Dear Diary: Therapy, Mom Guilt, & Gardening

Announcements

At the end of March, Joe and I announced an early “Summer Break” for the podcast, which will return in July.

In place of extending that break to the writing I do here, I’m going to get a little less formal and a little more vulnerable with you, dear reader and friend, and write a weekly journal entry on Saturdays for the time being.

It takes a lot less forethought and planning, but provides an equal (or greater) amount of writing “therapy”, so to speak.

If you miss the old format (steps, tips, hacks, and practices) OR if you prefer the unfiltered, unedited me, you’ll have to let me know, and we can re-evaluate when the time comes 😉.

Either way, thank you for being here. I cherish our interactions and reading what you have to share, too. I’ve learned so much from my friends here, and I say literal prayers for many of you on a regular basis. Thank you for the love.

This month, I also began implementing a “monthly affirmation” on our Instagram page. We are hoping to continue this idea with the podcast and the blog when break is over.

April’s affirmation is: “I am not a lost cause.” – which seems fitting.


Dear Diary,

Yesterday, I scheduled an appointment with my old therapist.

I want the atmosphere in our home to be one of love and safety. I set the tone, and the tone I’ve been setting lately is one of stress, anger, exhaustion, and disconnection.

That is what I’m hoping to remedy.

There’s an audio course on positive parenting I’m saving up for, and I’ve been meditating and exercising, too. But all of the tools in the world will make little difference if I’m only treating the symptoms.

So. Therapy first. Wish me luck.

In the meantime, I’ve been practicing small moments of connection to make up for all of my crazy. The kids and I share morning snuggles, read books together, go for walks at their pace, and talk about the happy and the sad parts of our day before bedtime.

I’m also contemplating a break from social media. Whenever I feel mom guilt, it can usually be traced back to my presence there. The funny thing is, I’m incredibly intentional about who I follow. Since I got back on social media last year, I have designed a feed that fills my tank, rather than the reverse.

But, especially lately, I’m learning I need a healthy dose of authentic along with all of the optimism. It’s hard for me to hear so many people talking about making the most of the precious time we’ve been given with our families.

This song comes to mind:

It makes me feel ungrateful. Why am I not loving this more?

And yet, I do love being a wife and a mother. Probably more than anything else. I hold onto the good moments like the air I breathe. I just feel like I require more and more “me-time” to fill my cup these days. There has to be a leak!

Maybe my therapist can find it.

In other news, with all of the time off, my sweetheart has been making amazing progress with our yard. We have a fence! A hose! And, pretty soon, a garden!

We tried to make enough room for all of the early and late planting items that we’ll use, including my favorite vegetable: Bok Choy!

Bet you didn’t see that coming 😉

Here’s to breathing the fresh air (literally and figuratively). Yard work is good for the soul.

❤ Jenny

23 thoughts on “Dear Diary: Therapy, Mom Guilt, & Gardening

  1. Don’t forget that you are only reading a snippet of someone’s life. It might only be the good stuff and not the hard stuff that they share. I’m constantly living with mum guilt, always feeling too tired and anxious about everything, always questioning my parenting. When I feel too overwhelmed, I ask for help and I take a step back to look after myself. It’s temporary but then I get the reprieve I need and move forward a better mum.
    You’re doing the right thing Jenny, by taking a break and getting help. Don’t feel guilty over that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for the solidarity and the reminder to take time for myself, friend ❤️. I am grateful to have the resources that I do, and so grateful for the community here. Hugs to you on your journey, too 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ditto to Kathy’s comment.
    Sometimes people focus so much on the positive to compensate for their own negative feelings, unfortunately that can come across as off-putting because it makes us feel bad for not being as positive as they are. Chances are, they aren’t always the positive rays of sunshine they are portraying. They are probably really just trying to help. Life is full of good things and bad things. Sure, we can see the silver lining to sheltering at home but that doesn’t mean that it’s supposed to be a completely wonderful experience. Hang in there mama with toddlers. Toddlers can be difficult to entertain, especially when we are (albeit safely) stuck at home. Give yourself heaps and heaps of extra Grace!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such a needed reminder. Everyone is facing a different battle, even if we can’t see it. And I’m learning to embrace the good and the hard. Thank you for the encouragement, friend 🙏🏼❤️🙏🏼

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the free flow unedited versions as much as I loved the pointers and tips ones.
    Jenny, again, you aren’t alone. We all have moments of vulnerabilities and exhaustion and it’s ok. We are only humans. What’s important is exactly what you are doing – seeking help when and where possible.
    Two other points I will make –
    1) I hope you don’t take a break from blogging. I got one really look forward to your posts and comments. Selfish reasons lol. But yes, do what’s best for you and your family.
    2) I love you are working on your veg garden. I have a brown thumb but maybe one of these days, I will do this too.
    Love and health!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A break is always needed and both formats are good. Always glad to hear from you.
    Don’t be too hard on yourself though. Sometimes even when everything is all right, we might not feel it is. But then, it’s okay because gradually we will get there. Breathe and remind yourself of everything good you have working out for you now, in the journey of motherhood, being a wife and being you.
    🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ms. Herry. I think you hit the nail on the head: it’s when everything is going great and I STILL feel down ??? But I am working on centering myself in grace. And I am so grateful for good friends like you who lift and encourage 💕 God bless you 🙏😇.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for sharing your thoughts so honestly. I for one needed to hear this right now. I really connected with the paragraph you shared which said:-

    “But, especially lately, I’m learning I need a healthy dose of authentic along with all of the optimism. It’s hard for me to hear so many people talking about making the most of the precious time we’ve been given with our families”.

    I feel exactly the same. When schools closed here in the UK and we were told to stay at home, I found myself trying to get all enthusiastic and idealising in my mind how we would spend our days and make it a special time. I signed up for some Facebook groups which shared ideas for things to do as a family during this time. However, I found myself feeling “mum guilt” because I was not feeling it and felt like I was failing to have the necessary fun with my family. I have since left the Facebook groups and am forging my own path as best I can.

    As one of your other commenters said, sometimes it’s easy to forget we are only reading or seeing a snippet of someone else’s life and we can start to compare our whole own real life with their edited snippet. Such comparison is sometimes not at all helpful.

    I think we sometimes live with the false belief that motherhood should be a purely joyful experience and if we feel any slight feelings at all of dissatisfaction or negativity we start to feel guilty. In fact mums still need to feel the full and normal range of emotions that every other human being feels.

    Thanks again for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow. Thank you for sharing your heart here, too. Forging our own paths is so important rather than listening to all of the “should”s. But it can definitely be hard to hear the right voice about everything out there. I love what you say – we need to feel the full and normal range of emotions, and we do! Something I can be more mindful of ❤ God bless, friend!

      Liked by 1 person

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