Nico Boon is 18 months + Mother’s Day

checking out his feet

Nico in his brother's shoes on his new scooter

Nico, eatin blueberries

Nico in the kitchen

I adore you Nico Boon

Okay. So I’ve written this post three times and deleted it each time. What can I tell you about my precious Nico Boon? What can I share that feels real and true to where I am right now in this moment? Right now, I am typing furiously, listening to Nico hem and haw in his bed, praying he will fall asleep so I can get this post up and finish the rest of my work.

Honestly, this Mother’s Day, all I can think about is how intense it is to be a parent. How I am deeply, crazy in love with my kiddos and also terribly overwhelmed by the task of parenting them! They are delicious and beautiful and hilarious and maddening and take me to every possible edge. Edges I didn’t even know I had, they take me there. They are my healers and my teachers and I am called to grow and change because of them. This can be a painful process but I am grateful for it.

I recently discovered the book, The Highly Sensitive Person and it has helped me so much. Just understanding that I am a highly sensitive parent, gives me more self-compassion. It helps me understand why I need a lot of breaks and quiet time in order to come back to parenting with a fresh heart. My threshold for overstimulation is low, so getting help is a major act of self-care for me.

As we enter this weekend of Mother’s Day, I want to offer the same kind of self-compassion to you as well. Is there a place in your life where you are less than kind to yourself? Where your self-talk is, well, not so nice? Can you soften around something you are beating yourself up about?

In the best way we can, let’s celebrate ourselves this weekend.

I am going to be teaching a photography workshop on Saturday and another workshop with Kelly Rae Roberts on Sunday. A weekend spent with other women, being creative, playing, sharing our hearts and our best stories. My most favorite thing to do!

How about you? How will you celebrate?

 

 

14 Comments

  1. Posted May 9, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Hm, I may have to get that book. I need lots of breaks, too. Somehow I ended up with three very loud children, when I am an introvert – I love my quiet time.

    Because of this, I usually want time to myself on mother’s day, and then feel a little bit guilty about this. Shouldn’t I *want* to spend time with my family on a holiday? I usually get over the guilt pretty quickly, though, and just enjoy the time to myself. I think I’ll ask my family to take me out for sushi this year.

    Happy mother’s day, Andrea!

  2. Andrea
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Dear Belinda, I’m with you girl!

    The perfect mama’s day present is a day sans kiddos!
    :)

    We are not bad people. We are simply taking good care of ourselves so we can come back and be better parents.

  3. CoraD
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    thank you, thank you, thank you! parenting is so challenging for me as well, for some of the same reasons and for different reasons. but i love my girls oh so very much. i am in constant awe and breathlessness and deep, deep love. i feel so incredibly blessed that these two marvels chose me as their mother. but i don’t feel that all the time and i don’t feel i should. but sometimes remembering it would help a stressed out situation.

    when i pick them up at day care and they come at me with big smiles and shrieks of “mama!”, i fight the urge to turn around and look for their source of joy – partly, i can’t believe i am the lucky recipient of such love. partly, because i don’t feel worthy of it – and that’s the part i need to work on.

    i heart you, andrea!

  4. Andrea
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    So beautifully said Cora!
    I relate with all of it…

    I love that by exposing the hard parts we can bring more compassion to them and normalize them. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Jen Anderson
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    As always your honesty is so refreshing, Andrea. This Mothers Day I will do a family yoga class because it brings me so much frickin joy. The a big M-day BBQ with my mother, my husband’s mother, my sisters (both mothers), my cousin (a mommy), my 2 best friends (mommies) and their families, and one of one of their mothers, who is battling for her life against cancer. Mother love will abound down by the beach.

    Being around and with these multi-generational mothers reminds me that our relationship with our children evolves over time. It is only with a deep sense of community and family that I am able to rise and celebrate all stages, flavors and expressions of motherhood.

    Honestly, I could not do this mothering thing without any of them.

  6. Posted May 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Hah, glad to hear I’m not the only one who requests some “alone time” for Mother’s Day :)

    My toddler is pretty independent and similar in personality (probably also sensitive like me – I should read that book huh?) and it still takes SO much out of me. I love it, but it’s so hard sometimes.

    Happy Mother’s Day to all you mamas out there!

  7. Posted May 9, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Happy 18 months!

    YES to parenting driving you to the edge, but WOW do they bring so much back to us. These are years to savor.

    I was on bed rest on Mother’s Day the year I was pregnant and I swore I would NEVER be inside on Mother’s Day again. I will be at the beach this year. Or maybe go on a boat ride. And most certainly drinking some glasses of red wine.

    Enjoy Andrea!

  8. Posted May 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    andrea,
    thank you so much for this post…for your honesty…and for the link about HSP as parents.

    so wish i could circle with you ladies this weekend. such a beautiful image.

    i think i might take myself to a movie…i have been dreaming of going to one by myself for weeks…

    xo

  9. Posted May 9, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    What a cutie patooty. Happy Birthday Nico and Happy Wonderful Mother’s Day to you!

