How Do I Talk About Being Pregnant

I made the decision 4 years ago not to post my kids on social media, primarily my Instagram account because I don’t have Tik Tok, I grew out of Facebook and for whatever reason I don’t have the capacity to maintain my Linked In account.
It wasn’t a hard decision for me, I didn’t share so much of them to begin with and after having my 3rd baby I just decided I’m going to keep my account all about me – I’m wildly entertaining and narcissistic – and I will let them make that decision for themselves when they get older.

Here I am 4 and a half years later, pregnant (Thank Gd) and I’ve been “deciding” whether or not to share the news with you. I didn’t want to make an accouncement about it but I also didn’t want to hide it either – both of these options didn’t feel right to me. So I’ve been sitting here, in the in between.

Should I share this news with you all? Should I continue doing what I’ve been doing? Which has been taking pictures of myself in swimming caps to avoid the belly area.

Here’s what’s holding me back;

My kids, my husband (you guys have met @ezwass) and our family’s life together feels like something that is ours. That’s how I want to keep it. I like the intimacy of it and I don’t want that to change.

What is pushing me to share?

I’m excited about it. It’s a really important part of my life and letting a whole pregnancy go by without addressing it in some way doesn’t feel honest to me.

So here’s what I decided to do,
I’m going to write a blog post about my dilemma over whether or not I want to share that I am in fact pregnant and feeling extremely thankful.

From Middle Finger to Green Thumb

When I was growing up, my exposure to nature started with birds of paradise and ended with body gas. My mother always had a lot of sticks and branches coming out of large floor vases because it gave a corner the same character a plant did without having to do the work of keeping anything alive.

There was a short period where I used silk flowers but it never felt right and always felt like a scam.  My first house plant was a banana leaf tree which was trending at the time in 2014. It has beautiful, vibrant leaves and is very tropical. I bought it enthusiastically and over time, the leaves were turning yellow and wilted, the soil was growing earthly babies and I was overwhelmed because my background in plants consisted of silk and faux.

So bring in my mother in law.  On one of her visits, she told me everything I was doing wrong with the plant. There wasn’t enough drainage, I was over watering and it needed less sun exposure.
I couldn’t really take in her feedback because I was laser focused on how I insulted I was. I wasn’t able to listen to her wisdom about my plant because I was hell bent on being insulted by her honesty and the overall knowledge she had, that I lacked. Looking back, I realize how much energy I put into trying not to make her happy.

Moving forward to a few years down the line and after no maturity –

I bought my second ever house plant, the fiddle leaf. I was told it would be hard to keep up and that it needs a lot of care – to which I responded, “I can and I will take care of this plant. I need to prove it to my mother in law.” They didn’t know who my mother in law was so they weren’t as supportive as I would have liked them to be.

I chose the corner with just the right amount of sunlight and I watered and love the crap out of that tree. I was determined for the plant to thrive under my care. The Fiddle survived and thrived through many more visits with my mother in law. When she felt those lush leaves and said, wow this is doing well, I casually replied, yes I think so too. Did the Fiddle bring us closer?

My love peaked when I started taking clippings from plants my mother in law had in her room for over 20 years. I brought them home and watched their roots grow and eventually replanted them to continue growing and making more plant babies. It is so rewarding to take a small branch and watch it grow into something so much more. I have truly come to love plants and be surrounded by them, they are living beings that grow and bring life to my home.

I’m here to tell you that you too can become a #crazyplantlady. All you need is a mother in law who is better than you and a high dose of insecurity to motivate you. You can do it!

My Relationship with Instagram

Here’s Where I’m holding

So let’s start with an introduction. My name is Chana, I’m an interior designer based here in Miami. I have a wonderfully down to earth husband who is full of love and blunt observations that my sensitive self is still adjusting to and together we have 4 beautiful children. For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with self doubt. I have this amazing ability to find ways I could have done things better almost all of the time. I find myself falling into the comparison hole of hell which leads to me feeling like who I am right now is not enough. This brings me to why I’m sitting here telling you about my relationship with Instagram.

