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Recalibrating Your Life - Page 2

post #21 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by homewithtwinsmama View Post
You can give what money you can for now, because for you expending talent and time (as in time, talent and treasure) actually hurts you.
Oh, yeah, on this...yes, I probably should alter my mindset to thinking about giving money instead. We make far more money now than when we got married, so I know that we could alter our view of the money vs. time giving.
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post
Some of you don't have an accurate picture of my life, and that's okay.
we are only going by what you are presenting in this thread. please correct us where we are wrong. You are making it sound like you are on gone many evenings and for parts of the weekends. We don't understand what the reality is.

None of us wishes to give you guilt. Some of us have been through similar things as you, and wish to share what we have learned so that you can avoid some of the some painful lessons that we have learned. You sound very tired and very stressed. We wish to help you find a path out.

Quote:
I experienced severe abuse - emotional, sexual, physical. That I lived in many homes is, I think, one of the reasons I'm so incredibly active.
I'm so sorry for what you've been through in your life. I also the pain the of a horrific childhood.

Quote:
(That you do not have to accept your situation but should instead seek to change it is the single most important lesson I want to impart to my children.)
you have a new lesson to learn right now. Your body is screaming out for you to learn. Your body cannot tolerate your current belief system. It's wearing out far faster than it is supposed to because of your belief system.

Quote:
I did think about giving everything up last night, and I had a panic attack. Yes, I'm being serious. I ended up on the bathroom floor completely freaking out. The idea of *not* being involved in the community at large is just terrifying to me.
It is possible to be involved in community and not be completely stressed out. I volunteer regularly, and contributing is a natural part of our family life.

We went on a picnic Sunday, and as we were packing up to come home, spontaneously decided to take some extra time to patrol the area for litter. It was just a natural part of us relaxing as a family, enjoying nature, and feeling blessed.

There is a 3rd path, a middle way. Part of it is about balance, and part of it is about the way we look at things.

Imagine some one is attempting to drive cross country is a car that not only is low on gas, but has no oil in the engine and a tire that is so low they are driving on the rim. Do you think the trip will work? Of course not. They need to get off the highway and take care of the car.

It's not a matter of whether or not they are going the right direction or should be taking the trip, but rather, the way they are going about it isn't going to work. They are just destroying the car.

Quote:
The two things that I know are concerns I don't know how to address are that I don't know what we would do every night at home.
you would get some of the things done that you don't have time to do right now -- some of the things that keep you from getting enough sleep. From one of your earlier posts:

<<<Sundays are "cleaning days," which are supposed to be dedicated to cleaning, laundry, prepping for the week, etc. Unfortunately we've been so spent recently that we don't get everything done on Sunday, which just makes the week worse.>>

right now, you are so busy saving the world, you have trouble keeping your small child in clean clothes. You have things to do at home, they just aren't important or interesting to you.

Quote:
The idea of just "being" is...bizarre to me.
you really won't have much time to "just be." You need the time to take care of yourself, your children, and your marriage. You are neglecting all 3. You need more time to sleep.

Quote:
I don't know how many of you are familiar with abuse recovery, but it's a long, painful process. I spent a good 18 months working on myself through therapy, workbooks, group sessions, crying jags, etc.
18 months is just the beginning. You have more steps to take.
post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post
Oh, yeah, on this...yes, I probably should alter my mindset to thinking about giving money instead. We make far more money now than when we got married, so I know that we could alter our view of the money vs. time giving.
I think this is a good idea for you right now.

Also-- believe me, I know what it is like to have an activist heart in a non-activist body. I was hospitalized during the beginning of the Iraq war, having panic attacks over not being able to go to protests. But if your body won't do it, it won't, so there is no point in feeling guilty about it. Have you considered online activism, phone-banking from home, things that are less physical?
post #24 of 31
Mama, I think you really rock for looking at this and for asking for help! I truly believe we are here to help and not to instigate feelings of guilt or defensiveness, though when those feelings DO come up, as you so wisely said, there is probably something to look at there. You'll do it in your own time.

I wanted to talk about the "just being". I think it's important for kids to have time to just be. Kids, when left alone, can come up with some really creative ideas. Mine are 8, 4 and 2. I try to make sure we have several hours a day where they are just left to their own devices to entertain themselves while I do stuff close by. They pretend to be all sorts of things, switching roles and trading off ideas. They find books and quietly look at them - even the 2 year old. My oldest draws a lot. They make forts. They go outside and build fairy houses and dig and throw leaves. They explore and are observers of their einvironment. Sure I have to intervene when a diagreeement comes up or a toy isn't being shared, but my kids will happily occupy themselves for an hour easily. It's nice to observe from a nearby distance. I think we adults don't know how "to be". Meditation will help calm and focus you. Activity is the other end of the spectrum. In the middle is "just being" with a cup of tea, gazing out the window, reading a book, relaxing as you fold laundry fresh off the clothes line - taking in the smell of the sun and fresh air that is locked in the fiber.
I think we (the general "we') are so locked into being productive and driven to be doing something. It's the general effect of capitalism. We must be producing to be worth something. Having a snuggle with your kids on the couch is the sort of chilling out and being that is priceless. Stopping to rub your husband's shoulders as he sits down for dinner, taking the kids out to the yard with no planned play and waiting to see what they do - that is just being and letting life take a deep sigh and fill you with some recharging breath of fullness that does not have a tangible result or an planned outcome. that is just being to me.....and I need to do more of it!

