I have several blogging friends and they come up with clever, catchy titles for regular posts such as “Tuesday Tidbits” (from another birth-y blog) or “Sunday Size Up” or “Un-Wednesday” (if you’re an unschooler, check it out!). I keep thinking I’m going to do that, but the reality is that I don’t post regularly…when was the last time I posted??…so a catchy title for regular posts probably won’t work. I came up with a ***day so I can post about whatever I feel like whenever I feel like it and still have it be a “regular” feature. And I bet you thought I was just trying to use curse words in a post title! This works because it’s my blog and I can do what I want, right? 😉
First up..parenting. Parenting is hard. Parenting little beings is really hard. Parenting little beings in addition to older beings is hard. I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again and again until it sinks in or makes me feel better. This is not to say that I hate it all the time or that it’s horrible or anything like that. It’s just hard.
You know what else is hard? Not having money. And by not having money, I mean not having enough to go around. As in, choosing to let something you really want to do go because groceries come first or paying the electric bill a bit late because teeth need fillings ASAP. It sucks. It makes parenting hard too. The stress and weight of trying to climb out of a hole while constantly feeling pushed back in is overwhelming at best, deadening at worst. It can leave us bitter at friends who have money (which is no fault of their own), society and more. I don’t like to talk about it because it feels whiny, even right now I’m debating about taking this whole section out. I have umpteen posts started about this subject because while there are tons of posts out there about “cutting back” or “living frugal”, I don’t see a lot written about the emotional aspects of lacking money. Perhaps that is because the standard lines involve not having kids (which is great unless you’ve already had them…they don’t go back in, you know!), working harder, getting more jobs or other things that just aren’t much help. I want to talk about how it invades every fiber of your being and no matter how hard you try, it can’t be shaken. This article by Cracked.com was supposed to be funny, but for those who were or are in the “gauntlet” (as he calls it) the reality doesn’t produce much giggling. And I can imagine that there are at least a few people who will read this paragraph and think to themselves either I’m a whiny bum who should just get a job and shut up or that I should manage my money better.
I’m trying to do better with my family. I’m working harder on being respectful, looking at them as people instead of “my” children, taking them into consideration on every aspect that allows me to and so on. Of course, this leaves little time for anything else. That would be okay if there weren’t anything else I wanted to do, but there is. Too much! This is the downside of having a “world revolves around me” attitude….if I don’t do it, who will? There’s only me! (And yes, I realize this is not helpful and often quite stupid of me, but hey, I’m working on it!) I have really cut my online time to the bare bones, I’m getting rid of tons of stuff in my house so I have less to deal with on a daily basis and I’m attempting to become a bit more organized in life. I have to. Something has to give. I’m going to go insane if we continue at this pace.
I’ve been reading “The Willed Curriculum, Unschooling, and Self-Direction: What Do Love, Trust, Respect, Care, and Compassion Have To Do With Learning?” after finishing up “Escape from Childhood“. Both of these books are great reminders to respect the young people in my house as people as opposed to “my” children or even just “children”. Aren’t their needs, wants, thoughts, desires just as important as mine? However, I also have to acknowledge that there are times it is precisely because I think of them as “my children” who I grew inside my body, gave birth to, nourished with my breasts and so on that I don’t hurt them! It can be very, very difficult to respect another human being when they are running after you trying to hit or kick or bit and screaming “I hate you! You’re stupid!” or throwing Superman into the toilet for the fiftieth time this morning. If the person doing that were *just* another person that wasn’t my child, I would behave much differently than I do with my child. So, there has to be a balance in there somewhere.
I also am recognizing, accepting, and working through the fact that IF I’m going to pursue my own interests, it’s imperative that I both encourage/support the people in my house to do the same (even when it’s inconvenient) AND ensure that I’m spending the time I have with them in a way that lets them know they are important. The nature of serving in birth involves being called away at inopportune times, so it becomes essential to balance the needs of the families I serve with the needs of my own family, who should come first but will most certainly, at times, come second.
Lots of interesting things going on in “my” birth world these days.
After working for over a year to get it off the ground, there’s finally a pregnancy/infant loss support group in this community! While I think it sucks that we need this resource, I am so grateful we now have it (there is and has been a grief group facilitated at the hospital, but it is not specific to this type of loss). Families experiencing the death of their children, whether in-utero or earthside, greatly need and deserve a safe space to discuss with other parents the unique grief that these experiences present. I simultaneously feel inadequate and so deeply humbled by these families. Their stories, their journeys, are horrible yet beautiful. They are always stronger than they realize, wiser than they know, surviving even though they’re going through their lives with these holes that no one and no thing can ever fill. It’s quite an honor to be trusted to have a tiny part in someone’s grief journey, albeit a painful, gut-wrenching honor.
On a lighter note, I’m delighted to be officially taking birth clients again! This has been a long maternity leave for me that was very much needed but also left me feeling awful every time I turned away a mama. I will have to be mindful of overextending myself, though, so thank goodness my husband is a bit more practical than I am (even though I have a tendency to take this for granted and/or get really annoyed). I intend to keep my clients to a maximum of two a month for a while. Of course, even that “maximum” may take a while to get to, it’s not like I’m beating potential clients off with a stick!
Finally, I stumbled upon an online midwifery study group that fits my erratic schedule perfectly. I’ve been coveting a class with my favorite midwife, but until that becomes a reality, I have this to hold me over. We’re working our way through a midwifery syllabus and supporting each other in learning as much as we can, all at our own pace. I’m having tons of fun, even though my studying is mostly done in tiny pockets of time during naps or between little kids bedtime and my bedtime. It feels good to have a little structure but no pressure. We only just started last week, yet I already have learned so much!