Tuesday, May 25, 2010

be gentle with yourself

Maybe it was the heat.  Maybe it was the neighbour's terrible loud music that played all afternoon.  Maybe it was the 1000th headbutt from Poppy.  Maybe it was the 2000th yell/grunt to get something she wants instead of using words.  Maybe it was the dogs staring blankly or ignoring me altogether when I try to stop their barking.  Maybe it was Mike questioning everything I asked him to do.  Maybe it was having a toddler climb up me as I tried to enjoy my chicken and quinoa.  Maybe it was the glass crashing to the floor or the open faced jam sandwich hitting the floor.  Maybe it was the dishes in the sink or the slimy piece of tomato Poppy spit out for me to step on.  Maybe I just felt like a big, fat, pregnant meat-suit tired of never getting a moment of peace to herself. 

Maybe I felt invisible.  Maybe I felt used.  Maybe, after giving and trying to be everything all at once for so long, I finally broke.

It was as quick as lightening and all that remained was me in a weeping heap, a shocked husband, daughter and dog, and the distinct smell of ozone.  Every ache, every hurt, every guilt, and every inadequacy swelled up and poured out of me.  I was embarrassed and silent for what felt like a long time until Mike, with a slow and gentle hand, reached over and touched me as if I were a wounded and frightened animal.  One touch to let me know he heard me; he got me; it was ok; I was forgiven, without words. 

“Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.”

- Dinah Craik (1826-1887), English poet and novelist

Be gentle with yourself so you can, in turn, be gentle with those you love.


  1. Oh wow. This sounds nearly word for word how I felt earlier this week.
    Eventually the boy & I were bickering so much, and in public, and he just leaned over, kissed my head and said "I'm sorry, it's ok" and we both forgave each other in an instant.
    This mamahood stuff is tough, but i think we're tougher.

  2. Yeah, been right there, down to the open faced sandwich hitting the floor! I can't imagine my life without a certain handsome Mister in it...

    I think there was something really special that happened after our second child was born and then our third...the kids had each other, we had the family we always dreamed of having and somehow that brought us to a whole different place in our relationship. It's pretty darn awesome!

  3. Thank you for your honesty. I too had a similar week, with everyone cooped up with the Chickenpox. The last straw was the littlest one taking off her diaper pooping all over the house, but me not noticing until my MIL came over and asked if the dog was here as she found the poop!! I just walked away had a cry, called Paul and asked him to come home right away.
    Picked up the poop and hoped that the next day would not be as "shitty".

  4. Hope you're feeling better soon and got it all out of your system. Also a rough week here- little one vomiting, aches and pains, blood tests for me, over exhaustion. Day by day. xo m.

  5. Yes, Yes, Yes...yes to the 1000th headbutt and the incessant whining toddlers and the people trying to climb your legs all day long. It DOES make a girl feel all used up sometimes.
    I hope you are having a better time of it this week!!

  6. beautiful strong softened caring men are just about one of the best things i know of.

    one question....what do you mean by the distinct smell of ozone. i feel kind-of stupid asking, but i don't understand what that means....

    love to you.. and your cabin to yurt to vw van, to gypsy caravan , to tent, made me smile. love.


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