A lesson in patience

I am not a patient person. I do not pretend to be.

I am raising two independant and also not very patient children. To my own demise there are moments in which that is a recipe for disaster.

This morning felt like one of those moments.

My son informed me last night before bed that he was going to be making breakfast sandwiches for himself and his sister in the morning. He needed to be woken up early so he could do that for her before she needed to leave (she goes to school 90 minutes before he does).

So I made sure he was up and began putting away the clean dishes from last night trying to stay out of the way. Watching the mess and general slowness that comes with still learning how to cook had me counting to ten and taking as many deep breaths as I could without being audible. While he was tossing eggs around she was preparing her lunch in the most unconventional way I think I’ve ever seen and there was peanut butter EVERYWHERE.

Still trying not to say a word, scream, or otherwise take over because I want them to be able to do these things on their own (even at the expense of my kitchen) I stayed out of the way and only offered assistance when it was implicitly asked for.

Two breakfast sandwiches were consumed, lunches were packed, and after 10 minutes all peanut butter, crumbs, and egg remnants had been removed from the counters. I know it sounds like such a dumb, small thing. It is, and I know this. But its another one of those times in parenthood that you don’t think about until you’re living it.

I’ve worked with teens that didn’t know how to cook even scrambled eggs or a grilled cheese. Didn’t know how to do their own laundry, or had never cleaned the bathroom. I want to be sure that my kids are not those kids. At this point they can cook small things with minimal supervision, they know how to start the washer and dryer (even though that is one thing I am not ready to pass the torch on), and they alternate who cleans the bathroom every other week. The bathroom has been a fantastic lesson in aim for my son so I count it as a win.

While they are both picking up skills that I hope they take with them when they no longer live under our roof, it comes at the expense of my patience and sanity. I do have some OCD tendencies that seem to be more prevalent as I get older, and there are moments where it is so much faster if I just do it myself. But then they don’t learn. Then they expect me to always do it for them.

I love to cook for my kids, I enjoy doing thing for them (can you guess my love language?) but there is a fine line between love and enabling behavior. So here we are. A lesson in patience before the coffee is ready on a Monday morning. We live dangerously around here, but I know in the long run it will be worth it.

Is there anything that you are doing while raising your kids that sometimes makes you crazy?? I’d love to hear about it if you’re willing to share.

SG

Happy Mother’s Day

I’ve felt very loved today by my kids and husband. I’ve also felt the love from friends and family as text messages have been sent back and forth wishing each other the best.

Being a mom is rad.

I’ve known since I was a kid that I wanted to be a mom. It isn’t something I ever questioned, and I am ever grateful that I met my husband and I shared a vision of having a family.

Motherhood makes me laugh daily, cry frequently, scream occasionally, and always end my day thanking God for the two humans he assigned to my care.

Summiting our annual 14er last summer.. Next up this year- Quandry Peak

I am also grateful for the relationship I have with my own mother. It is not perfect, and we are different humans, but I know without a shadow of a doubt my mom is my number one supporter and fan. She always has been, and I know she always will be. From sports practices to sleepovers, moving me into my dorm at Northwood to helping plan my wedding, welcoming grandbabies and helping me drive across the country with a toddler and 6 month old, even if she might not love an idea at first she’s usually the first one in the front row. She’s also Grammie-extraordinaire to all five of her grandkids. There is nothing she loves more then having us all together, which is rare but an event to be sure. We’re going to have a good time when we all invade their house this summer.

I’d be remiss not to also give a shout-out to my mother-in-law. I know many women that married into families that come with a Monster-In-Law. I was NOT one of those people. I’ve been married to my husband for almost 15 years and known his family for 20. They are some of the kindest, most genuine, often loud, always supportive humans I’ve ever met. I was welcomed by the Galsters from day one and as we’ve all grown together from across the country to in the same house, to in the same metro area, I am so happy to be a part of the Galster Clan. My mother in law is also one proud and crazy Nana. If there’s an event, she is there, and the smile that overtakes my children’s faces makes my heart full.

I know that not everyone celebrates Mother’s Day, like any other holiday we all have our reasons for doing what we do. Today is just another day for some people, maybe a day to be skipped all together for some, and for others it’s a day to celebrate. Whatever you choose to do today I hope your day is filled with love and to my fellow Mama’s out there- Happy Mother’s Day!

SG

The Mom Health Crisis

I think that title is a bit dramatic, and maybe misleading BUT, I want to talk about it so let’s go.

The maternal health crisis is not the one to which I am currently referring (though that is a BIG problem that we as a nation need to address) what I want to talk about here is being a mom and putting our health last because we are managing all the other humans and all the other things ALL DAY LONG.

Somewhere along the way, it was narrated that as a mother we must do ALL the things, be self-sufficient, never get sick, be happy, be nurturing, and love the hell out of our kids, ALL THE TIME. Oh, and at the same time just be ok with being exhausted, burned out, and maybe just sad/angry/miserable because that is what motherhood is all about.

Sister-Mama-Friend, I’m not about this life. If any of what I just wrote above resonates with you it’s time for you to not be about it either.

I read somewhere (probably on Pinterest) something like “Mom’s don’t get sick, we don’t have time for that shit” and it’s true but it’s also wrong. There are jokes galore about the “man cold” but seriously, why is it that when we hit our wall it’s just expected that we’ll suck it up and keep at it because it’s just what we are supposed to do?

