel like my ebb is phasing out and my flow is phasing in. Now that my daughter is older and a little easier to manage, along with my twins, its time for this momma to truly start implementing REAL self care… You know, not the hiding in the bathroom from kids self care. 😉   Real meaning you actually push aside meaningful time for yourself.  Because we all know if we don’t take care of our selves and keep our selves healthy, sane and level headed, who is going to be able to take care of our young ones if we are out of commission? As I’ve learned, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. My daughter has tendencies of being quite emotional and intense. Her mother (speaking of myself) is not far off. I feel when I’ve been stretched with my kids, I can become quite emotional and intense as well and I NEED a break to round out my emotions and come back to my kids with a fresh new perspective. Much like when we work for a paid job we need set lunch times and set break times along with vacations away from home/the work place, to keep our perspectives fresh. We also need periodic breaks and vacations from our high-need emotional children as well. I’ve heard from a lot of seasoned moms of gifted children as well as moms of twins that it doesn’t necessarily get easier… You just learn to adjust and then things change and new challenges form and new adjustments are made.

I’m sure there are going to be some great blog posts in this blog hop that will be more specific in different things we can do with gifted families in mind. I’m looking forward to reading them to get more ideas on what I can do better to enrich my life and my family’s life so I can be more happy and whole for my family. Maybe find and implement good self care for my kids as well. I hope you are able to make more time for yourself and implement self care for you and your family.

I’m curious, do you need to implement more self care?
If so, in what area of your life?

This blog post is part of the Hoagies’ Gifted blog hop on, Gifted Self Care.

To view the next blog in the line up, click on the “next blog” button below:

To see the full lineup of blogs click on the button below:

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Lets stop this “Tall Poppy Syndrome” together.
Lets embrace each other and help make this world a better place.

Spread the word!
I challenge you to share this with everyone you know!

Tweet it! Share it on facebook and other social media!
Use hashtags, #giftedadvocacy #giftedselfcare

With much love,

Nicole Diatto
patchworkpoppies

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8 comments

  1. “I use to wait on my husband to notice I needed a break.. Oh what a mistake and immature thinking. I can’t wait for self care to come to me.” <— This. I stopped waiting for this to happen after kid #3 and I just took it. It used to be quiet time in the bathroom but, gradually, it got better. I had a friend tell me her mom (she is from a family of 8 kids) used to drive the car to the end of the driveway and sit there. I think it's genius!

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    1. Yes! Something I learned with time. Something I wish I had known sooner!

      I’ve done that many times. Just sat in the driveway and napped or read or just listened to the radio. I learned to expand my horizons and venture away. I would often get phone calls 1/2 hour into my “self care” time at good ole momcation, target, and when I answered, it would be my intense screaming daughter. I couldn’t even hear my husband. Oh those days seem so long ago but yet they seemed to last forever. After so many phone calls, I settled for the driveway, lol. Its a step above the bathroom, at least, lol!

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  2. Such a well-written portrayal of what life is REALLY like with young children. I can’t believe you even have time to write this blog. I think most moms remember those days of sleeplessness, walking into walls, and barely finding time to take a shower. Exercise, time with your spouse, and reconnecting with friends gets pushed aside. Your astonishingly open post is a wake-up call that self-care is so critical for all parents, even and especially those with young children. I hope you find time for yourself.

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    1. Thank you Gail! I don’t know how I have the time either. I’m usually feeding a baby while writing. It isn’t my ideal but its going. Have to satisfy the mind somehow, lol.

      Walking into walls! Oh my yes!

      Awe, thank you for your honest comment.

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  3. Nicole, what struck me most about this wonderfully candid post was the thought of waiting on others to notice that we need a break. That has got me into trouble in the past. Why is it so hard to give ourselves permission to take care of our own needs regardless of whether anyone else thinks we should or even notices we need something?

    Hang in there. You are doing the most important work in the world.

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    1. Thank you LIsa!

      I don’t know for sure why its so hard, but after reading, “If I’m So Smart, Why Am I So Stressed Out?”, by Paula Prober, I realized guilt and perfectionism definitely plays a role. I would feel guilt that my husband, as hard as he works away from the home and on our home, that he also was taking time to take care of the kids while I would be having a break. I’d feel guilty that he might have been too worn out and that my kids suffering in some way… so silly to think now but at the time of being in the middle of it all, it was the honest truth of how I felt. I’ve learned to let go of a lot of my perfectionist traits in order to have peace. It definitely didn’t happen over night but with gradual progress. Thank you for your comment! 🙂

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  4. Oh my goodness! I had the very same realization earlier tonight! Time to take control of my time again. Thank you for making it clear I am not the only woman in the world that feels this way!
    Whew!

    Liked by 1 person

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