My relationship with Instagram has always been one with a lot of mixed feelings, there is so much to love and so much I want to avoid.
I love all the inspiration I get from scrolling through designers feeds. I love how accessible designers have become through this platform.
Now I can see a plethora of pictures, behind the scenes footage and their inspiration all with just a delicate flick of my finger. I love watching small businesses grow. I love seeing my family from around the world living their best life – I’m talking about you @chanalemusic. There are so many beautiful ways to connect and support those around us.
And yet I find myself consistently feeling depleted and unworthy when participating on Instagram. I find it hard to watch others “do it” so naturally without over thinking every variable. My first down fall into the comparison hole of hell usually starts with watching other designers creating these magnificent interiors and then thinking to myself, “What the hell am I doing here documenting the life of a caterpillar?” It feels like everyone is accomplishing goals and reaching for the stars, while I’m reaching for my third cup of coffee. Another huge step into the hole of hell is when I see others being mentioned and tagged for things I want to be mentioned and tagged for. Sometimes it feels like I’m Tom Hanks from Cast Away sitting with my soccer ball Wilson, whispering, “They will find us. Our time is coming.”

Recently I’ve been feeling like something is lacking with my content on Instagram and I’m not sure why.
Is my content lacking who I really am?
Do I provide enough design inspiration and finished spaces?
Has the content about my desperate need to hold on to the past been worn out through my use of a vintage phone?
What am I trying to share?
What do I want to say?

What’s important to me ?

These questions kept circling around in my head so I decided to tap out for a little bit to figure out what I want to share and what I want your experience to be.

Here’s what I’ve figured out – have in mind this is always changing because I’m a human trying my best;

I’m passionate about design so I’m going to share as much of it as I can because I believe you can benefit from it.

Sometimes I’m going to feel inspired and sometimes I’m going to feel empty.

My content will always be more intentional because I’m an intentional person and that’s okay.

I want you to feel inspired and joyful when you engage with me on this platform.

My message will reach those who connect with it and those are the people I want included in my Instagram tribe.

It’s okay if I don’t have an Instagram tribe. My value is more than that.

I do best when I look within myself for direction.

I’m working on honoring what I have to offer. Sometimes it feels quieter and less noticeable than everything else out there in this world and those are the times I’m going to commit to my offering with self compassion instead of self criticism.

Side note, how was your Chanukah?
Mine had some special moments but it was mostly hard. I spent most days preparing for the night. Where are we lighting? Who are we having over? What am I cooking? The night always ended with my kids crying because they didn’t get what they wanted or they did get what they wanted, but it wasn’t enough of what they wanted.

“Mommy, can I have….”
My youth? My zest for life? My entire being?
You got it sweet child of mine.

My Flinstone Inspired Bedroom

Welcome to my process

Ezzy and I moved into our house almost 6 years ago (wow) and when we first moved in, I painted the master bedroom Birchwood by Benjamin Moore. It’s a beautiful brown color with hints of taupe so it never feels too heavy. I based the design of the bedroom on the color and had brown linen bedding, dark wood mirror and wood bight stand. The room felt enveloping and monochromatic. I loved it.

This past summer we took on the task of creating a small bedroom for our 2 year old daughter Rachelle. We tried having her in the same room as her older sister but her excitement wouldn’t allow for any quiet or sleep.

So we devised a plan to convert our walk in closet into a bedroom (some still call it a closet, personally I’m not opposed to my daughter having similarities to Harry Potter.)

Once we created a plan for the closet, I started looking for a new design direction for our bedroom. That’s where the Flintstones come in. I was very drawn to the uneven finishes and textures. I wanted to  bring in more natural elements and create a tonal color scheme. I started with a lime wash paint for a more imperfect finish, which I love and have used in many other rooms of my home. We purchased IKEA beds, the MALM model, for something very simple. The color is light wood so you can see the movement of wood grains. I switched out the brown linen for white linen bedding that also adds to the texture of the room. Once the base layer of the room was complete, I brought in some color through the rugs and a small gallery wall. The pictures I chose were all based in nature and I added beads because there’s no Flinstones without some rocks and there’s no gallery wall designed by me without some beads. The floor lamp was the closest thing I could get to an elephants trunk so I grabbed it when I had the chance.

We used the IKEA PAX system for our wardrobe. I am very thankful to Hahsem for Ezzy because he took care of most if not al the customization of the closet. I would lay on the couch due to over stimulation and he finalized where every shelf and light sensor would be placed.

