Sometimes it’s challenging to find time for yourself when you’re trying to work full-time, raise a healthy toddler, spend time with your husband and occasionally friends, and also balance a weekly dance class and fundraising efforts. I’ve come to value the quiet spaces when I find them. Sometimes it’s a local Japanese garden modeled after a samurai estate, complete with tranquil ponds, bamboo, quiet waterfalls, and places of silence. Other days I find a different spot to be more appropriate.
I recently visited a local rock and crystal shop in a picturesque downtown area. There were tumbled and raw stones, jewelry, angels, and a host of other thoughtful items. When I first entered, it was a bit emotionally overwhelming. Friends of mine as well as some career assessments have identified me as an empath, and the rush of competing energies from so many different items was a bit overpowering at first. Once I got used to it, however, it was lovely. I started picking up stones and crystals to see which carried the most resonance for me. I realized it’s something I’ve been doing for a while with jewelry, especially jewelry made with natural components such as bone. I selected crystal quartz for my work space, pyrite and peacock ore for home, and calcite which I intended to give to others, but ended up keeping for myself. I’ve placed the stones around the house and on my desk at work, and the locations seem right.
Where do you go when you need a quiet space?
Last May, I became a mother to a 6lb, 8.9 oz little wonder. The weeks that followed were filled with a steady stream of visitors–family, friends, and my doula. I was definitely challenged as I tried to take care of my daughter, breastfeed and pump, catch sleep whenever possible, and remember to eat/hydrate adequately. In the year since that time, with the support of my husband, family, and a local in home daycare, my daughter has grown into a healthy, exuberant little lady.
In the past few months, a number of friends and a family member have given birth. I started bringing bags of helpful items to the new moms during visits–things which could meet essential needs in a pinch.
Here’s what I included in a typical bag. Most items can be found at Trader Joe’s. Feel free to add/subtract as you like!
Things to bring new moms:
- A non perishable meal, such as a bag of pasta (gluten free or regular, depending on the mom) and sauce. Dinner in a pinch for Mom and Dad!
- A bottle of lotion. My hands were constantly cracked from washing bottles, washing my hands after diaper changes, and the like. New moms can all benefit from lotion.
- Jojoba oil. It can be used to clean pores, moisturize, refresh tired skin, etc. I started using it in the first six months after my daughter was born and have been addicted ever since.
- Non-perishable snacks, such as kale chips, on the go size bags of nuts and dried fruits, and the like. I would sometimes wake up starving in the middle of the night because I hadn’t eaten enough during the day, or I hadn’t snagged something during my daughter’s last feeding. A small boost can help you remain energized during the day or help with a rumbling belly at an odd hour.
- Lip gloss. New moms may not have time for a full face, but a little gloss, especially a more natural/lightweight one, can feel amazing.
Other thoughts: Bring a meal. We benefited from a number of dinners, especially those which included enough for multiple meals. My godmother brought lunch on a few occasions, as did my mother-in-law. Bringing breakfast can also be a huge help for a new mom, as she’ll be set with a good foundation for her morning. Whatever you do, please know it will be gratefully appreciated.
Here’s a photo of me before the first show on September 15th at the Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival. I later performed in our fall annual show at the Hoover Theatre on September 27th, and our holiday showcase on December 12th.
This was a Santa Rosa event featuring vintage cycles, mustache artwork, live music, and food. Good times:)
I’d previously co-hosted with my cousin, but this was my first solo attempt:) Our guests were generous, and I was able to exceed my personal goal of $1000.
I was invited to speak at the 2012 Making Strides kick-off breakfast in Burlingame. I brought my mother and two good friends. My mother received a rose and was recognized as a survivor:).
I just signed up for the San Jose/Almaden Relay for Life. This will be my first American Cancer Society event since Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, and my first Relay for Life. I’ll be walking on behalf of my mother, a breast cancer survivor, and for relatives who have battled various forms of cancer and lost. I believe that we’re all placed on earth for a reason, and mine is to help defeat this horrible disease. I’ve set my fundraising goal at $1000, and I intend to reach it prior to the relay on May 5, 2012. Every dollar will help create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.
Could you help in the fight against cancer?
Visit my page here: http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLFY12CA?px=22297022&pg=personal&fr_id=36388