- My therapist insists that I start to do some of the things I did before I had children. The idea is that I can gain back some of the identity I lost when I became a mom and start feeling more like myself. It feels almost inauthentic because I just completely forget who that person was, but nevertheless, I did write blog posts before I had kids, so…hi. It requires far less effort and toddler wrangling to simply sit at a computer than, say, camping or hiking, so I’m pretty much
doing the bare minimum to make an effort to improve my own mental health. However, doing the bare minimum is far better than doing nothing!
- It has been so long since I’ve written anything! I’m blaming it on tending to and fighting various illnesses, weathering the stormy seas of postpartum depression, and generally not wanting to devote any brain power to anything after the toddler is sleeping. We’re still here, I promise!
- Speaking of “still here,” I repeat that poem by Langston Hughes close to a million times a day. I’ve done it since I was about 15 years old and a motivational speaker who came to our high school had us repeat this poem something like 5 times. I was struggling a lot with depression at the time (it seems to be a pattern), and it gave me a hope that I never felt before. The words have stayed with me all day every day since then, and I love how it has been with me through math finals, cross country moves, and parenthood. It has been especially important to me now that I’m working through some hard stuff again. I wonder what else this poem will see me through.
- Celebrating Christmas with Kaia this year was so much fun. It made us ridiculously happy just to give her things that we thought might bring her a little happiness. She seemed to be fascinated by pretty much everything, though the unexpected hits were puzzles. Alex and I liked the Magnetic Polydrons and Magna-Tiles the best, though. Did you know it’s possible to create a dodecahedron from the Magnetic Polydrons? I’m just saying it’s possible, not that we spent Christmas day nap times trying to make one without collapsing the tiles as we attempted to connect them.
- Kaia experienced her first real snow! That, too, made us ridiculously happy. I’m not sure I’ve seen anything cuter than Kaia waddling around in snow pants and a massive coat! She wasn’t a huge fan, though, so I’m pretty sure she is my child.
- The best thing happened: my uncle, aunt and cousin visited with us! We all went whale watching up in the San Juans, and then we went hiking, and we had such a good time. I was so thrilled that Kaia got to meet some of the people who are very important to me.
- The best thing happened because the best thing happened: I realized that it is totally possible to do stuff you enjoy with a child. It meant just putting aside the fear of not having control of the situation and just rolling with it, which is easier said than done, but probably necessary for me if I really want to attempt to marry both parenthood and regular personhood. It was such an eye-opening experience, and we just have to keep getting out there. We’re already making plans.
- We started going out on dates again! Until the beginning of December, we had only hired a sitter and gone out without our child in tow once before (an entire year after her birth). We hired an amazing woman who keeps the house from burning down while Kaia is asleep, and she even folds any laundry remaining in the dryer! It was the best decision we’ve made as a couple in recent months.
- STAR WARS. Can we please talk about Star Wars? We went to see it on our second date night, and wow. It meant a lot to me as a therapist, but for the sake of not spoiling the plot for anyone else, I think I’ll hold off on saying anything more! But seriously…it was good. See it.
- We toured the Montessori school we’re going to send Kaia to! And guess what? It’s right down the street from our house, so future me with two children is shouting “thank you!” from mountain tops. We’re feeling pretty lucky to live where we do and the fact that we have so many opportunities for our children here. Folks, let me tell you, it was amazing to see Kaia in that environment, exploring and learning. It seems to fit in very well with her personality, and we’re excited to see where that journey takes her when we reach the milestone of her enrollment. We’re going to be working on incorporating some more Montessori concepts into our home now that she is approaching the age where RIE parenting often needs to be supplemented with other tools to better attend to the needs and desires of an older toddler.
So, that is a very, very abbreviated tale of what has been happening in our world lately. It’s my hope and intention to write more and be a little less elusive and silent. Stick around, will you?