He’s not available for hire because he has another job.

Once the wardrobe was finished, we had a company come in and install floor to ceiling drapery instead of doors for the easy access to clothing and it adds a little luxury to the bedroom.

For me one of the most important factors when creating a space is to create something that feels both beautiful and comfortable. I like a room to feel lived in and tell the story of the people living in it. When a space can tell a story, the space gives itself some soul and every room needs a little soul to make it special.

Thank you for joining me in the process of creating a wardrobe in the master bedroom so our closet could become an empty closet that our daughter now sleeps in. You don’t have to say anything,  I already know, #momgoals

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What Does Interior Design Mean to Me?

Chava from Wrapt Magazine recently reached out to me to contribute to their monthly magazine that would feature home and design ideas and inspiration. Chava sent me a list of questions to answer and different prompts to get the design conversation rolling. I’m excited for you to read the article!

One of the questions inspired me and I wanted to dive a little deeper with you guys.
Here’s the question and answer from the article;

What does interior design and decoration mean to you?

Interior design and decoration means a way of living your life with a full heart. I am such a strong believer in creating a space that reflects who you are and your story. When one is in an environment that reflects who they are, they are in alignment with themselves.

After I answered the question, I thought about it some more and I felt like I had a lot more to say and I’m going to share that with you now.

So let’s talk about this. I hear people say so often, “I don’t feel like this space represents me. It just feels so blah.” It is so important for us, as humans, to feel represented – in all all areas of our lives. When it comes to interior design, the need to feel represented is so strong because it’s an experience that involves bringing people into a space that is ours, and that feels vulnerable. At the core of interior design, there is the belief that when one achieves having a space that is in line with their values, they can feel comfortable showing themselves. It makes sense doesn’t it

When we bring someone into our home, without using words, we’re saying “this is a part of me and these are the things that I love.” That’s really powerful. So when we’re in a space that doesn’t feel like us, it weighs on us. And it’s not because we’re superficial or because we value things over people. It’s because our homes and surroundings reflect who we are. We’re all so different and unique, with different design tastes and budgets and I’m here to tell you that even on no budget, your space can represent who you really are. You can do this through the smallest moments throughout your home.

You’re at a point in your life where you’re trying to save and buying new furniture isn’t an option so you’re just going to have to live with the heavy brown sofa in your living room. You can place your favorite scented candle on the coffee table or side table next to the couch. You can have your favorite flowers in a vase next to your couch. You can buy a throw pillow or throw blanket that makes your heart sing. You can have your favorite moment framed and placed on the wall.
In order to have a space that feels like you, you need to be in it. Put the things that you have loved, collected and admired in your home. That will help create a space that is layered with warmth and the story of your life.

I Have a Problem and It’s Called a Bedroom

The bedroom that is my boys’ bedroom has been this revolving door of trial and error. I’ve painted and repainted, I’ve changed the layout, I’ve changed the color scheme and I’ve played with lighting. The room still feels unfinished.

Two years ago I painted the walls, ceiling and bunk bed a deep green. I loved how the room felt so strong and monochromatic. I wanted to create a simple, moody space that enveloped you when you walked in. But more often than not, I was enveloped by anger and frustration every time I walked into the room because “something wasn’t right.” When it came to the boys’ room, that moment where everything ‘clicks’ into place wasn’t happening. I tried changing the linen from green, to sky blue, to a darker blue. No click. I moved tbe bookshelf to the other side of the room. No clicking. I installed white sconces to add contrast. No click. The space wasn’t coming together.

I walked into the room one day and thought to myself, “It’s because the walls aren’t smooth. The walls need to be smoothed out so the dark paint doesn’t show every single imperfection.” Okay, I got this! I figured out the reason for all the lack of clicking in this room. I’m going to fix this.

I called someone in to give me a quote on the work needed. Then I got the quote. The walls are still dark green and bumpy like a dinosaur’s back.

The idea that maybe the room was too dark  for some reason offended me. I would very quickly dismiss that idea any time it was brought up. I wanted the room to be dark. I loved the IDEA of this dark room. I had all these hopes and dreams for this deep, dark room that wasn’t coming to life.

