Staying Sane: Rest


There are certain things that the body and soul need to refuel and recharge. Food. Water. Sugar. Chocolate. Laughter. Sunshine. Sex. Rest. I want to focus on the last since I did receive a lot of rest this weekend with and around the kids. There was also a lot of laughter and chocolate (but alas no sex) but I digress. 🙂

Having a job is hard work. They call it “work” for a reason. Having children is also hard work. When you have one child, every spare moment is spent obsessing about the one child – very little goes to yourself. Then number two rolls around, and by the time numbers three and four come into the world, the notion of rest seems elusive but honestly does become possible.

Saturday:

  • I spent the morning with Big Bro and Red. The sun was out but the air was cold. We decided to go to a playground in our neighborhood. I was still feeling down from the night before, and I also had to spend some time with Red in the middle of the night — so I was in a bit of a slow and melancholy mood. But I had the chance to interact with the kids to support them when they were doing something brave (e.g., going down the fireman pole on the play structure for the first time), pushing them on the swings, and organizing their snacks for them. But most of the time I just sat on the park bench, with my feet in the warm sand, and watched them. I let myself stray from their experience and became an outsider looking in. I let my defenses down and sat, and watched, and laughed, and stayed silent – not wanting to interupt their interaction. I sat on that bench for awhile thinking of things yet not thinking of anything in particular. I sat on the bench with my feet in the sand listening to the kids laughter and being thankful that at least in this moment they get along and are happy with their worlds. I sat, wriggled my toes, closed my eyes towards the sun, listened to their laughter, and of course had my camera phone ready.
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  • During lunchtime we were reunited with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. We opened surprise gifts from my mom (Nana) that included books and matching stuffed animals. The kids were thrilled for the animals and we read their books before nap. Twin Crazy and Twin Husky even wanted to sleep with their books in their cribs.
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  • I napped while everyone else napped and did not feel guilty at all.
  • Sunday:

  • I felt more like myself today. I was woken up to the kids downstairs in my room at 7:30 AM. They know that we don’t get out of bed until 8 AM so it was OK for me to stay put. They tend to entertain themselves. But for some reason, all four of these kids were in my room and wanting to come up in bed with me and hang out, rather than play outside. Big Bro was the one that lifted Twin Crazy and Twin Husky out of their cribs. These kids are a pack and they were so cute this morning. It was a great way for me to wake up.
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  • I had Twin Crazy and Twin Husky for the AM and took them to an interactive creative museum where they painted on glass, played with a funky kind of playdough called Blubber, and also jumped on waterbeds and laughed and got tickeled by me. I love the waterbed/lilli-pad area. There are lots of comfortable places for the parents to hang out and watch the kids and I even go onto the waterbeds and lay and play with the kids. It is calming despite the activity from the young ones. It is easy. You know they can run around and climb and not get lost, not get hurt. So again, I lost myself a few times in peace. Peace is not the right word…. I was not as satisfied as “peace” but not quite “sad”… maybe somewhere in between. Disappointed, run down, maybe just trying to recharge and not dwell on details of my life. Taking a pause to again just sit and watch the kids in action. Taking an outsider point of view and letting them go where they needed to go and then come back when they wanted to come back. Knowing they were OK. And knowing they would come back to me. So it was OK for me to rest and just “be”. But then I got my charge back and participated (maybe even caused) commotion and tickling and my voice was getting raw and I even had stranger kids coming over to me to get tickeled. I had to keep looking up to find the parents and ask if it was OK for the “tickling fingers” to get their kids too. At around 12:00 though the room became much quieter as other families were heading home. And my kids were jumping and rolling and staying down saying night-night. Then the stranger kids were resting and saying night-night. That was my cue that it was time to wrap it up.
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  • They got up from their naps a bit too soon – for some reason Twin Husky was crying; so I took the opportunity to take them both down and we rested in silence on the couch – we were like this for a good 20 minutes until everyone else came home
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    So, there was activity and laughter and reflection over the weekend, and also a lot of REST. To recharge. To take a break. To pause and witness the kids smiles and laughter. And to see them be kids, and be kids with each other.

    And in looking back at other photos in my photo-stream, here are some other highlights of recent restful moments with my babies —

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    How do you re-charge? What does “rest” mean to you? How are you able to grab times of rest during your busy week????

    Thanks for listening –
    – Mama K

    Staying Sane: Removing stains a womanly way


    On Friday, I was flying from the West Coast to Florida to attend my father’s 65th (surprise) birthday party. As far as the party, yes, he was surprised at the party itself, and the fact that both me and my brother flew there to celebrate it with him (my brother is from the Northeast).

    Friday’s flight was good for several reasons. I was able to relax, by myself, with no graham cracker dust on me or at my feet, with no other little people for me to entertain and keep well fed. No strollers to check. No bags to check. It was me, my handbag, and my carry-on bag. So sweet.

