Everything to everyone

Everyone pressures everyone else. I pressure all of those around me…Hubby, Little Witches, Mom, students, colleagues, friends… I want everyone to be the best them at all times because I selfishly want the best them for myself.

This is not meant out of callousness and is not done directly, outside of disciplining the Little ones who sometimes need redirection.

I feel the pressure from everyone too. Be the best Mother, Wife, Teacher, Friend, Witch…

I allowed this pressure to internalize, as I allow most everything to internalize. I’m an internalizer. Something around me goes wrong and I see myself as a failure. I allowed this pressure to continue to push myself. I found myself going in circles. Although, I guess it was more of cycles. I really enjoy something, so I am going to do it more often. Yet, that means I will be unable to do something else. There’s always a give and take.

I really like attending Full Moon rituals, book club meetings, trivia night as part of the 3 Hot Mamas…I also love snuggling with my kids while they laugh at cartoons, spending time sitting at the kitchen table with Hubby in the quiet night and just talking, coming home from a busy day at work to a clean house because the time was put towards that cleaning the night before.

I wanted to have it all. I figured out ways to have it all, but having it all was exhausting. So I found myself internalizing and just snuggling in. I have gone through this cycle about 4 times since Witchling was born. Having it all, until it all becomes too much work and just focusing on what’s best.

Some friends mention how long it’s been, and I enjoyed the event, so I feel this pressure to do more again. And so it goes until it doesn’t go anymore.

Last Monday, I had an unfiltered moment with my dearest S where I said I was going to be pulling back from some things not because I feel like I have to because I have overwhelmed myself again, but rather because I want to. Because It’s better this time because I don’t feel like I am losing myself in the kids. I don’t feel like the kids are my only “thing”. They just have so much going on and I want to be there for all of it, and everything else gets put on the side. Because one day everything else will still be there, in one form or another, and they won’t. Heck, they’ve already grown so much.

There would be heartwarming moments that I would miss. Moments like tonight when Witchlette, who is battling a small cold, coughed. Witchling, without prompting or asking and in less than five seconds after her cough, stood up and got her his water cup. Because when you cough, drinking helps. And because he genuinely is concerned for her. Because he genuinely cares.

Moments like this are the little bits that I would be sacrificing. That I have been sacrificing. That I try to convince myself that it’s ok to do so.

And sometimes it is. Sometimes it’s necessary because responsibility calls away.

As the sun continues its journey and we dive further into the dark half of the year, I am getting my hygge on and reveling in my nights at home.

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From the minds, hands, and mouths of babes

Last night, after about an hour of trick-or-treating, with an almost full the the brim, too heavy for him to carry bucket, Witchling was beginning to show his tiredness. It was 15 minutes after his usual bedtime but he wasn’t ready to give in yet. We approached the next house and he was asked by the neighbor, “How are you this evening?”

He shrugged and responded with the innocent honesty of a three year old, “I’m just here for the candy.”

The neighbor and I both laughed to hard. He got to take an extra piece from her bowl.

Witchlette, on Tuesday at school, made a trick-or-treat sack on a white paper bag. Apparently I was an inspiration for her.

My heart has melted twice quicker than MnMs in my mouth.

Our Samhain

Sometimes, as a parent, one has to get creative with timing.

I have explained the veil between worlds, the invisible curtain as Witchlette calls it, ever so slowly begins to open at Manon and is fully opened at Samhain, then ever so slowly begins to fully close by Yule.

Samhain is Halloween and Halloween means trick-or-treating, not talking about dead relatives sitting at home with Mom or at ritual at Church.

Halloween is fun, life, costumes. Halloween is childhood Magick on an immense scale.

So, last night, All Hallow’s Eve eve, we set out table and made offerings to our beloved dead.

I started with my paternal grandfather, and I mentioned my sister, though I did not yet share details. Witchlette immediately went to Hubby’s paternal grandfather. Witchling followed suit with his sister, and Hubby offered to his dad.

Poor Witchling wanted to give an offering to his own grandpa, but we had to explain this ritual was only for dead people.

Both kids gave offerings to my mom’s dog, D, who died when Witchling was still in diapers. They went through all of their grandparents and ancestors beyond from all of the known countries of origin. Witchlette happily did Hubby’s mom’s side from Poland.

Witchlette also left a final offering to the friend of a friend who recently passed. His absence is fresh and painful to the living and she wanted to offer peace in any way possible.

Last night was our first real family Samhain. Tonight is Halloween.

A whirlwind

I’m still here. Holding down the homestead and going strong.

Kindergarten has started for Witchlette.

Preschool has started for Witchling.

I’ve just concluded my fourth week of the school year and even though I feel as though I haven’t had a full week of instruction yet, and I feel utterly exhausted.

I’m took the day off to celebrate Witchling’s birthday. Witchlette’s birthday will always be a day off for us for her whole childhood. It won’t be that way for Witchling, so I am soaking it all in while I can.

It was very stressful in the beginning. Getting Witchlette to school while also getting to work and having time to get everything done. Then leaving work on time to get Witchlette from school and often leaving with a pile of stuff undone. Stuff that could wait until the next day, knowing that more would come by the morning and having the pike just grown.

One evening while walking the dogs, I calculated it. I am missing an hour of productivity time with carpool time. That’s it. Not a massive amount of hours. One.

So a few days a week, I have been bringing my computer home and doing work while the kids have their evening tv time. They’re unwinding with screen time and it’s not like I’m missing engaging moments. Then I still get hobby time after they go to bed. And I’m not sacrificing anything.

530 wake ups have consistently happened, excpet for Florence mornings because nope nope nope. 530 I walk the dogs and have my quiet meditation time before Hubby’s alarm goes off. I get in a quick yoga-based stretch while he brushes his teeth and then Witchlette’s alarm goes off and the day really begins.

