Just when you think you’re in the clear and summer is in your sights, one more kid comes home and announces one more project they forgot to tell you about.
And it’s due tomorrow.
And he needs a costume.
It’s fine. Everything is fine. We could not even be 1% more FINE.
May is entirely, completely out of hand. May is like June’s slightly unhinged kid-sister. You WANT to chill with June but you gotta get through May first and she is not going to go easy on you.
To be totally honest, LIFE has been a little unhinged lately too.
You know those seasons where you feel like you’re barely keeping your head above water? Where everyone needs you and your to-do list is a mile long, and your practical work collides and competes with your creative work and it all just starts to feel like… a lot of work?
That’s where I’ve been lately.
Throw in some mild emotional trauma- slash-physical injury and you’ve got yourself a nice little cocktail I like to call “Shit Just Got Real.” Excuse my french. My usual filter peaced out somewhere around mid-May, and let’s all be real here, it wasn’t much of a filter to begin with.
It’s been a minute since I wrote to you here (2 months, I think?) and now that I think about it, that’s maybe the longest I’ve ever gone without writing to you since I started this jazz 4-ish years ago. It feels wierd, like I’m all blocked up and don’t quite know how to come back to this work (play), so I’m just going to pretend like I never stopped and we’ll pick back up in the middle of the conversation, okay? Sound good?
Here’s the short version of what’s been happening around here (Are you laughing? You know I can’t keep anything short. You know it and I know it. Who are we even kidding?)
Somewhere around mid-February my husband started complaining of back pain, but since we are nearing 40 we just assumed this was normal, getting older kind of junk and we just kept going about our business, waiting for the pain to go away. The thing about untended pain though, is it has a way of making itself impossible to ignore. There’s probably a metaphor for life somewhere in there but I’m a little too tired to find it.
it got to the point that Nate was bedridden for about 6 weeks (his worst nightmare) and I had to be the strong one (both of our worst nightmare) and we found ourselves inexorably pulled into a season of life getting flip-turned upside down. Is it weird to use a word like “inexorably” in the same breath that I’m quoting the Fresh Prince of Bel Air? *insert shrug emoji* Questions for God.
After lots of doctor appointments, chiropractic appointments, physical therapy, and hemorrhaging money, he ultimately wound up face down on a surgical table having his spine operated on. We were told his relief would be immediate and his recovery smooth. I’ll spare you the details, but that has not been the case. He’s still in constant pain and has lost a lot of nerve function, strength, and mobility. We’re still really hopeful that he’ll have a full recovery but at the moment we’re just trying to manage our expectations and be there for each other in the messy middle.
I have so many thoughts ruminating on marriage, communication, burrowing down in the foxhole together, and weathering storms but it’s all too fresh to share just yet. I guess you could say we are fine and good and aged and worn and hopeful and anxious but mostly we are learning how to lean in and communicate our way towards deeper roots when the storm bends us low.
In the middle of all of that (and the bajillion life-complications that come along with one of us being immobilized) my youngest has been struggling with some pretty massive anxiety. Some of it is generalized but he’s also dealing with a couple of very specific fears. I hesitate to label it Anxiety-with-a-capital-A, but who knows, maybe we are there? Either way, it’s been crippling for him and I’ve been getting calls almost daily from school. Hearing his breath catch and his voice quiver on the other end of the phone while he fights through the rising panic has just about pummeled my already tenderized heart.
He doesn’t understand what he’s going through, he’s embarrassed by it, he feels like there’s something wrong with him, and THAT kills me. So we are communicating, praying, breathing, seeking counseling, finding tools, speaking life over him, and doing our best as his parents to love him and equip him through a confusing time.
But sometimes as a parent “doing our best” feels so utterly… not enough. You know?
In stressful seasons my first instinct is to shut down and become a robot who gets things done. But a close second is my instinct to get low and get quiet. To get my bearings before resurfacing. It’s a fine line and I’ve zigzagged across it about a hundred times this Spring. That’s why I’ve been quiet over here. Well, that and the fact that I haven’t had the margin to write you even if I had the words.
