What about me?

Before grandchildren, I created a business:  Spirit…Rest.  (www.spiritrest.org)

I offer spiritual and 12-step retreats (1- 3 days), spiritual companionship/guidance for individuals and groups, and labyrinth walks using a 24-foot portable labyrinth.

Spirit..Rest has been on sabbatical for a while.

My daughters each had a baby this year.  Maggie was born January 11 with a heart abnormality that will be repaired later this year.  Atticus was born April 2 with a penis.  That’s new for us.  He has a 2-year-old sister, Adaline.

Our girls are terrific moms, but they are both still trying to figure out when to shower.  And eat.  And breathe.

Sometimes they need to express their emotions.  Historically I’ve been the one to listen.  They are just beginning to learn that their father will listen, for a bit, if he has to.

The emotional energy in my house stunned me last week.  Maggie and her mom were here while we had Adaline for 3 days.   So were the three dogs we all own.  Atticus was born by planned C-section that took longer than we expected.  And I had the worst back pain I’ve ever had (why??).

I know that all I can really do for my family is to be present and emotionally available, love them, and pray for them.  That can still feel, at times, like a full-time job.

“What about me?”

I feel weird asking that question out loud.

Grandmother  and mother heresy–that’s what that question feels like–“a belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs, customs, etc.” (according to dictionary.com).

Wife and mother/grandmother is a comfortable, familiar role for me and I’m good at it.

Spiritual guide, retreat leader, writer–those challenge me.

And complete me.

“Only a well-fed soul can offer sustenance to others.” (Peggy Tabor Millin)

Balance.  Forever a challenge.

Published in: on April 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. When mama/Amma is happy, then everyone is happy! Flight attendants are taught to take care of their own oxygen needs first, if the airplane loses cabin air pressure, before taking care of the passengers. It makes sense to me that it is OK to take care of ourselves, to be our whole selves, and that while our children are a part of how we define ourselves, we are not wholly defined by our children. Thanks for the post, Robin!

  2. I love the oxygen on the airplane analogy, Donna.
    Love this: “while our children are a part of how we define ourselves, we are not wholly defined by our children”
    All we can do is the next right thing, huh?

  3. The self is seasonal. Sometimes it is our turn. Sometimes all we can do is cope and help those we love–unless we are true saints and pour ourselves into helping everyone. Saints are rare. The rest of us do the best we can and yearn for the deep breath we can only take when everyone is doing well and we can, without guilt, put the self first.

    Good luck Robin! I know how hard it is. My family has been bumping along quite a bit lately too. Enjpy the new grandson!

    • I’m certainly no saint!
      You remind me that this will all change, of course. Sometimes I forget.
      Thank you.
      Right now we are in the calm eye of the hurricane, I think.

  4. I know that you want to be there for your family, especially during such challenging times. (Imagine! A baby with a penis! That is sort of unusual in my family, too.) But I hope that you will soon find time to get back to being a spiritual guide, because I know that you help many others as well as yourself.

    • Thanks for your encouragement, Susan. I do miss that work and I’m getting back to it.

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