Since I was feeling whiny, I asked Wolf how I can follow her advice. She, in her usual sage manner, wrote back with an amazing comment. Reading her words inspired me. I instantly e-mailed her and asked if I could re-post her comment on my blog. She not only said yes, but sent it to me as a whole new post. Yes, she is incredible.
For any woman/man who is feeling tired, worn out, and just plumb tuckered, Wolf has provided us with an amazing array of remedies. Especially for those of us who are short on cash.
In order to give her post all the attention it deserves, I am breaking it up into 2 different segments. Think of it like a cliff hanger. I love a book with good cliff hangers.
Without further ado, please welcome Wolf of Big Little Wolf's Daily Plate of Crazy.
How to get a moment alone (and what to do with it once you get it) Part 1
Love your family, but enough is enough?
Losing your sanity? Don’t want to admit it? Sorry. I have no 12-step program, no quick fix, and not even a chocolate giveaway to take your mind off things. But I will tell you you’re in good company. The reality for most mothers, unless you have help – and I mean real help – there is never enough of you to go around. It’s true for stay-at-home-moms, for work-outside-the-home moms, for do-it-all-moms, and all the other variations of motherhood whose classifications don’t matter whatsoever.
And if your budget looks anything like mine (the UnBudget), a trip to the day spa (with pricey sitter at home) just isn’t in the cards.
Maybe you’re married and the husband works extra hours, or goes to school at night. Maybe you’re a single mom with little to no time off (for misbehavior). Whatever the scenario, don’t feel guilty for wanting a break. You need one. Consider it a sign of mental health.
But what do you do when you’re constrained by lack of money or help? No bucks for a sitter. No family to assist. Now what? Run away from home? Most of us have considered it at one time or another. But shhhhhh. Don’t admit it to the kids.
Sanity networking, furs for perfumes, and thanks for the angels
Say what? Yep. I believe in sanity networking, furs for perfumes, and angels, as follows:
- Network (the “it takes a village” concept)
- Exchange of services (good old fashioned barter)
- Angels (they’re everywhere, and they look like us)
A support network is essential. If you’ve lost yours following a relocation or divorce, do whatever you can to rebuild. (Some ideas follow.) Simply put - you need people to help give you relief. A network of trusted “villagers” – other parents, teachers, students, neighbors.
Remember barter? You give me this, I’ll give you that? According to some sources, barter systems date back to 6,000 BC. Long before there was money, goods and services were exchanged. My furs for your perfume. And at an even more basic level – your hunting and fishing for my giving birth (not to mention, fabulous cave painting). Believe me, you’ve got skills that someone can use, and they’ve got skills that you can use. Barter!
As for angels, I’m not channeling Travolta in wings, nor the Sistine Chapel. Not even the backers of Broadway musicals. I’m talking about everyday people who are kind and give, for no reason except that it feels good, it’s helpful, and they can. The fact is – we all can. We can be angels for each other, perhaps by listening when someone needs an ear, or by helping a stranger who is lost. Perhaps in that “exchange of services” way I just mentioned.
I hope I’ve been an angel in my own way, and I’ve certainly run into my share in recent years. Angels are not defined by age or gender, by religion or even spirituality. They simply understand that we are a human community. And when they see someone who needs help, if they can, they help.
Haven’t you been an angel? I’m guessing the answer is yes, if you think about it. And if you’ve been on the receiving end, you pass it along when you are able.
Just so you know where I fit in this picture (yes, this is the part where I establish my credentials), I am the mother of two teen sons, now 18 and 17. I was technically married for many years. My (then) husband traveled, a great deal, and we had no family in the area. I worked a full-time job (close to home), then a full-time job from a home office while being “full-time mom” to my boys. Helping other mothers with pickups and free time is the stuff that gets you through. I was often the “helper,” for many years.
Following divorce, layoff, and a move, my former network fell apart. Things got challenging very quickly, and frankly, I was in the robotic zone for months (years?) as I scrapped for project and freelance clients, raised my kids, and tried to keep myself semi-sane and semi-healthy. Somehow, I thought I ought to be able to do it all - if I just tried hard enough. Listen up, please. It’s not possible. No one can do it all alone. Furthermore, I don’t believe we are meant to. And nor is it the best thing for our kids.