We have a friend who recently had a baby and she just seems to glow. I don’t. There was a point after our second baby when I felt pretty on top of things – full of energy and focus, good cheer and self-discipline. But all that is gone.
I blame myself for my lack of energy and committment to making more effort at improving things. “If Only I……” That’s what I tell myself. If only I got up every morning and ran five miles, my energy would be better and life would be better. If only I planned out the week and stuck with the plan, my energy would be better and life would be better. If only I ate healthier. If only I….
There is perhaps some truth (a lot of truth) to the above, but at the same time, I recognize that the self-recrimination trip will get me nowhere. Perhaps a bit of self-compassion and some lessening of things on our plate and a few well thought out New Year’s resolutions.
There’s a lot going on in the life of parents with young kids. Not only are you caring for children full time, but you are doing so on limited resources. Sleep becomes a precious commodity and so does quiet time with your partner. On top of that is a change of identify and a need to figure out a daily routine that gives you energy and inspiration.
Our house is not clean – it seems we are constantly working on it, but it’s usually in need of a lot of help. Our meals for ourselves and our kids are hit or miss. Many are loaded with vegetables, beans and grains, but many are equally non-loaded with those things such as tonight’s pizza crust and water dinner for our little girl. We haven’t been helping the neighbor’s chop wood or carry in groceries. We haven’t been going out on date nights. We don’t practice musical instruments or read books in the evening. We just kinda seem to get by.
But as un-inspired as it sometimes all feels next to our glowing and talented friends and neighbors, I think we are doing a-okay. And I think we are doing even more a-okay because we are giving ourselves a bit of room to just accept and “be” in this experience that we are in. And I think we are doing even more than a-okay because we really do have a great number of wonderful people around us – now, if only we would find time to hang out with them a bit more!
(And perhaps a bit more sleep would help as well)