I have recently gone through some of the toughest things that I’ve ever dealt with. When a fight isn’t fair, when a system is corrupt, and when it all is outside of your control, but directly impacts your life and the lives of your children, what do you do? What can you do? Well, you can try to fight, but when you’re fighting a system that is, as mentioned, unfair and biased, and is also extremely costly to fight, that’s just not a choice sometimes. What can you do to make yourself okay when you’re consumed by it all. Can’t sleep. Can’t stop it from constantly playing out in your mind. Feel like you have lost control over your own life for the next 8 ½ years. What can you do?
This is what I’m doing
I am unfollowing, not leaving just unfollowing, all of the stepmother and father’s rights groups I’m in on facebook so that I don’t see them in my newsfeed. They’re still there if I need support or to vent, but I won’t constantly be bombarded by them. I am making it a priority to start working out again. Something I haven’t done in a couple of months. It started with throwing my back out, then I got sick for two weeks, and then the stress had me such a mess that I was afraid to add any more stressors to my body, even exercise. And now…it’s time.
I am making meditation a priority again. It makes such a difference for me, and has such a positive effect on my health, but when I’m in the throes of stress, I wind up letting it fall to the wayside. I’m also going to enact family yoga again. We all benefit from it. We should all be doing it. It takes 10-20 minutes a day. It’s worth making time for.
And I am making a conscious effort to be purposefully thankful. To really think about my blessings. To really acknowledge them and appreciate them. Every day. I haven’t decided yet if I plan to make a new post each day, or if I’ll simply add to this one, though I’m leaning toward the latter. But I invite you on this journey with me. I’d love for you to start this practice with me and see how it can benefit you and your life. We all know that we can’t control the actions of others. The only thing we can control is our reaction to it. And my reaction has been self-implosion. Which, I mean, is really a terrible way to try to handle things. And I’m done with it. I am letting it go. I am telling my mind to release it. And I am working on focusing on the abundance of amazing blessings I have in my life.
I am just beyond thankful for my partner in life. He loves me in a completely whole and unconditional way that I don’t love myself, and am trying to get to. He loves me for exactly who I am in every moment. He has no expectation of me changing or becoming something else. He truly loves me. He believes in me. He believes in me even when I don’t believe in myself. Not just saying it, but truly believing it. If I could see myself with a fraction of the love and amazement that he sees me, I don’t think I’d ever have an insecure moment again. He respects me, even when he doesn’t agree with me. He values me. He. Values. Me. For who and all I am. And he is the most amazing father to my girls. Even the one that he didn’t meet until she was 7. He loves her with an open heart and open arms. He’s the piece that was missing that I had no idea was even missing. He makes me a better person. I am so thankful for him.
I am so grateful for my sweet monkey girl. She has been my sidekick in life since she was a toddler. When her biological father and I divorced, she was only a year and a half. Once I started working full time and we had an apartment, it was kind of the two of us against the world. Obviously, not really. But we were a duo. We coslept until my husband and I got serious. She has been my partner in crime in everything. I remember other people talking about how they couldn’t wait to go grocery shopping sans children, but I never felt that. I always wanted her to be with me, and would wait until she was until going.
She and I have such an amazing bond that I really think has to do with it being just the two of us for so long. She has always felt like she can talk to me about pretty much anything, which I am so thankful for. I hope that continues as she gets older. She was my sole reason for putting up with and getting through some really rough spots in life. She has always been my sunshine. I am so incredibly thankful for her. I don’t know how I got lucky enough to be her mother, but there is never a day that I don’t thank my lucky stars for her.
I am thankful for my parents. I’m 34 years old and they have always been there for me, no matter how tough things were for me. They are my superheros. I can’t tell you how many times they have swooped in and saved the day for me. Countless. Countless times. They console me when I am unconsolable. They love me when I’m unloveable. They lift me up when I don’t feel like I can be lifted. I remember running out of gas once (apparently this is a theme in my life…that’s what happens when your car doesn’t have a working gas guage, I guess…) on a Saturday morning, Lu and I in jammies, after making a Tim Horton’s run for a donut for Lu and some strong coffee for me. We were literally a block from home. As soon as I realized what happened, Lucy said “Just call Grandpa! He’ll fix it!” Grandma and Grandpa make everthing better. They make everything okay. They remind me, when I am at the point of hoplessness, that life is not hopeless and that things are okay and will be okay. I still want to see my mom when I’m having an especially rough day. My parents have an ability to lift my spirits that I can’t quite explain. I am so very thankful for my parents.
