Thursday Thoughts have kind of fallen to the wayside the last couple of weeks. There’s been snow days, and sick days, and soccer days, and you know the whole being a parent thing where your kids actually have needs that you need to meet.
It leaves little time for creativity and, you know, thinking. But here we are on a Friday and who says we can’t do Thursday Thoughts on a Friday? There are no rules and even if there were, I’m a rebel sooooo…
Ok. Here we are. The day after another wintry mix that shut down all the nearby towns. Kids were home alllllllllllllll day. There have been many times where that sends me into a tizzy because while my kids are actually best friends they know how to fight like mother fucking champs when we are trapped indoors because we can’t play outside in ice like we can in snow.
I mean they did for like seven and a half minutes and then it went from a fun home made ice skating rink to holy shit hang on for your lives.
Anyway, yesterday wasn’t like that. It was actually pretty chill. I mean everyone lost their shit at 4:00 pm, the witching hour, where I have to make dinner and all hell breaks loose. But the day, overall, was nice. If I was on social media I probably would have posted lots of pictures of mani-pedis, arts and crafts, baking, and snuggles. I was thinking all day, “why is today so nice and every other snow day is fucking hell?”
And I think that I’m the reason.
When my girls asked me to paint their nails first thing in the morning before I even had coffee I would usually say,
“No. I want to drink my coffee and then I’ll paint your nails.”
I thought about saying that yesterday but then I had a vision of the future aka how it always goes. They ask me one hundred million times: “are you done yet” and I get so annoyed that I can’t drink my coffee in peace and quiet that by the time I get to their nails we’re all fighting and crabby. So instead I said,
And then this weird thing happened where they left me alone and I drank my coffee in peace and quiet. And I was thinking why in the hell do I not always do it this way.
And then it got me thinking even more. My counters are currently covered in construction paper and markers, my #4 set herself up a little craft corner in the living room, there are dried up play-doh scraps all over the kitchen floor and game boxes lined up along the hallway walls.
That usually sends me into another tizzy. Like mess and clutter are ginormous anxiety provoking triggers.
But yesterday I thought, “Who cares. We live here.“
And I’ve said that before and I’ve tried to accept it and honor it but my mind is usually always like “clean up, clean up, clean up.”
Yesterday I didn’t. I baked instead. And I focused on dishes and the laundry because clean sinks and empty hampers help me manage my clutter claustrophobia. And it was fine.
I was calm, they were calm.
And then that got me thinking even more. How much I set the tone in my house. And I hate to admit that on the days where I’m irritable and anxious, my kids seem to fight and nag more. They pick up what I put down.
And then that got me thinking even more, more. How important it is that I lay down whatever I’m going through to be their for them. I can’t be a physically present and emotionally available mom when I’m already filled to the brim with my own shit.
And that made the figurative light bulb in my head illuminate: thaa-aaaat’s why self care matters.
Yoga and journaling and devotionals and meditation and blogging. These are the things that keep me sane. They sort out my thoughts. They free up my internal clutter. And when I have more inside space, I can allow for more things to come in.
Like my people’s needs.
And my kids telling me jokes and playing games with them. I have more capacity for spider monkey snuggles and for following endless sticky note treasure hunts. I am able to walk them through their big emotions that are usually what lead to all the fighting because, let’s be real. If I can barely handle my big emotions, of course they struggle to handle theirs.
Don’t get me wrong. By 6:00 pm I was tapped out. Fucking exhausted. My mind and body were all like,
“Where’s the time clock and my time card because I’m clocking out.”
But by then, they were okay with it. They had a day where I was there for them so when I was over ready for quiet time, they had the ability to give it to me.
So I guess my thoughts for today are just a reminder to all of us anxious parents. We have to do the things that calm us so we can have the space to calm them.
And maybe our needs get met later in the day than we want. But I think that is part of the sacrifice that parents make.
After all, it’s a disservice to our people if we don’t manage our internal chaos. They need us give them outer peace so that they can foster their inner peace.
It’s not about giving up on yourself or losing yourself. And it’s definitely not about sacrificing things that make you, you. It’s about making space. It’s about putting your needs to the side momentarily so you can meet theirs. And then remembering that in order to do it all again tomorrow, you have to go to the side and pick them back up and because you’ve been there all day for them, they’ll gladly sit on the sidelines while you are there for you.
Your people want you to be okay. And at the end of the day, don’t we just all want some peace… and definitely some quiet?