    Another good thing was that my ink pen exploded. You would normally think that this would be a drag, but because of this ill-fated explosion, I was able to meet someone on the flight and actually learn an amazing trick that I am hoping some of you have never heard of……

    So, thanks to Mama N from US Airways who taught me this trick about stain removal.

  • Club soda, seltzer water is the key ingredient. [I know you are thinking, I KNOW this already. What is so great about this secret???!?!??]
  • The trick to clean stain removal is POURING the club soda/ seltzer water (above) into a SANITARY NAPKIN.
  • scrub away, and reapply club soda/seltzer water as needed until the stain is removed
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    Now, are you thinking, “gross!!”? If I know this audience at all, you are working mothers. So no. You are not thinking “gross”. Why a sanitary napkin? If you were to use a regular napkin, paper towel, or rag, it would be likely that the napkin/towel/rag would leave pieces of itself behind as you were scrubbing. With a sanitary napkin however, the sanitary napkin absorbs the club soda/seltzer but the outside of the napkin is smooth and does not fall apart. Therefore, you can scrub to your heart’s content and feel comfortable that the article you are cleaning will not have a messy white mess on it after cleaning.

    Ingenious!!!

    Thank you Mama N from US Airways and somewhere above the mid-west at the time I learned this!!!! As a flight attendant and a mother herself, she has assured me that this little tip/trick has saved her on many occasions, as well as her kids and her passengers.

    Hopefully we’ll be learning more tips and tricks from her in the future!

    Have a great week everybody!!
    – Mama K

    Staying Sane: Are you speaking your child’s “Love Language”???


    What is Your Child's Love Language?

    What is Your Child's Love Language?

    We all know that our kids are unique individuals.   Despite being created from the same set of genetic material, their personalities, despositions, strenghts and quirks are all so unique.   We know this already.   We are the mothers to these unique children — who are really just little people.

    Do you ever feel like you are just not connecting with your little one, thus creating friction between you and he/she?   Or do you wonder if you should be interacting differently with your child to make your relationship stronger?

    I think one way to help you “stay sane” is to give your child your love in the way he/she naturally desires to receive it.   Let me explain…

    For those who are not familiar with the “5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, I highly recommend getting this book for the sake of the relationships around you — it boils down to a theory that each individual has one or two distinct “love languages” that are favored over the others.   So for these people, the way they naturally express love aligns with those languages, and the way that FEEL love also aligns with those languages.    The implications to this run even deeper — a person may be VERY loved by another individual, but if “the lover” is not showing their love in the recipient’s primary love language, the recipient may actually not even notice the efforts of the “lover”, but even worse, they may feel totally unloved.  All of the languages are meaningful to you in one way or another, its just that each person has one or two that dominate the rest.   The languages include:

    • Words of Affirmation
    • Quality Time
    • Receiving Gifts
    • Acts of Service
    • Physical Touch
    I found this to be very enlightening with the relationships around me; I was so intrigued that I wanted to do more research and found the authors website where he has tools where you can answer simple questions to identify your primary love languages — go to this link.   The answers really shouldn’t be a surprise to you.   BUT HERE IS THE AMAZING THING….. you will notice at the above link that there are also assessments for your CHILDREN (one for teenagers, one for smaller children).
    I found this to be extraordinary and potentially very powerful.  Big Bro is over 5 so we did the test with him.  His primary love languages were Quality Time and Receiving Gifts (no surprise here, he is five!).   This was VERY useful information for me.   So now I know how best to communicate to him that I love and cherish him.   I can do things that speak his love language.    I’m sure he also adores the hugs and kisses that I give him non-stop (my love language is Physical Touch), but for him, he would rather spend quality time with me.   I’ve even heard him say this.  “Mommy… why aren’t you coming to the dinner table to spend time with us?”.     He also is the child that will flat out ask for more “mommy time”.   He loves for me to simply sit next to him and watch a movie, read a book, do a puzzle, play an interactive computer game, or simply go for a walk.    So now I know how best to spend my precicious time with him.  I know how to satisfy the methods for which he most feels loved.   Not that my hugs and kisses are not important, its just that the time that I choose to spend with him is more important to him to feel the love that I have for him.
    I thought that this was a really powerful tool and unique thinking between parent and child.    I encourage you to take the assessments for yourself, have your partner take theirs, and also have each of your kids take theirs.  And let us know what you think!!!!!!!
    • Do the results seem true to your child’s personality?    Were you surprised in any way?   
    • When reflecting back, do you think you’ve put too much emphasis on YOUR love language versus your child’s?   
    • If so, can you try to more directly speak your child’s love language — and after doing this for a week or two, have you found any differences in how they respond and/or connect with you????
    I am so curious!!!!  Please comment!!!!
    – Mama K
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