My third daughter will be two this month. She is what we mountain folks call "high strung". I have seen others on parenting forums call it "spirited". As one of my friends told me just yesterday, "I don't think they could pack any more personality into such a little person." She keeps me busy, and is demanding. She is also very funny and can be pretty sweet. However, when you are trying to find time to breathe, eat, relax, and pray, having a spirited toddler can make those times seem few and far between.
I'm an introverted person who loves public speaking. Despite my best efforts to thrive in 24/7 mothering, I know that I need down time. I require time with Creator. I require time in silence. My husband is a very hard worker and the hours he keeps means we see little of him through the week. There are days when I don't know how I'll last until bed time, and there aren't any alternatives. No ways out. Motherhood is a lifetime commitment with very few breaks.
I have to say the last two years of adding a third child has not been easy for me. It has taken much adjustment. It has taken me a while to find my stride. A few months ago, I think I finally found my sustaining spiritual practice again.
I am now up to eight repetitions of the hill. On Mondays, I run until I get to the steepest part of the hill and then I climb. The rest of the five days that I take for self care, I do the Body Weight Workouts at StrengthReliance.com. I'm so thankful for that free service. I'm slowly lifting myself back up and reminding myself that giving to my family from an empty well is not really giving. I'm reminding myself that as a mother, I have to learn new ways of being. Right can look so many different ways. So, when my baby is climbing all over me and I feel tapped out, I can be thankful that I had time to listen to the still small voice, and I can be present for her.
Kelli B. Haywood is the mother of three daughters living in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky. She is a writer, spiritual explorer, and avid yogini. Haywood is the Public Affairs Director for WMMT-Real People Radio in Whitesburg, Kentucky. Connect with her on Facebook @ Confluence Mama.
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