You're doing ok and you'll get where you need to be. You're pretty self aware and that is awesome.

As for the activist heart, I understand it. It's the urge that motivates me to continue to speak out and educate about male infant circumcion - a topic uncomfortable to many. You will find balance.
post #25 of 31
[QUOTE=PuppyFluffer;16031008] I think it's important for kids to have time to just be. Kids, when left alone, can come up with some really creative ideas.

This is so well written. This past weekend I felt a little guilty because we didn't "plan" anything for DD other than piano lesson. She ended up playing outside with the neighborhood kids the entire day Saturday and Sunday. Jump roping, playing freeze tag, riding bikes, hide and seek. They had a blast and I was able to study and DH was able to chill. It was so regular and beautiful.
post #26 of 31
[QUOTE=PuppyFluffer;16031008]Mama, I think you really rock for looking at this and for asking for help!

Yes! OP, you have taken the first step.
post #27 of 31

VisionaryMom, how's your vision?  anything coming to you?  Have you found ways to lighten the load?

Just thinking about you!

post #28 of 31
Thread Starter 

I'm not used to the new system so far!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post
Some of you don't have an accurate picture of my life, and that's okay.
we are only going by what you are presenting in this thread. please correct us where we are wrong. You are making it sound like you are on gone many evenings and for parts of the weekends. We don't understand what the reality is.

None of us wishes to give you guilt. Some of us have been through similar things as you, and wish to share what we have learned so that you can avoid some of the some painful lessons that we have learned. You sound very tired and very stressed. We wish to help you find a path out.

Quote:
I experienced severe abuse - emotional, sexual, physical. That I lived in many homes is, I think, one of the reasons I'm so incredibly active.
I'm so sorry for what you've been through in your life. I also the pain the of a horrific childhood.

Quote:
(That you do not have to accept your situation but should instead seek to change it is the single most important lesson I want to impart to my children.)
you have a new lesson to learn right now. Your body is screaming out for you to learn. Your body cannot tolerate your current belief system. It's wearing out far faster than it is supposed to because of your belief system.

Quote:
I did think about giving everything up last night, and I had a panic attack. Yes, I'm being serious. I ended up on the bathroom floor completely freaking out. The idea of *not* being involved in the community at large is just terrifying to me.
It is possible to be involved in community and not be completely stressed out. I volunteer regularly, and contributing is a natural part of our family life.

We went on a picnic Sunday, and as we were packing up to come home, spontaneously decided to take some extra time to patrol the area for litter. It was just a natural part of us relaxing as a family, enjoying nature, and feeling blessed.

There is a 3rd path, a middle way. Part of it is about balance, and part of it is about the way we look at things.

Imagine some one is attempting to drive cross country is a car that not only is low on gas, but has no oil in the engine and a tire that is so low they are driving on the rim. Do you think the trip will work? Of course not. They need to get off the highway and take care of the car.

It's not a matter of whether or not they are going the right direction or should be taking the trip, but rather, the way they are going about it isn't going to work. They are just destroying the car.

Quote:
The two things that I know are concerns I don't know how to address are that I don't know what we would do every night at home.
you would get some of the things done that you don't have time to do right now -- some of the things that keep you from getting enough sleep. From one of your earlier posts:

<<<Sundays are "cleaning days," which are supposed to be dedicated to cleaning, laundry, prepping for the week, etc. Unfortunately we've been so spent recently that we don't get everything done on Sunday, which just makes the week worse.>>

right now, you are so busy saving the world, you have trouble keeping your small child in clean clothes. You have things to do at home, they just aren't important or interesting to you.

Quote:
The idea of just "being" is...bizarre to me.
you really won't have much time to "just be." You need the time to take care of yourself, your children, and your marriage. You are neglecting all 3. You need more time to sleep.

Quote:
I don't know how many of you are familiar with abuse recovery, but it's a long, painful process. I spent a good 18 months working on myself through therapy, workbooks, group sessions, crying jags, etc.
18 months is just the beginning. You have more steps to take.


