Daily life is certainly happening.
I have had plenty of opportunity to practice skills.
Ups and downs, side-ways running and down right flabbergasted at times. I have been semi-following the Casey Anthony Trial. I say semi, because I don't watch it or listen to it, but I do check out my favorite blog from time-to-time, just to see what is happening with it. I sometimes like to compare and contrast, you know, when I am really down in the dumps about my mothering abilities. Ms. Anthony and her frightening clan supply a lot of reminders of how "not bad" I am.
So here is what I have been up to and the skills that I have been using:
Believe it or not, I am considering this a used skill, because it takes patience and follow-thru to accomplish this and then I get to pat myself on the back for a job well done.
|Our eldest and his friend: School Day at our house.|
Here is a bit of relaxation...OK, a LOT of relaxation. But I also did something else. You see, I have anxiety issues and on this particular trip we had six kids with us. We did a lot of stuff too, we took them to a museum that outlined Lewis and Clark's entire trip out west, hiked along trails, made sandcastles, picnic'd in a campsite...in the rain (actually it was the only time it rained the entire trip! Not bad for the Pacific Northwest!)
So to curb the anxiety? I practiced mindfulness skills. In fact I specifically practiced being in the moment, I paid close attention to how the sand felt in my hands; it's texture, wetness, temperature, etc. I was really able to be there in the moment allowing all the anxieties of the day to melt away!
Oh, and I had to beware of the traffic too!
|Some schmuck ran over our castle, we had to rebuild!|
Gratefulness...always a really good one, recalling what I am grateful for:
|Special day with Gav only, just watching him eat. Children are so innocent, this was sort of like stopping to smell the roses, only there weren't any roses and Wendy's smells like, well... grease.|
|Date Night, errr we have a billion kids and we are old, so our date night started before it was actually dark outside!|
|Stopped to enjoy our princesses art work.|
And this is what has been consuming my time, and honestly I am not sure exactly all the skills I have been using, but there is a list. Somewhere. ~
|Our eldest heading into surgery.|
|At home after his surgery.|
This has been challenging. In all seriousness, it is emotionally and physically challenging to care for your child during something like this. It was a planned surgery, so at least we didn't have that emergency factor. However, his care for the first four days was around the clock. Literally, I had the alarm set in the middle of the night too! Aj and I make a good team though, so we set up a great schedule.
However, with this change in our schedule and the factors that come with a child going under the knife, I was in serious danger of faltering off of baseline. When you have a mental illness this is always a possibility when something large or dramatic comes through.
I cared for myself (and continue to do so, this is only day 5 since the surgery): exercise, walks, proper eating schedule and a good choice of foods. A sleep schedule that I stuck to and "me" time. All these things are so important. They may seem small but when something big comes along and we have time to prepare for it, we have a responsibility to ourselves and our loved ones to take into account our illness and what possibilities can come of it and ... do something about it to increase the likelihood of getting through it effectively.
There is a lot of doubt and judgments that crop up, like, "if I wasn't *this way* I would be able to handle this easier" or "a typical mother doesn't need to go through these *hoops* to cope with this sort of thing" blah, blah, blah...It tears me down. Being skillful builds me up and enables me to be successful in keeping the symptoms of my mental illness at bay.
Tonight, I fully intend to celebrate my victory thus far. Not exactly sure how, but I will be sure and applaud myself (and Aj!) A sense of accomplishment will fuel me for tomorrow and then tomorrow and then...