I’m going to raise my hand right now and say that I have been guilty, on numerous occasions. I have to be knocked down so hard I cannot physically leave my home in order to stop. Or, rather, that was me. Now (in this moment) I can tell you that when I need to stop, I stop.

Taking care of ourselves is NOT a selfish act. I’d argue choosing martyrdom over not taking care is a greater slight.

Before I go any further, I’ll be transparent and say I come from what would be considered a space of “priviledge” to say these things. I have a husband/partner that takes responsibility for the role he plays in our children’s lives and is an active participant in our daily routine. I have my own business and I make my own schedule. I am usually in command of how I spend my time (that isn’t an accident) so my ability to make my health and wellness a priority has been a non-negotiable as well as being part of my job.

But back to my point, Mom’s bust their butts all day and take care of everyone else before they take care of themselves. I’m not just talking about flowery “self-care” like bubble bath’s with scented candles, getting your nails done, or getting a massage (Personally I find that those hurt like a SOB and so while they are self-care and necessary they are NOT what I call relaxing). I’m referring to the act of consciously choosing to make our health (of which self-care is a part) a priority.

Raise your hand if any of the following sound like you:

  • Hit a wall by 3pm
  • Need coffee to get it together in the morning, or anytime during the day
  • Bloated and uncomfortable even when you aren’t pregnant, PMSing or just ate Chipotle
  • All the Brainfog
  • Tired as hell but can’t fall asleep at night
  • Little to zero sex drive

All of these things are common, and I’m willing to bet you’ve assumed most of them just come with being a mom. Common and normal are not the same thing, and everything on that list is a signal from your body that it wants you to pay attention. But we don’t because #momlife.

Well Mamacita, if you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired I’m here for you. None of the symptoms mentioned above just disappear and go away. There is a reason your body is communicating with you through these symptoms (inflammation, auto-immune disease, food allergy or intolerance, hormone imbalance, adrenal fatigue, etc) even if your primary care physician has told you everything is “normal”.

The road is often long, and sometimes it isn’t pleasant, but after the shitstorm that was 2020 I learned that if I don’t have a vested interest in my own health, then only those that profit from me being unwell will.

You keep fifty balls in the air at all times Mama, sometimes those balls crash down, and sometimes you need to put a few to the side so that you can take care of you and get them back in the mix. Taking your health and wellness seriously isn’t selfish, it isn’t out of your reach, and you and everyone around you will benefit if you decide it’s worth your focus. Take care, and we’ll navigate together.

Your fellow Mama in Wellness

~S

A New Found Sense of Freedom (and the feelings that go with it)

Today is a milestone day in my world, a milestone that I have been anxiously awaiting for the past 2.5 years. Both of my children are in school all day. I dropped them off at 8:20, and I don’t have to go get them until 3:30. I am not paying tuition or a sitter. It is amazing.

Drop off!

So what am I doing? I’m writing. I’m spending time on what I want Actively Living Awesome to be (and mapping out the HOW). I’m meeting with my work-wife and exploring what some future opportunities look like. I’m listening to one of my favorite Podcasts (about setting boundaries, how appropriate). I am enjoying the fact that my house is quiet.

I’m also hoping that my kids are having a good day.

This particular subject is one that can get people fired up pretty quickly, so I’m going to lay out my reality and then move right along. My husband works full time and has a great job. When we made our life-changing move five years ago part of the decision we made was for me to finally pursue my own endeavors as opposed to going back into a corporate 9-5. By making that choice, part of it meant that I would be home at least half the time. And for most of the past five years that has been the case. There has always been the option for me to go back to work for someone else (which I did for a minute and it wasn’t a good fit), but when it comes down to it, this was the path that worked best for us. It has not been without it’s challenges, but it’s what we decided to do.

As a mother (and this is all humans that have the title of “Mom” whether in a traditional sense or not) there is this external expectation to be all of the fucking things, all of the fucking time. In no particular order: be a good mom, be a good partner, volunteer, keep up the house, bring home a contributing wage, stay fit (or look the part), keep up with laundry and groceries, make time for self care, take care of you, take care of everyone else, the list never ends.

So as I sit here at my counter, on my computer, listening to my little dog snore in the sunlight, I feel really good about where I am right now. I am showing up for me, in ways that elevate my vibration, and I am not sorry for any of them. Does it make me selfish? Maybe. Do I care? Nope. Am I thinking about my kids? Yes, a little bit. Is there any guilt? Again, Nope.

But I wonder, how many moms do feel guilty? How many have had the sole “job” of Mom for many years and now find themselves with a quiet house? How many don’t necessarily have a business or mission to pour themselves into now that they have the time? How many have things they want to start or pick back up but don’t know where to begin?

It doesn’t make you a “Bad Mom” to welcome this new chapter. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your kids because for the first time in years you can sit down and not immediately have to get up for someone else. It doesn’t mean you are selfish because you want to do something you enjoy, for YOU and not for the enjoyment of someone else.

If any of this resonates for you, let me know. I know there are plenty of us out there trying to take care of ourselves and everyone else, battling through all the emotions along the way.

Chat again soon Awesome Humans

~S