When friends who don’t have children ask me about what it’s like, if it’s worth it, if they should have a child etc, I’m pretty sure by now you know that I’ll be telling the honest truth. My previous blog posts have shown you my colors :-)
I wouldn’t give them the washed down version our parents’ generation and our parents parents’ generation and the whole of humanity’s sack of crap.
The multi-generational conspiracy across the continents to lie about the hardships of child-rearing must be, after all, a survival tool to avoid extinction. If anyone knew the realities about it all, we most certainly wouldn’t be that many of us on Earth today.
In truth, who am I to give advice on such a profound decision. I lay down the facts as I know them. But I always end my expose on the dichotomy of having children like this.
Having children heightens one’s emotions to a level that is unattainable or unimaginable until one has a child.
Meaning you love stronger, you fear harder, you hate deeper, you laugh, you cry, you dream bigger. You understand the human condition on a whole different level. From sacrifice to murder to depression to love and elation. Everything takes on a new dimension. It’s emotions on MDMA at a club in Ibiza, meaning your life will change and will never be the same as it was before tripping. But in this situation, there’s no coming down. Your emotions are always on high alert.
Having children force me to treat every minute of my time as precious. Sheryl Sandberg - Facebook COO
The same goes for our own sanity of mind. Nobody tells you this shit.
Our health AND mental health become affected if we fail to adjust our lives enough to those new responsibilities, the domino effect is real and bits go to shits. It is SO easy to let the family-life / work-life train get derailed.
It is vital to create a Tool Box to rummage
through when you’re in deep need of fixing
and your very soul is about to be sucked out by a Dementor.
Which is how I’ve been feeling-ish of late.
The timing of me being so sick over the holidays and for a month on full mommy-mode without being able to rest, while also working on the T-Factor and learning things as I go has created a monster out of me that I’m now ready to exorcise. I’m finally healthy enough to bring out the big guns from my tool box and take the decision to change the waters. Out with the dirty, in with some fresh purifying elixirs de jouvence*.
The last drop that spilled the cup for me was last Friday when my web developer sent out the first newsletter that I neither wrote nor authorized nor ever saw. That bizarre email was NOT how I wanted to announce to you all the work I’m doing and it was NOT supposed to have inflated your mailbox by one email too many that day.
My emotions ran high. I had to dig deep once I realized that there was nothing I could do about the situation. I took a deep breath, I went to yoga on Saturday morning where I could finally rest my mind enough to see my next step.
Hence the TOOLS blog post.
1.Kombucha is my easy go-to quick fix. Not only is it good for the tummy, and goodness knows I need all the help I can get, if you buy Kombucha on tap (Dean and Deluca serves it, Alo's flagship sells one and I’m pretty sure some Whole Foods sell that too), it's strong enough to get the perfect little buzz that puts you in the right place to face the kids at the end of a busy day. Remember, I hate wine and any soft liquor, so I pick up Kombucha on my way home as a perfect little fix. Try it :-)
To buy, GT's Gingerade Kombucha is my favorite.
2. Hot Vinyasa Yoga is the best exorcism of yuckiness in your body, with a focus on twists.
It feels like you wring it all out. Holding a position for 3 to 5 breaths when you’re twisted like a towel with your face right behind some guy’s sweaty ass is a humble cure to negative emotions indeed.
3. Listening to an instructive book on Audible is Jobs sent.
I’m listening to the wonderful book Thrive by Arianna Huffington (it’s so good I’m going to make a whole blog post soon about just that book).
Once you manage to stomach her strong accent (how many years in the US? It’s like Melania Trump, I mean…), the book is an endless well of knowledge on the benefits of taking care of oneself with sleep and wellness. The very things I’ve been neglecting. What about you?
This is the kind of book one needs to read several times for it to sink in. Huffington is a leader at implementing wellbeing in the work place. Meditation, yoga, wellness, breathing, all those tools are there for the picking, if only we let ourselves implement them in our busy lives.
Any tool that can increase our self-awareness and being in the moment is invaluable. Arianna Huffington
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, it is essential to take care of oneself first and foremost so that in turn, we can be more productive and less crazy. I’ve been productive, but crazy.
I sometimes tell my children “Remember how mommy becomes a little coocoo when she can’t go to yoga? So you be good now with the sitter and I go.” And to my delight, they always reply “yes we know” which cracks me up and warms my heart.
Secure your own mask first. Arianna Huffington
4. Giving is another quick fix tool.
Taking your head out of you own ass and open your heart to others is an easy decision to make yet a difficult one to maintain. One can easily get scattered. So creating a short list of the charities you truly want to be involved in, at any level possible from volunteering to getting on the board, is very freeing. Making that list and knowing the reasons why these are the charities you chose enable you to see clearly how you want to help. Giving mindlessly to a charity because you have friends who do it or because you were asked to often doesn’t bring joy.
And as I'm learning, knowing what brings you joy and going for it is what will change your life. I'm looking forward to diving into my chosen charities for the blog during my birthday month coming up in March.
5. Mantra Reading.
There’s a book I keep in my bathroom that is a little bit mantra-ish written by this lovely Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh called The Miracle of Mindfulness.
You must read it once in full (give it the respect it deserves) but then it’s a perfect toilet-read because you can easily remind yourself of the mantras or read a couple pages. Perfect way to start or end one’s day. He has a whole section on washing the dishes and how one ought to be really present in that moment. Not wishing you were doing something else instead but giving its value to the fact that you’re only washing the dishes and taking the time to do so. It’s part of your day and you will end up with clean dishes, it's that simple, no need to judge.
It’s a huge advancement for me to admit to my hardships and actually do something about it rather than wishing I’d be somewhere else or be doing something else. Thanks to many conversations with the right people and many books and research, I’m coming to a more contented place of giving time to time. This book hits the spot just right on its teachings.
But it’s annoying, now I always think of this guy when I wash my non-dishwasher pots and pans!
There you have it. These are some of my tools for securing my own mask first.
It’s a daily hustle and when one day goes out of whack, like when you’re sick, it’s an uphill battle to return. I’m so glad to be doing it though. Setting time aside for you is essential.
We know deep down what we’re supposed to do to get ourselves back on track. It’s never an overnight change because for our sanity to return it takes practice and repetition. It takes a strong Decision-making, action-fueled mindset and real dedication to stay on the bright side of the street.
I enjoy writing my T-Word blogs and I hope you like them too. I must thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the encouragements I've received and the compliments on my writing and the information shared. It goes straight to inflating my ego and it's a warm fuzzy feeling so thank you.
The T-Words blog is where i'm rounding up the world we live in to a T, filtered ML style. I'm looking forward to launching the Podcast in a couple weeks where it will finally all come together.
Keep your comments coming and let me know what your go-to Tools are for minor or major aches and pains in your lives. And follow me on Twitter, i'm finally on there and i can let my tongue get loose(r)!
Comment me below or as always on my Instagram.
And as always, share the wealth.