Unbalanced balance is where I take up residence now and I’m not just treading through the chaos, I’m doing water ballet.

A card reading from Sh over the summer revealed that the transition would come to stride and it would just be a transition. I’m glad to have found that place before September even ended.

First time in a long time…

The lure of stay at home mom has always been strong for me. After all, it’s how I was raised.

In the back of my mind, it was always something that I wanted.

Going back to work after Witchlette was born wasn’t by any means easy, but it wasn’t overly difficult either. It just was. I transitioned back to work and life continued. We had bills to pay and, if nothing else, couldn’t afford health insurance without the benefits from my job even if my take home pay was significantly decreased with the cost of childcare.

The first summer of stay at home mommy time with Witchlette was magical. It was glorious. It also included a two to three hour nap period where I got to just binge on my own shows and take my own naps. The second summer with just Witchlette was much more tiring, mostly because I also was carrying Witchling. Nap time as we knew it was gone at home, though she did still occasionally fall asleep on the couch. As did I. Both summers ended and both transitioned into new school years with a return to work.

The lure of stay at home mom was always there, but it was just an illusion.

My maternity leave with Witchling started just a few weeks later. The lure ended and the drive and desire was strong. The postpartum issues were strong. Returning to work just 12 weeks later was heartbreaking. It wasn’t returning to my normal routine, it was the death of a dream.

The next summers, leading up to Witchling’s first and second birthdays, still held the pull of throwing my hands in the air and walking away from it all. Spending all of my time with my kids and just being a full-time parent. I’m an amazing mom.

But I’ve watched other friends who are full time moms, or who were full time moms and walked away from it. They were good mom’s, but they lost a balance to themselves.

Perhaps I am an amazing mom because I’m a mom that works. Perhaps because I prioritize my time with the littles, I am better.

This summer was the first time that the pull wasn’t there in three years. This summer was the first time since Witchling’s been born that I haven’t felt the need to throw my hands up at work and walk away.

My summers are sacred and I am going to extreme measures to keep them with both kids (hello charter school!). I will always revel in my full time momhood. And keeping them to the fullest. But I am back to seeing thaty time for what it is: a vacation.

Coming off the break

Summer vacation as a teacher means sleeping in. It means a break from the hustle and bustle of setting lessons and grading papers.

For me, most of all, it means enjoying my children full time all day long.

Except when it doesn’t.

Beginning the first day of summer vacation, I said goodbye to my sunrise alarm. I no longer woke up early enough to walk the dogs and do morning yoga before the kids awoke and it was time to be Mama. Well, I figured I would just reallocate my time to the evening.

Except I’m not an evening meditator. I never have been. Ever.

I felt the drain this week. Yesterday, I felt the drain big time. Nothing was wrong, everyone was happy. Everyone was wonderful. Except I couldn’t shake this feeling of annoyance. Everything rubbed me the wrong way. The kids didn’t seem to notice…so I’m glad I hid it well! It culminated this morning with a feeling of fog that I couldn’t shake. I couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t get out of my own head.

Then I said the words aloud to Hubby. I think I need to go back to my sunrise alarm. I need to go back to my yoga and meditation every day.

Go meditate now, was his reply, and then start fresh again in the morning.

I can’t. Once I go upstairs, it’ll be fly your helicopter and play baby and do puzzles.

But that’s why there’s two of us…I still couldn’t get out of my fog, so I retreated to my altar, lit some cedarwood inscense, and went right to work. Within twenty minutes, the fog was gone.

Hubby popped his head in after a bit to check in and also to share the ridiculous hilarity that is our children’s imagination. I again, without thinking and without filter, said aloud, I went on vacation from taking care of myself and that’s stupid.

He chuckled and affirmed- quite stupid.

Being full time mama fills up my cup in many many ways. But I have many facets and I was neglecting one of them. Night time I use for purposeful Magick or divination, but true grounding meditation is best met for me in the early hours.

Slightly unrelated, I found a photo challenge app and I’m enjoy it a lot. Here is my idea of silence (one challenge) as well as my idea of calm and serenity (a second challenge).

That’s the cedarwood surrounded by Frigg prayer beads and vibrational cleansing bell from Box of Shadows.

The beauty of the body from a child’s perspective

I’ve shared before how I committed myself, come what may, that I was going to nurse my children for as long as possible, and ended up going 18 months for both of them.

Witchlette seems as though she remembers Witchling nursing, though I believe she only remembers the idea of it, because she was only 2 1/2 to 3 and I stopped about a year and a half ago.

Pause: how in the world did my two Littles get SO big in such a short amount of time!

So, Witchlette remembers, at least the idea. She knows that she has nipples and that nipples boobs make milk for feeding babies, and the milk comes from the nipple.

Witchling I am positive doesn’t actually remember nursing, but he has been exposed to the idea. He also knows boobs make milk and that milk comes from nipples.

He also knows that he has nipples, and therefore explains that he has boobs. When a ball hits his chest, he writhes in pain, sharing how much his boob hurts.

Today, while walking through Target holding his Iron Man lovie, Witchling very innocently lifted up his shirt and make slurping noises. I couldn’t have held in a giggle if I tried!

“Is Iron Man hungry?”

“He’s thirsty, so he’s having milk from my boob!”

It’s going to break his heart to know that his nipples don’t function that way, but it’s beyond sweet to see him love his lovies that way.

Boys of that age when I was little would be corrected. I mean, girls would have been corrected. That’s just not something that gets played. Those are private parts.

I’m so happy my kids are growing up in a shift. I’m so happy that my son loves his amazing body and everything it could do, plus more.