  10. Posted May 10, 2012 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    That is so great to hear, that you have found The Highly Sensitive Person! I learned about high sensitivity just the other week, it was fantastic to find out that there is a name for my needs and skills. I actually thought about you. Wanted to recommend it to you, but I wasn’t sure if that would be intrusive in some way. I’m really happy you’re realizing your need for breaks and quiet time and that it is, as you say, a major act of self-care.

    I am not a parent, and I don’t want kids, but I do want to take care of myself and celebrate my aliveness. (: My best way to that right now is to exercise and to get lots of creative and intellectual stimulation.

  11. Posted May 11, 2012 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Altho my three children are adults they are the lights of my life. Isn’t it funny how over the years my three became five and now 7. (number 8 to show him or herself very soon) I’ll spend mother’s day feeling very blessed. Much love and happiness to you Andrea on this mother’s day.

  12. Robyn
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Happy mother’s day Andrea!

    Nico is so cute.

  13. -L
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    Love this Andrea! I have the book The Highly Sensitive Child that has helped me and was recommended by a fellow mommy friend who’s son is so much like my little one and she is so much like me! S is 5 and N is 19 months now. My hubby travels a great deal for work and I SOOOO related to your post about the “angel kisses”. I have walked to the park w/ my little one in the stroller in desperation and hope of finding an angel or just another soul to connect in the trenches so to speak. Lost my sparkle for a bit, yes, not feeling so pretty these days (as I once did), being the artist type I soooo need that quiet breathing space you speak of. Hurting deeply by the complete abandonment of extended family because we decided to draw the line in the sand (after taking years of crappy treatment) and set healthy boundaries makes me feel lonely but their pouting and punitive response is, I suppose, them telling us who they are. It makes me sad that they choose not to be love and light in our children’s life. It’s hard not to have the love there. I’m hard on myself because I want to give my children the most love and joy possible and yet I see I’m at times depriving myself. I find it very difficult to ask for help or even to find the kind that I’d be comfortable with. I’m hurt by fellow moms who have been through it but have forgotten how hard it is and show know empathy. I can’t take another mother of older kids saying in a snitty voice, “been there, done that”. Really? Then why are you being like that? Would that comment have been helpful to you back then? How about holding the door for me or picking up the keys my baby just through out of reach while my older one is melting down? Be nice to other moms!!! Don’t judge if you see a mom struggling in a store or out and about, be kind. I’ve had moms whose youngest are the same age as my oldest or they have only one child ask for play dates w/ my oldest and then respond w/ major irritation when I explain that I need to get my younger child home for a nap or to feed him but I always offer another option. I explain my schedule and how wiped out I am because I am flying solo that week. I have had snide remarks from a fellow mom who has her parents and her in-laws in walking distance to her take turns caring for her child. If you don’t know what it’s like to not have help or your kids are older and you forgot or you feel sort of bitter because it was hard for you when you were there and had no help, please try empathy or compassion. Be kind to other parents who are in the tough spots, offer a hand, a shoulder, a prayer, a smile, be kind to her children, offer anything but criticism, judgment or snottiness. Please! Remember that the kids are watching and learning from us. We all have our hard days but those may even be the days that will serve you best to be kind to a fellow mom or her children. We all deserve it, our kids deserve it. I’ve learned a lot about being more present and how my actions affect others just from what I have experienced during some of my hardest parenting days. I have to say, I’ve been very humbled by a few fellow moms who are also my friends who reach out even though their lives are jammed backed and they are in the trenches. They have shown up or offered to help when I was alone or had gone through something difficult. For their kindness I am so grateful. Andrea, I am soooo grateful for your sharing your feelings, experiences and insights on your blog all these years letting your readers share such amazing comments. I feel very lucky to have found you. It helped me to not feel so alone during those tough times when I just didn’t even know who to call or how to say what I was feeling. Happy Mother’s Day to you and your dear fellow readers! I’m planning a morning of pampering and massage next week. Hopefully an afternoon of writing and maybe some extra yoga classes:) Thank you again for all you share! P.s. Nico is adorable!

  14. Posted May 13, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    i appreciate this post so much because i am in a place RIGHT NOW that feels like an edge – i am totally on tiptoes – and i soooo need a break. sometimes it’s just so difficult to find the balance and i feel like if i whine about it, one, i’m a whiner; two, by “whining” it means i am complaining and i’m not grateful, i don’t have it all together, and i could probably attract more stuff to whine about. it just gets all complicated in there – heart and mind – and i just want to break away from the boys before i turn in to a monster. it seems like, as i’m getting older (i’m turning 43 this year), i am becoming more and more of a highly sensitive person. i wonder if it has anything to do with pre-menopausal stuff. eek!

    Wishing you a great time at the workshops! :) a happy birthday to Nico… and I simply want to say, Thank you Andrea for having the words and the courage.

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