So here I am, an interior designer feeling stuck with no way out of this design dilemma. After an unhealthy amount of negative self talk and bullying loved ones aroud me, I admitted the hard truth. The color was too dark for the room. The room is north facing so it doesn’t recieve a lot of light throughout the day, so a lighter color on the walls will help liven it up. It was hard to admit that I made a mistake with the paint color. That feels shitty. It also feels shitty to have a room that doesn’t feel good when you’re in it. So I’m proud to announce, I’ll be switching out the dark color for a lighter color. ¹111

I ordered a plaster paint to help hide the imperfections of the walls. I changed the layout slightly and ordered large, fun prints. This is where I am currently holding in the design process of my boy’s room. I’m invitng you to join me in finishing the room, right up to moment it ‘clicks.’

You Fat Idiot

Don’t Talk to Strangers

I had an encounter this morning on my bike ride that rocked me to my core. I was on the sidewalk and there was a woman in front of me.
I slowed down, “excuse me,” nothing, “excuse me,” a little louder.
She turned around and yelled “YOU NEED TO BE 6 FEET AWAY FROM ME! YOU CAN’T BE ON THE SIDEWALK!”
I was startled and the only thing I could muster was, “I just want to pass you.”
“GET OFF THE SIDEWALK YOU FAT IDIOT!”
I don’t remember how I eventually passed this lady because I blacked out from the pain to my gut those words felt like.

 

“You Fat Idiot”

Is it so obvious? How did she know? I so deeply believe those words to be true that when she said it, it broke me. I cried the rest of the bike ride. I had to end the ride early to go home and continue crying in the shower.
I proclaimed –
“I’m going to write a letter to the Mayor about a stranger calling me a fat idiot”
I quickly realized that doesn’t make sense. The letter will just make him feel uncomfortable and think, “And the sky is blue and dogs have tongues that hang too low.”
It was her choice in words that struck me the hardest. I could handle being screamed at by a grumpy British lady but those words are my kryptonite.

The event stayed with me all day. I couldn’t shake it off.
I was sitting by the kitchen table at the end of the day, feeling exhausted from hauling this sentiment around all day, like a kangaroo with a baby in their pouch.
Ezzy walked in and said, “You’re giving this nasty woman too much power. You are so much more than that.”

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

I felt broken because I heard her say what I’ve said to myself so many times.
This woman’s words echoed what I already had bouncing around in my head.
I had given her permission to make me feel small and inferior because I had given myself permission to do so as well.

Last week a Britsih blonde lady called me a fat idiot while I was riding my bike.

This week I told myself I am powerful and deserving.

Let’s see what happens next week

 

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“fatidiot”

Going Live with @StyledbySheva

We’re Live

Sheva and I know each other because her mother and my mother are sisters.
We have an understanding of why we’re both a little crazy and we support each other through it. She invited me to do a Live with her where she would ask me questions about design, style, and life. I wrote down some of the questions and my answers beforehand to give myself an idea of what I was going to talk about.
Thank you to all of you who tuned it and for those that didn’t consider this write up for you 🙂

 

What is your relationship with Instagram?
I have a love-hate relationship with Instagram. I scroll through my feed and feel inspired. That inspiration is quickly overshadowed by fear of me not doing enough or my feed not being curated enough. When I find myself overwhelmed by Instagram, it means I need to take a step back because I’m too invested. I do better when I take myself and Instagram less seriously.

 

How to shop on a budget?
There are a few ways you can do that.
-First of all curbside pick up is a real option. I’ve picked up furniture pieces from the street many times. I have a beautiful wood mirror that I got 6 years ago and brought with me when I moved into my house.
-If you have more self-dignity than I do, thrift shops are great resources. Have in mind that it will take time to find your treasure, so stay patient and committed. Finding treasures aren’t easy. That’s why they’re treasures.
– I hate these words but they’re true, get creative. Especially with art which can be a real budget killer. Art is expensive and personal so I’ve always taken the route of creating my own. I bought a canvas from Michaels, painted it then wrapped brown wrapping paper around it. I was convinced I would be able to submit it to Art Basel. Thank G-d I have people in my life who helped guide me away from that decision. A  year later I was inspired by the Wynwood Flower walls and hot glue gunned flowers to a canvas to create an art piece for my daughter’s room.
– Frame objects you love. I took three colorful headscarves and framed them. If you have a scarf that you love looking at it, frame it. My mother bought this cute t-shirt from a market in South Africa and framed it. That souvenir is now on her wall.
-Hang a quilt on your wall. I did that in my guestroom. I went to Target and bought a quilt for $70 and just nailed it onto the wall. Now the entire wall is a backdrop
– Surround yourself with images you love. Buying a lot of frames adds up when you’re on a budget – pinboards are such a great way to bring life into your home. And it doesn’t need to be chaotic. You can have all your pictures in 5×7 and black and white. You can create the structure. You are in charge.

