About Me

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New South Wales, Australia
I write to make people smile about the craziness of life with small people - because it IS crazy, no doubt. It is also wonderful.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Learning to Love Myself

My husband is my biggest cheerleader. In a Biggest Loser trainer kind of way. He calls me out when I'm being ridiculous, and consistently gives me the gentle shove towards self-care which I need. He is the one who reminds me to go get my hair done, to go shopping, to take a breather. 

He sent me last weekend to get my hair done, and it was like a switch was turned on in my mental hallway. I began to see how feeling good could make me a better wife and mother. I remembered how great it felt to exercise, to do something just for me. I thought about my solo camping trip earlier this year, and how marvellous I felt after four days of mental decluttering. 

I don't know how to love myself. I'm learning, though. Little things, here and there. Simple things, which probably aren't even a second thought for most people. Acts of radical kindness to myself, like a cup of tea in the sunshine. Or *gasp* buying new underpants. Taking time to blow my hair dry, and actually style it. Actually using some of the multitude of special creams, perfumes, and beauty potions I've stored away because "I don't have time, it's not practical, it's not like anyone cares, I'm not trying to impress anyone, etc". Honestly I can't believe I've convinced myself that those thoughts are true. How long does it take to slap some hand cream on? And when did looking after myself become impractical? When did my husband, my best friend - when did I start thinking it was okay to not make an effort for him? I remember when we met, I put so much thought into what I'd be wearing for our dates. When did I stop dating him? He has seen me at my absolute worst, and is still here. Isn't that a man worth a bit of effort? Aren't I worth a bit of effort?

I think so. Or at least I'm beginning to think so. And speaking of loving myself, I'm going to give myself the radical kindness of a good night's sleep, and sign off here. 

xo, Sarah

Sunday, June 29, 2014

This Ends Today.

This arrogance of mine, which says "I can be all things to all people all the time and do it all perfectly". 

I'm calling myself out, starting today.

Dear Sarah, 

You are so lovely. You have a huge heart, and many good intentions. You can't possibly be all the things to all the people all the time and do it perfectly. And before you say "But..." let's take a second and be honest. Because if you can't be honest in a conversation with yourself, then when can you be? 

You want to support your husband as he pursues his degree. Very noble of you, indeed. But how can you do that if you fall ill because you don't take care of yourself? 

Your children? What would they do if you were suddenly very ill? 

Yes, your family would cope. Eventually. A new normal would arise, and life would go on. 

But wouldn't it be far better to avoid that whole scenario? Of course it would!

So. Where does that leave you? Here is what I'm telling you to do. 
1. Shower. Yes, every single day. 
2. Eat food. Regularly. And no, Peanut Butter and Jelly is really not enough to be considered dinner, no matter how much peanut butter you use. 
3. Exercise. Just do it already. You know you need to do it, you know it will do wonders for your mental health, and your family need you to not be a stark raving mad cow. 
4. For crying out loud, let people help you already! Your children are not helpless, and neither is your husband. Stop trying to control the universe and Ask. For. Help. 
5. Get out of the house at least once every day. Even to the clothesline. If the walls are closing in, and you start to feel a bit Jack Nicholson-esque, get out. Breathe fresh air, soak up some vitamin D. It will help, I promise. 

I love you, I really do. And you know something? You are right that your family need you. But they need you for a long time, and this thing that you do, this self-loathing instead of self-care - it isn't going to help you achieve longevity. It holds you back from enjoying your family. I want better for you, and I hope you do too. 

Much love,

Friday, June 27, 2014

Why I am More Excited about School Holidays Than My Children

Okay, who am I kidding? I'm ECSTATIC. School holidays have ARRIVED, baby. I am doing a dance, smiling like a goofball, and singing happy music all over the place. My children are looking a bit unsure of how to proceed, because all of a sudden, Mum's saying a lot of Yes, and Sure, and Let's DO this!

So, I'm a little bit pumped for school holidays. I don't know why, but this term has been brutal for me. I have been counting down until the break. I am so stoked to not get into the car circus act every day, to get to do fun things because we're not always in a hurry, to spend time with my crew, doing something or nothing. The anticipation of cinnamon rolls, cubby houses, picnics in parks, play dates with friends, trips to the shop, bike rides, walks, scavenger hunts, movies, popcorn - has put a smile on my face that no tantrum could erase. 

And the Love, oh the Love. I want to remember how to LOVE my children, my husband - in a way that speaks to them. Freed from all the "shoulds", I want to love with abandon. To marvel at them, from their eyelashes to their toes. To look into my husbands eyes with no thought other than "I love him". To see my children, really see them - and not be thinking about the homework we still haven't done, or the hair we need to wash, or the dinner they aren't going to eat. To simply be in each moment as it happens, without worrying about what's coming next. 

There will be laughter, there will be noise. There will be many baked goodies. There will be pizza nights, movie nights, and possibly a 'party' night. There will be treasure hunts, adventures to the secondhand shop, and days of exploring places new and old. Most of all though - 

There will be Love. 

xo, Sarah