I can't get into the quotes the way I want, so here's the response to all of the parts of what you said. I said that "we" have something every night, and that's what I meant. People seem to be interpreting that to mean that I never see my child, though I've expressly said that's not the case. All of the "I couldn't imagine leaving my child..." comments were what I was referring to because they are a) wrong and b) designed to induce guilt or let the poster feel better about her parenting choices. We are an incredibly busy family, but my children are not - and do not feel - neglected in any way.

 

We do things like that you're mentioned re: litter pick-up. We pick up food to drop at the food pantry and donate to toy drives and the like. I just need/want/feel called to different kinds of action. I'm trying to balance that with my need to take care of myself. I don't believe I'm neglecting my husband or children. My children are well cared for. We spend time talking, playing, doing art. They have time to play. From a physical perspective, they are well-fed (with homemade meals 9 times out of 10), sheltered, clothed. My marriage is stable, but I'd like to get back to a great place. That we're not there is not entirely my fault, however, but yes, slowing down some would help that.

 

One thing that struck me about what you said is that housecleaning and laundry aren't interesting to me. They're worse than that. Spending my days doing housework would be like dying a slow, agonizing death. It would feel like a life wasted. I know we're not supposed to ever say things like that, but there is it. That's how I feel. It may be that I've been cooking dinner since I was 10. I got myself and my sister ready for school and handled keeping our apartment clean, homework, laundry, etc. when I was a child. I'm sure that affects my disdain for it now. I do what we have to do to make things clean and presentable, but the idea of spending every evening doing housework really is unappealing to me. There is another way, though, and that is to hire someone else to do it. I don't actually have to do it myself to be a good mother.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post
Oh, yeah, on this...yes, I probably should alter my mindset to thinking about giving money instead. We make far more money now than when we got married, so I know that we could alter our view of the money vs. time giving.
I think this is a good idea for you right now.

Also-- believe me, I know what it is like to have an activist heart in a non-activist body. I was hospitalized during the beginning of the Iraq war, having panic attacks over not being able to go to protests. But if your body won't do it, it won't, so there is no point in feeling guilty about it. Have you considered online activism, phone-banking from home, things that are less physical?


I'm iffy on online activism for reasons that aren't germane to this discussion. I do staff the local crisis hotline one week a month, which basically means I have a cell phone with me to answer calls about crisis situations. A couple of non-profits have asked if DH & I will handle their websites, which we could do from home. I've decided to volunteer 1 shift/month (4 hours) at the women's shelter and that's it. I've been available for emergency shifts, but I will remove myself from that list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PuppyFluffer View Post

Mama, I think you really rock for looking at this and for asking for help! I truly believe we are here to help and not to instigate feelings of guilt or defensiveness, though when those feelings DO come up, as you so wisely said, there is probably something to look at there. You'll do it in your own time.

I wanted to talk about the "just being". I think it's important for kids to have time to just be. Kids, when left alone, can come up with some really creative ideas. Mine are 8, 4 and 2. I try to make sure we have several hours a day where they are just left to their own devices to entertain themselves while I do stuff close by. They pretend to be all sorts of things, switching roles and trading off ideas. They find books and quietly look at them - even the 2 year old. My oldest draws a lot. They make forts. They go outside and build fairy houses and dig and throw leaves. They explore and are observers of their einvironment. Sure I have to intervene when a diagreeement comes up or a toy isn't being shared, but my kids will happily occupy themselves for an hour easily. It's nice to observe from a nearby distance. I think we adults don't know how "to be". Meditation will help calm and focus you. Activity is the other end of the spectrum. In the middle is "just being" with a cup of tea, gazing out the window, reading a book, relaxing as you fold laundry fresh off the clothes line - taking in the smell of the sun and fresh air that is locked in the fiber.
I think we (the general "we') are so locked into being productive and driven to be doing something. It's the general effect of capitalism. We must be producing to be worth something. Having a snuggle with your kids on the couch is the sort of chilling out and being that is priceless. Stopping to rub your husband's shoulders as he sits down for dinner, taking the kids out to the yard with no planned play and waiting to see what they do - that is just being and letting life take a deep sigh and fill you with some recharging breath of fullness that does not have a tangible result or an planned outcome. that is just being to me.....and I need to do more of it!

You're doing ok and you'll get where you need to be. You're pretty self aware and that is awesome.

As for the activist heart, I understand it. It's the urge that motivates me to continue to speak out and educate about male infant circumcion - a topic uncomfortable to many. You will find balance.


My kids do get plenty of unstructured time to be creative. I think we're actually okay there, and much of my guilt/concern stems from not being able to have them in more...not necessarily classes but more trips to museums, the zoo, etc. because we're always committed somewhere.

 

DH & I were considering buying a 30% share of a business. Long story short, we're not, but time is a big factor in that decision. While the kids could have been there (in a family store kind of way), we have decided that it's not the right place for us right now.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PuppyFluffer View Post

VisionaryMom, how's your vision?  anything coming to you?  Have you found ways to lighten the load?