 

How to spruce up your space during this time?
I like to think of my space as an experience and now is a really good time to upgrade that experience. Tap into all your senses to create the experience you want in your home. I use scented candles a lot in my home. When I’m feeling dragged down by the mess I light a candle and it literally motivates me to slowly put things away and clean. Music does the same thing for me.
If your couch is bothering you but you’re not buying a new couch right now, buy a throw blanket that will make you smile when sitting on the couch to read a book. It will add an element of warmth and texture.
-Everyone is foraging right now, so take advantage. Flowers and greenery literally bring life to your home. Don’t underestimate that. Once a week go out and cut, pick or buy yourself some flowers that you like. It can be roses, tulips or eucalyptus. Keep them close to where you work or spend the most time.
-Use beautiful objects in the mundane areas of your life. My mother in law bought me these two beautiful wooden trays from South Africa and I use them for lemons on my kitchen counter. Drink wine out of your nicest glasses. Use a marble bowl for your salt. Drink coffee from a handmade mug. Use the softest handtowels. We’re in our kitchens so much take something that you love and incorporate it into those spaces that are usually forgotten about. 

 

How to create a gallery wall?
– When starting with a gallery wall, begin with collecting all your favorite pictures. Once you have them all in front of you, pay attention to a theme. What’s standing out? Are they mostly portraits? Are they mostly pictures of when you were traveling? Are they a mix? Find a common thread.
– When it comes to framing my rule is there are no rules. Having said that I always advise finding a common thread either in pictures of frames to help create a cohesive look.
– Decide the style of the gallery wall. Symmetrical, asymmetrical, collected, a mix of everything
– Patience. anything in life that’s beautiful takes time – time creates a collected ad curated look which is ALWAYS the best
– You need to love everything on your wall
– If you want to create a gallery wall based on your season, that’s an option too.
If you’re a winter your gallery wall will have more used colors more symmetrical layout and use bold ad striking pictures
– My main piece of advice is to do it! The act of starting it will inspire you enough to get through those decisions that are making you feel stuck right now.

 

What are the benefits of anxiety in a creative job?
Being an anxious person to me, means that I live with my feelings charged way more often than they need to be. This happens mostly because I spend a lot of time worrying and thinking about the worst-case scenarios. When I start a job, I’m always nervous and those nerves push me to try harder. I’m always at the brink of being a failure so I work harder and commit myself to every job.
Anxious people feel all the feels which work in my favor because I use my instincts when it comes to design. So being really in tune with what’s going on definitely helps produce work that is a definite “hell yes” – that’s what #mytherapistsays

 

How do you shop for clothing before you’re comfortable with your body?
That’s a good question. I’ve learned through working with an intuitive eating coach ( 1.5 years ago) that healing your relationship with food and your body is one that takes a lot of time and acceptance. The biggest improvement has been giving myself more compassion and permission. That doesn’t mean I’m at the weight I want to be. I’m still figuring that part out.
I  want to be thinner but I’m not going to hate myself until I get there.
That’s what I have come to realize. I held onto a belief for a very long time that my heaviness took away from my value. I didn’t want to be in pictures with my kids or want to be part of videos because of my “fat” body.
At the time I told myself, I’ll be in pictures when I’m thinner. Now 8 years and thank G-d four children later, I’m still in this body.
What did I do with that time? I spent 8  years denying myself of love. I spent 8 years killing myself internally.
I’ve learned to let myself live regardless of my size. I’ve learned to accept that yes I do want to be thinner and that’s okay. I can want my body to change and accept my body right now. This is my body right now. Regardless of its size I will take care of it and love it because it is carrying me through this life and I am so grateful for that.