I am thankful for my facebook friends. I have such an amazing group of support whenever I need advice or insight on parenting issues. When I struggled with breastfeeding, I had the most amazing help, advice, support, and insight shared with me by my facebook friends. They shed light on issues I never would have thought of. While I ultimately wound up switching to formula, I was able to glean that my baby had a tongue and lip tie, and get her in for correction right away. My 13 month old has had diarrhea for a couple of days now, and that has resulted in a very sore, very red, very painful bottom. Facebook friends to the rescue! I had an overwhelming outpouring of advice on what has worked for others. At the suggestion of others, even though it was very late, I was able to pour corn starch on her raw bottom, which allowed her to get comfortable enough to calm down and get some sleep. Today I’ll be heading to the store to get some of the other suggestions to help my poor baby girl. It’s such a blessing to have people share their advice and insight when I’m struggling.
I am thankful for my sweet baby girl. She was the surprise of a lifetime, and she has completed our family. She has a larger than life personality and is incredibly high-demand. She has taught me so much about parenting, and I’m sure that will continue for many, many years. My baby Lu was such a good listener and understood everything and followed instruction. Her baby sister is, well, the opposite. She laughs at me when I say “no.” She shakes her head no when she I tell her not to do something, and follows it with a testing look and a hearty laugh. She is definitely doing things on her own terms in her own time, and we are mere pawns in her game. She loves her sister fiercely, and Lu loves her just as passtionately. Their love and bond is what life is made of. Dorothy lights up as soon as she sees Lucy, and greets her with the excitement others greet their favorite celebrity. And it’s reciprocated. When Lucy gets home, she wants to see her sister. When Dorothy wakes up, Lu wants to greet her. These girls are beyond incredible. I cannot believe I really get to be their mom.
I am thankful for the health of my girls. Both girls are under the weather today. Lu stayed home from school today. But both will mend in no time. Both are resilient and healthy and have excellent immune systems. I am so beyond thankful for that. My heart breaks for parents of children who are chronically sick. I can’t imagine. I don’t want to imagine. I thank God for my girls and their health constantly, and yet not nearly enough. Today has been extra trying. Dorothy is still having digestive issues and isn’t feeling up to par. She’s more needy than usual (if you can even imagine that), and her sleep schedule is completely out of whack. Lu has been in bed most of the day, except to come down to drink broth and eat. But I’ve been checking on her and have been summoned by her numerous times. And, you guys, wow! I don’t know how people with twins or little ones close in age do it! And today isn’t awful by any stretch, but it’s definitely tiring. But I get to know that my girls are healing and that their little bugs will soon be gone and they’ll have their energy back and be happy and playful. I am SO thankful!
I am thankful for family. I think that when you come from an accepting and supportive family it’s really easy to take it for granted. I did growing up, for sure. I loved my family, but I didn’t realize that not everyone has a family like mine. I’ve never been afraid to be myself, or afraid or worried to bring someone to meet them. We have different races and LGBTQ family members. And that’s always just been how it is. Without discussion or a second thought. On both sides of my family. I’m so incredibly lucky to have been born into this family. I know not everyone is.
I am thankful for my body. Yes, it gives me grief. Yes, I would prefer to not have an autoimmune disease and to not be allergic to gluten and casein. Yes, it would be nice to be taller and thinner. But I am so thankful to have this body that functions. That allows me to do what I need and want to do. That incubated two perfect girls for me. That I hug the people I love with. That I rock my sweet baby as she eats with. That cuddles my little monkey when she’s tired or just wants some mama cuddles. That embraces my husband when we greet each other or say goodbye. My body provides me so much happiness. I don’t appreciate it nearly enough.
I am thankful for my minivan. What? Yes. We are able to ALL fit in there, with a carseat and two booster seats. We’re able to load that bad boy up with everything we need for a camping trip. We can put the seats down and put a refrigerator, or a washer and dryer, or a loft bed in there. We can do diaper changes IN the van. It’s seriously awesome and I’m so glad we opted for a minivan despite the “minivan mom” connotations in may have.
Today, I am thankful for coffee. The glorious elixir that allows me to feel like a human being. I think that sums it up.
I am thankful for my daughter’s school. She is very bright and struggled to stay occupied in school. It wasn’t a big deal when she could craft or write and illustrate stories with all of her free time, but once she was no longer allowed to do that, she was just miserable. We made the difficult decision to switch schools, to one where there is a GT program. We had to wait until the next year to get her into the program, because testing is only done once a year, and we’d missed it, but it was undoubtedly worth the wait! She has found her people. She is challenged and engaged. She loves school again, and I can’t even tell you how happy that makes me!
I am thankful for my tribe. The people whom I love with every ounce of my being, who love me, and who are my glue. That includes my girls. Sometimes just seeing my little baby’s 4 little teeth as she talks to me and babbles all sorts of information that I wish I could understand, or sings her little heart out, is all I need to decompress. A text or email from my mom or my aunt or a friend…they just truly mean so much. I am so thankful to have the people in my life who mean so much to me!