7 Ways to Fill Our Mama Cups

My last API Speaks blog post, Running on Empty, about feeling mama burn out was hard to write. I felt ashamed. I felt like a failure. I felt worried that motherhood was going to turn out like so many other jobs I’ve had: fun and interesting at first, then drudgery. It took me two days to write the post because I kept editing my feelings. If I just cut the words, maybe I could delete the feelings too. I wrote while my toddler son napped in the next room. I kept walking in to look at him, so peaceful while he was sleeping. I kept willing him to sleep longer, give me more time. On the second day, right after I’d clicked the button to submit my post, he woke up sad. He clung to me and cried. Maybe he’d had a bad dream. Maybe he’d picked up on all of my conflicted feelings while he slept. I was sure that if he were old enough to read what I’d written, he would  feel betrayed. Maybe all of that was true, or maybe I was just finding one more way to not give myself a break.

I needed a vacation from my mama job, which wasn’t realistic. Getting a vacation from my state of mind, however, was absolutely possible. Just admitting to myself (and those who read the blog post) how burned out I was feeling helped. It helped me to understand what was contributing to my exhaustion. It helped me acknowledge my feelings and give myself some space to actually feel them. The comments on the post offered me some great suggestions to renew balance. I tried those and some more. And I’m really starting to feel good again, having fun with my son, being more creative about how to spend our time so our life together doesn’t feel like the movie Groundhog Day. Maybe some of what has worked with me will work for you. Continue reading 7 Ways to Fill Our Mama Cups

Running on Empty

I want a vacation, even a long weekend, all by myself with no one else to clothe, no one to come to the bathroom with me or to ask to nurse in the middle of the flower store. Maybe it’s the developmentally appropriate but exhausting conflicts that come with having a 2 1/2 year old. Maybe it’s that the last three years have been hard ones full of lay-offs and other money concerns, health challenges and innumerable other setbacks that add up over time. I’m sure there’s not one cause.

Continue reading Running on Empty