 

Thank you for having me on Sheva.

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Keep Notes

Welcome to the Live Feed Inside My Head

Recently I’ve been biking by the beach early in the morning.
While I bike, I stop to write down all the wonders that are my thoughts and I observe the people around me. The combination of these two activities has been such a resource for me, especially during a time when most of my day is spent hauled up in my home talking to Lego people.

So I decided to share some of those thoughts. Buckle up, this is going to be ordinary.

Wednesday, April 29

There’s the blonde woman who runs every day. Neither of us acknowledge each other. She runs in shorts and a crop top. She has a perfect tan, killer body, and some mornings she’s running and pushing her toddler in a stroller. I’m not sure why I think she might be Russian.

 

There’s the older lady who wears a frilly dress and cute hat. She once asked, “Isn’t that something?” while we were admiring the sunrise.

Then there’s the older woman who sits on a bench and meditates with her palms resting on her knees. I think her eyes are closed. She wears glasses. I would love to take a picture of her but I’m not sure if that crosses the line. If I could guarantee her eyes were closed I would just snap. 

Thursday, April 30

I just walked past a corner in my house that’s full of boxes. In my head, I had returned them. In reality I printed labels, stuck them on the boxes, and told myself the corner of my house was the UPS store.

 

Sunday, May 04
The fuckin pigeons! They don’t get out of my way until the wheel of my bike nudges their feathery behinds. I feel like the homeless lady in central park from Home Alone.
I thought George Castanza got to the bottom of pigeons knowing their place with human traffic. Apparently, he did not.

Tuesday, May 05
Today I saw the older lady with the cute hat talking to the Russian sled runner. I almost stopped from the excitement of seeing these two women, who I’ve been observing, interacting. But I didn’t.

I’m in the mood of a fresh tuna salad.

I just ate 3 bowls of leftover pasta.

Friday, May 08
My right elbow is tingling.  Is this the end for me?
If I continue to massage it, will the tingling go away?

 

Monday, May 11
I just ate my 7th biscotti, should I stop baking them?

If I stop baking them, what will I do with my time?

My friend just called me a nerd because I hung up on her to scrapbook.

Tuesday, May 12

I’m at the pier now, there’s a man standing here smiling and watching me take pictures. Is he expecting a conversation? Is he expecting directions on how to take good pictures? 

I’m doing neither of those things.

I just baked again.

 

Wednesday, May 13
I just drove past a sign that read,
“Bicycles permitted on the beach path 9am to 5pm ONLY.”
I’m going to pretend I didn’t see that sign.

The older lady with the cute hat just stopped me,
“They made a new rule about bike riders. You can’t be here before 9am.”
I hate her stupid hat.

Today I feel like giving up.

I told Ezzy my right elbow is tingling and feels weird. He has no response.
The massaging hasn’t helped either.

Thursday, May 14

There are police officers everywhere blocking the bike path to the pier.
He’s telling me the elderly people complained about the “bikers whizzing by.”

I’m sure there’s another way to ease the all this worry about the”whizzing” without closing the bike path until 9 a.m.
I feel like my last freedom was just taken away from me.

It’s 3:30 p.m.

It’s 3:32 p.m. Still too early to be drunk?


Friday, May 15

I’m taking action today. I’m writing a letter to express my frustration with this new restriction. I will fight for my freedom!

Dear Mayor of Bal Harbor

I have been bike riding every morning for the last couple of months. I get up early to be on the path by 6:15 am so I can get in some time to myself, so I can exercise and take advantage of this beautiful city.

This past Thursday I was told I can no longer bike on the bike path before 9 am or after 5 pm. The bike path is open between 9 am and 5 pm.

The hours between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. I am feeding my children breakfast, signing them into their zoom classes, playing with them, preparing dinner, reading with them, feeding them lunch, playing outside, feeding them, coloring with them, feeding them and taking care of them. I can’t bike between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

We are over 2 months into lockdown. Schools are closed, camps are canceled, parks are closed, pools are closed, beaches are closed and now the bike path is only available for me to use when I am home because of all the other consequences of lockdown and isolation.
The morning bike rides are my lifeline. I am sure they are for many people choosing to start their day off with a bike ride and fresh air.