But I missed you and I missed sitting down and typing words. I don’t know how or why, but it keeps me well. It’s a part of how I was wired to process and contribute to the world around me. So I’m here, doing the thing, even though it feels messy and disjointed.
Maybe you’re in a season of overwhelm too? I mean, injuries and anxieties aside, I’m going to go out on a limb and say the fact that it’s the end of MAY probably has you exhausted?
I think I have something that might help?
While I haven’t been writing much the last few months, my cohost, Alana and I have been deep diving some of this stuff over on The Mom Wants More Podcast this month. We’re talking about anxiety, depression, seasons of overwhelm, self care, rest, and so much more.
This month we’ve produced some of our favorite episodes EVER and is it weird if I say that I’m really proud of the work we’re doing over there? I am. In fact, I think it would be weirder if I wasn’t proud of the work.
All May we’ve been unpacking the concept of self-care: what it means, what it looks like, and how to prioritize it in a realistic and helpful way, because let’s all be real here- as moms it can be really tricky to navigate everyone else’s needs along with our own in a healthy and balanced way. “Self-Care” seems like such a buzzword these days, but we LOVE this definition of what it actually means.
We chatted with Jenn Collins all about how she bravely stepped out into her dream of starting her own business, how she balances entrepreneurship with mothering and home life, and how she realized that having her own work was really important to her.
Click HERE to listen
Then in our duo episode Alana and I unpacked what self care means to us in this season of life. You might be surprised by our fresh take on it!
In this conversation we shared simple and practical ways to:
- know yourself & explore your needs (what is life giving VS life draining for you)
- speak up & communicate your needs
- push back on guilt
- set boundaries
- check in with yourself (how do you FEEL? is your body telling you something?)
- differentiate between self-comfort VS self-care
- put yourself back ON the list (because let’s all be real here- we can’t always put ourselves at the top!)
Next up we chatted with Elli Johnson, of @thehippochronicles
We are not even exaggerating when we say that this was one of our favorite episodes EVER! Elli’s candor, wit, humor, and insight led to a really helpful and important conversation around living with depression and/or anxiety. Note we said, “living WITH”, not solving, fixing, or healing. We talked with her all about tools to live well, how to both name and change the narrative around mental health, and how to coexist with anxiety and depression- as a mom, a creative, and a wholehearted human person.
THIS. ONE. WAS. FIRE. But imagine if Fire was like, funny and also calming in a way. That’s what this convo was.
Freeing. Insightful. Helpful. Funny. Honest.
Click HERE to listen!
If you’re a woman who’s dealt with anxiety or depression, or if you are close to someone who does, you don’t want to miss this one!
(You know the drill by now, right? Just click the photo to listen 🙂 )
And we couldn’t close out another month without another installment of our Behind-The-Scenes eps! These have become a favorite of both Alana & I, and you listeners too, it seems.
In these end of month episodes we are letting our hair down, pulling back the curtain, and getting super honest about how it’s going as we pursue our creative passions in the middle of motherhood and our right-now lives. While we fully believe it’s possible to hold the two together, we don’t pretend for a second that it’s always easy or simple. We’re keepin’ it real for y’all.
We’re dishing all about what’s working and what’s NOT working in our personal lives and in this episode we just about covered it all! From dog hair in the carpet to hard conversations with our spouse to screen time and beyond.
We’re sharing practical ways to:
- Overcome self doubt
- Uncover your “thing”
- Make a To-Don’t List (you need this in your life!)
- Take the pressure off in seasons of overwhelm
I hope you click over and listen to-slash-enjoy these episodes! As always, we put our heart and soul into the work we do there, and we’ve been so encouraged by your response to it!
In the meantime, carry on ruling at life you gorgeous humans!
*Solidarity Fist Bump*