self-care family picture of tawny stowe

Diaries – 1st Week Of September

Dear Diary,

The sun sign moving into Virgo has been an incredible shift in clarity for me. In the energetic realm, as we weathered a geomagnetic storm, I found a veil lifting around me. In the physical, this cosmic event landed while I was on holiday. During this two-week span, a “break” has taught me so very much. It’s important to take a break and provide yourself with self-care.

I always thought of vacation as fun. A seasoned world traveler, I have moved continent to continent with great ease. Change doesn’t bother me much, in fact, it excites me, and I have always attributed that to my Sagittarius roots. I perceived that footloose and free feeling would still find me on holiday and was in for a big learning curve. Let me start with I love traveling with my son. I can’t imagine leaving him behind for a week, as he is my entire world. What I failed to grasp was that him being my whole world would shift my world as a traveler.

A Self-Care Vacation

For those of you who have traveled with children, you will just be laughing at me about now but for me, this two-week holiday really opened my eyes to being “on” 24/7. Leaving the comfort of our home into a million “un-safe” possibilities meant upping my parenting game not relaxing. There was a moment this week when I lay in bed before he woke thinking perhaps there was something wrong with me. It occurred to me in the early dawn that I was craving alone time, stillness, a book, a hot meal eaten in one sitting, and I began to explore my lack of gratitude. As I leaned into the discomfort, it was clear I was very grateful. I was grateful for taking him in a kayak, for campfires, for our first smores, for sunsets, and for just being together. I went deeper to explore that for me gratitude was there in all ways and yet something was nagging at me.

I spent a couple of days thinking on this until it hit me. Parenting is not fun. If it is for you, hats off, but for me it’s really hard work. The responsibility to hold space for this tiny human while holding boundaries is enormous and perhaps I put a great deal of pressure on myself to get it right. As an empath I know his every feeling and remembering his feelings are not fully my responsibility, they are part of his development and it’s one of the hardest things I have ever endured. As his mamma, I owe it to him to NOT fix everything but I also owe it to us both to see, feel, and acknowledge. As I went back to the moments of gratitude, I realized they were truly a joy. For me, joy comes in bursts, in the moments where the hard work has paid off and I feel connected to my son. As I slowly allowed myself to admit parenting was hard work and that all relationships are hard work, I began to soften. While I realized that in fact, I was joyous and grateful I allowed myself to also be tired and real. This trip taught me that family time is crucial for connection and how I need to put self-care first.

Accepting Life’s Challenges

As the rest of vacation flew by I began to allow myself to absorb this newfound softness, this acceptance that parenting isn’t fun and the most miraculous thing happened, I began to ease up the pressure on myself to be perfect. I have struggled so much with being a mom and an entrepreneur and the guilt of loving working over parenting. The moment I gave myself permission to be ok with that, I felt a shift. I saw my son, I really saw him. Empathic, kind, caring, curious and courageous. I watched him speak with manners, to count and use his fingers to show his numbers, I watched him ask bright questions and call me out when I was half truthful. In those moments, I realized I am doing the best I can but my best is actually pretty damn awesome. Parenting is not joyful all the time, I just needed to allow myself the perspective that I am not a stay at home mom who is perfectly involved in all aspects of parenting. I am not the best cook, I can’t sew or bake, and I fail miserably at keeping a tidy house often. I am imperfect and at the end of the day, I want to raise my son to believe imperfect is real, not a social media highlight reel, and that feelings matter, and if we love fiercely anything is possible. Perhaps there is even more joy if I simply accept my imperfectness.