I am reaching out to explain how disappointed I am about this restriction and hoping it can be reversed.

Sincerely,
A mother who is passionate about mental wellbeing during quarantine.


Sunday, May 17
My letter was received and the response was kind but this new restriction isn’t changing any time soon.
How many letters about freedom to bike is considered too many?

Tomorrow is May 18, the day we start to re-open and go back to normal.
My question is, how do we learn to live with Corona when 2 months ago it was the very thing that locked us all away?

 

 

 

 

 

I’m at Rock Bottom, How Are You ?

Quarantine Parenting, Don’t try it at home.

Before Corona I would consider myself an okay parent. I adore my kids, document their every move, tell them ‘I love you’ before they go to sleep, remember to floss their teeth, give them eye contact for 5 minutes a day, tell them their feelings are valid, and take pride in their accomplishments.

During Corona the challenge has been trying to stay an okay parent. Now I scream at my kids from my bed instead of getting up to do it. If my kids get wet outside while playing with the hose, they are now bathed. If I drop cheese on the floor and they eat it, dinner has been served. If they’re wearing underwear, I consider them dressed. If there’s no fighting, I consider them happy.

My 3-year-old son Yosef has picked up two new habits recently.
He started throwing furniture around the house. An older sibling will take his seat or take some tiny piece of Lego and he’ll quickly transform into an angry bird. We’re all shocked at how he goes from not being able to wipe himself to being able to lift side tables above his head.
He’s found a new love for the Hot Lava game. The players of the game need to avoid any area deemed hot lava or else it’s game over for them.
“1, 2, 3, the floor’s hot lava!” Everyone who’s standing on the floor is out. My son Yosef does this without any warning and the intention of getting everyone to burn in hot lava. I’m a terrible player. I never attempt to move. “1,2,3 the chair you’re sitting on is hot lava!” Ok… so now that I’m burning in hot lava do I get to finish reading my book? I’m trying to figure out what the game will do for me in terms of peace and quiet. My 1-year-old daughter loves the hot lava game because she’s rarely standing on the actual floor. She’s either on a chair or a table so for the hours she’s awake, she’s kicking ass at this game.

I recently spoke to a child therapist about the difficulty I’m having with the furniture throwing habit. I told her about my difficulty with being a lot more reactive than proactive. “It’s really normal to be struggling to stay calm now when everyone is home and there’s less structure.”
I told the therapist my response to this behavior was coming up with a new version of hide and seek where I hide without telling my kids to come look for me. I’m not a game person but this is hands down my favorite one.
I’ve been hearing this a lot, “Right now we all just need to survive.”
I think for me, surviving means being okay with being mediocre. I’m really scared of being mediocre. I spend a lot of time trying to stand out as original. But thanks to corona, I’ve been renting out this space called “Rock Bottom.”
I’ve been making an effort to take care of myself. I virtually see my therapist once a week so I can quote her on Instagram through #mytherapistsays. I’ve read Lori Gottlieb’s book, “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone.” I’ve listened to Brene Brown’s podcasts. I know that all pain is real pain. I’m very developed and self enlightened.
And yet
 I’ve been berating myself for weeks based on the belief that my pain isn’t deserving enough. This question keeps coming up, “I’m self caring so well, why isn’t it working ?”

“If the queen had balls, she would be a king.”

This sentence from Lorri Gotlieb is hitting home for me right now. I am not different than who I am. I am where I am. I feel what I feel. Just verbalizing that simple truth has power to it. I don’t know why I’m struggling more than what seems like normal. I don’t know why I feel rage and sadness and then joy so close together.
I am who I am and I am where I am.

Rock Bottom. It’s been in this space that I’ve pushed myself to exercise every morning. It’s been in this space that I’ve pushed myself to journal every day because who knows, maybe one day it will be published as a book. It’s been in this space where I’ve pushed myself to create more space to breathe deeply. It happens to be that my rock bottom involves moments of me slamming chrome books onto the couch and ripping up the economist magazine because I know how much my husband loves that magazine. The bottom of our rocks are going to look different from one another’s but I think it’s through seeing the bottom that we start to see the beginning of a new route.

Anyways, I’m at rock bottom, how are you?

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