An Experiment in Slowing Down This Week

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Knowing When to Refuel

Last week I reached a “put a fork in me” kind of DONE. The past month has been a stressful one and everything finally caught up with me.

Has that happened to you?  Gotten to the point when you feel like you are running on fumes?

I swear my kids have a radar that detects when mom is not her usual “Julie the happy Cruise Director” self (old Love Boat reference for any younger readers as I realize how much I am aging myself)  because my oldest who is ultra-sensitive will inevitably pick up on my bad energy, and will meet mine with hers in response.

It’s a bad cycle.

hair One morning last week, after waking up to a broken coffee machine (the HORROR), and a Groundhog Day disagreement about a certain hairstyle she insists on wearing (which reminds me of a this movie character, minus the braids) I had a moment where I just felt, defeated.

It wasn’t really about the broken coffee machine or her ratty hair in a stubby top knot and finished off with a bow, it was the realization of just how stressed out I have been.

One Heck of a Couple Weeks

My dad was hospitalized back on April 13th with heart symptoms.

After four days in the hospital for observation, it was determined he needed a valve replacement surgery and a pacemaker and was transferred up to a hospital in LA for the surgery.

He was in the hospital for two weeks; 10 days of which were up in LA off the 101. Which meant a lot of commuting and a lot of stress and worry.

My dad has been home now for a couple of weeks and is doing GREAT. Thank God.

I have been so blessed to have two parents in good health, so it was the first time I had to “go there” in my head.

I was hit with the reality that one day my parents won’t be with me anymore.  My dad and I are kindred spirits and I can’t imagine my life without him.

The relief I felt when he was finally home was immeasurable.

During this time, I never really took the time to process everything I was going through emotionally. I threw myself into “logistical” mom mode, coordinating who could take my kids to help while we were at the hospital.

When he got home, I threw myself back into normal life, but felt behind in work and personal stuff, so I ran even faster than normal to try to catch up, resulting in a stressed out mom.

It finally hit me on that coffee maker morning that nothing, nothing I am stressing about right now really matters. But when you are overextended and overstressed, even the littlest things can trigger big stressful reactions. For nothing!

What matters is my dad is home.

This kind of stress is not good for anyone ~ for myself or my family. Something needed to be done, I was committed to turning things around.

Time to Refuel 

Every day I feel a compulsion to be productive every single minute and I can feel guilty if I don’t use that time for things that need to be done.

I am going to try an experiment this week and attempt to really slow down and take a mini mommy vacation.

No, I will not be on a tropical island sipping a Pina Colada or spending my days at the spa. Rather, I will be doing carpool, shuttling kids to activities, volunteering in the classroom, my normal stuff. But during the day when I don’t HAVE to be doing something, I’m not going to.

Just typing that sentence made me feel good.

Really good.

During the preschool hours when my house is kidless, I might read a book, watch a morning show (is Regis still on?!), or meet a friend for a walk or a coffee.

There will definitely be take-out involved and I might have to buy my kids more underwear to go a week without doing the laundry.

I am going to take a break from my phone and the constant dinging. I am going to resist checking my email. Maybe once a day at most. We will see how that goes, but I am going to try!

I hope to keep a journal this next week with what it feels like to slow down. A real, write it down in actual pencil sort of journal. I have a feeling it’s going to be hard for me, because I am so programmed to GO GO GO.  All of the time. But it’s time to refuel.

Just wanted to let you know why there weren’t more new posts this week like usual. But we will be back next week like normal, hopefully with some slow down enlightenments to share.

Have a wonderful week mamas. And if you are feeling overstressed for any reason this morning, I too, give you permission to give yourself a slow down kind of day…

5 Comments

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5
  1. 1
    Sara says:

    I don’t know if it’s this time of year or what but you are singing my song too!!! Take time for yourself, reconnect, breathe…and see you soon 🙂 So glad to read your dad is doing well!

  2. 2
    Holly says:

    This brought tears to my eyes. I am going through that same feeling of NEEDING to slow down, for the sake of my sanity and the sakes of my kids. I am glad that your dad is OK. I know how close you are to your parents! I would feel the same way!! I just turned off push notifications on Facebook, etc. It’s hard unplugging, esp when you use social media the way we do for our jobs. It’s REALLY hard!! But we can do it!

  3. 3
    Susanne says:

    Brilliant! Re-fueling is so important. I’m going to try my best to do so this week too 🙂 But first have to head over to America’s Tires to fix the flat we got on Mother’s Day. 😉
    So glad your Pops is well! XO

  4. 4
    christy says:

    You are singing my song, sister!!! First, SO HAPPY your dad is home and recovering. Thank God!!! Second, so glad you are taking the time to re-charge. Enjoy your beautiful girls, take a breather and take some time for yourself. xoxo

  5. 5
    jen says:

    Sara – I think a big part of it has to do also with the end of the school year burnout. I feel like this time of year I start feeling particularly frazzled!

    Holly – Good for you! Agree on the push settings. It can all just become TOO much. I learned some interesting things already just from day 1. Looking forward to sharing. Lots of “aha” moments.

    Sus- Hope your tire got fixed (NOT fun), thanks for your support!

    Christy – I know you know firsthand what it’s like when your parent is going through something like this. Thank you for your support!!!

    xoxox

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