Just thinking about you!


 

Thanks! I'm working on it. This week DS is sick. He started running a fever on Saturday, and we're going in to the doctor today. So we've been at home handling that, and I'm trying not to panic about it throwing off our schedule! Seriously, though, I have decided to limit my community work and am working on winding those down. I know people seem to be advocating just immediately dropping everything, but I'm trying to get to good stopping places. As I said, I will still staff the crisis hotline and work 1 shift/month at the women's shelter. Other than that, DH & I made a list of organizations we'd like to support financially.

 

My "career" is a mess (which is another post), and I think that's been some of the need to be involved - to feel useful and needed. DS came home from kindergarten telling me that he wants to be "first ladybug," which is a system his teacher has for moving kids along a scale based on their reading. So he's been working really hard to be the 2 kids in front of him. It's like seeing myself. I've always been (still am) hyper-competitive, which is why this illness has been such a downer. Still I think we're kind of figuring it all out...

post #29 of 31


 

Quote:
 
And so I should give back because, but for the grace of God, I could be one of the people I help at the homeless shelter or soup kitchen.

You are giving back. You are raising two children, loving them and providing a stable, happy family for them. That in and of itself is a lot to give back to the greater community.

Any other work you do on this front is obviously meaningful and valuable, bit it will still be there when you are better able to give more of yourself without sacrificing your health, sanity, and quality time with your family. JMHO.

post #30 of 31


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post

I just need/want/feel called to different kinds of action. I'm trying to balance that with my need to take care of myself. I don't believe I'm neglecting my husband or children. My children are well cared for.

...

One thing that struck me about what you said is that housecleaning and laundry aren't interesting to me. They're worse than that. Spending my days doing housework would be like dying a slow, agonizing death. It would feel like a life wasted.


...

Thanks! I'm working on it. This week DS is sick. He started running a fever on Saturday, and we're going in to the doctor today. So we've been at home handling that, and I'm trying not to panic about it throwing off our schedule! Seriously, though, I have decided to limit my community work and am working on winding those down.


I think that it's great that you are making space to wind down. It sounds like you've been taking care of your family while doing this service, but not taking care of yourself.

 

As far as the housework stuff, I have things fairly streamlined and I'm not spending every day on it. Yet I find that my attitude towards it effects the way our home feels. Making a space for my family to live, to grow, to connect, etc isn't a life wasted. I think that there is something in this for your "personal growth." If the attitude you have that basic care of one's things, clothes, etc. isn't important, then wouldn't you be passing the message to your children than taking time to take care of themselves isn't important?  I think that if we have a correct attitude towards the clothes that keep us warm, the beds that allow us to rest, the books that feed our mind, etc., that "housekeeping" has a very different meaning than it does for people who are just going through the motions without any mindfulness.

 

There's an old proverb:

 

Before enlightenment, chopping wood, carrying water. After enlightenment, chopping wood, carrying water.

post #31 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I think that it's great that you are making space to wind down. It sounds like you've been taking care of your family while doing this service, but not taking care of yourself.

 

As far as the housework stuff, I have things fairly streamlined and I'm not spending every day on it. Yet I find that my attitude towards it effects the way our home feels. Making a space for my family to live, to grow, to connect, etc isn't a life wasted. I think that there is something in this for your "personal growth." If the attitude you have that basic care of one's things, clothes, etc. isn't important, then wouldn't you be passing the message to your children than taking time to take care of themselves isn't important?  I think that if we have a correct attitude towards the clothes that keep us warm, the beds that allow us to rest, the books that feed our mind, etc., that "housekeeping" has a very different meaning than it does for people who are just going through the motions without any mindfulness.

 

There's an old proverb:

 

Before enlightenment, chopping wood, carrying water. After enlightenment, chopping wood, carrying water.


I have tried very hard to take care of my family. My husband & I have spent a lot of time talking about this, and he really believes that I do too much for DC and that we should move away from that. My son, in particular, needs me to require more of him.

 

Housework - I am growing through thinking about these things. It's just not toward thinking "hmm, I should do these things" and more toward thinking about how my life should be as much as possible about enjoying my time and making the best decisions possible for the benefit of my family. I don't think that hiring a laundry service equals not caring for our things. We're not tossing our clothes when they're dirty or just not being careful with them. We're recognizing that we're lucky enough to have the option to outsource some of the labor we *don't* enjoy in exchange for things we do. 

 

I still haven't figured out how to work in time to go to the classes on my illness that my doctor recommended or how to work in an hour of cardio everyday (which is more once I factor in the time to get ready, shower after, etc.) DS was home on Monday, both DC on Tuesday. DD will have to be home tomorrow according to daycare. Next week we're traveling for Thanksgiving. It feels like good & stable is always "next week."

 

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