defining boundaries

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I’m sitting outside, soaking in the glorious gift of this cold but beautiful clear blue sky bright sunshine afternoon … my boys are both napping after more than a week of sharing a terrible bug that has them both pretty wiped out.

 

The nights have been rocky with multiple wakings and little loves needing warm tea or a cool blanket or just mostly, more cuddles from mama. Both boys have been tucked beside me during the night and I’m so thankful for that gift of a king size bed from my beloved last year!

A couple of times, in the wee hours of the morning, I’ve felt panicked as i realize how much these disruptions are messing up body’s needed healing and especially, the super important melatonin action that takes place at night.

My learning continues to reveal and confirm – over and over again, research article upon study upon more – that for breast cancer in particular, the role of the hormone melatonin is huge. It is important to sleep in a room that is pitch black, to have a somewhat regular sleep schedule, and to get adequate sleep.

And so again, I come to this place: how do I walk out what is needed for my continued healing, in the context of my reality of mothering 3 kiddos, managing our home, homeschooling, supporting my husband, pouring in to relationships with family and friends, and more??

I’ve had times where I’ve stared at that question and felt like it was too much; that the demands exceeded my capacity and I simply couldn’t. I still can feel tempted to park my mind right there, in that place of overwhelm, shrugging at the impossibility of it all.

But today, what I am knowing deep in my heart, is that this path I’m walking is part of this larger story of learning how to *really* guard and insist and maintain needful boundaries within the larger context of the fullness of my life.

A text last week from a kindred dear friend, that knows me so well and so deeply that at times, her knowing and nudging can feel uncomfortable, about the current sleep(less) situation:

“Eventually, what’s good for mama is what will be best for baby.  We are designed to function as a family of oneness, a reflection of GOD. unified, and growing in support of each other … it’s ok to build boundaries. Not only good for you. safest for them, too. They need you functioning optimally long-term, and to develop independent capability, self-control, patience, perseverance, etc. That may be stunted by the desire to give them what they want in this moment. You love your babies amazingly well in this moment. Love them more powerfully into the future. theirs, and yours, both nourished by investing in the long-term good that can be invested now.”

Such wisdom that resonated deep in my heart.

And so the challenge that I am sitting with – not rejecting anymore, but stepping into – is to define how it looks practically, for me to love my people well and embrace the work that I have as mama and wife and homemaker while insisting on the essentials that will continue to build my healing and strength as the days and months and years unfold.

(photo above taken this afternoon during a quick stop to pick up my weekly dozen eggs at my favorite local farm)

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