Posted in Insight, Mid-Life Mama, Teens

The Wisdom of Fatigue

“It’s amazing how much ‘mature wisdom’ resembles being too tired.”

– Robert Heinlein

Rippl-Ronai/detail visipix.com

Having helped raise 7 siblings, I find my parenting energy petering out before my first born is out of the house. This, I realize, can be a good thing.  At least today.

Today, I ask my son to develop a proposal for media use during the school year.  It shows great wisdom that I let him make the plan rather than offer it myself because he is a teen who needs more and more autonomy.

But the truth is that the wisdom of my initiative-building request came by default. I was too tired of devising policy and policing it so I asked him to do it instead.

Another brilliant idea was to ask him to draft this proposal in writing because we always seem to argue later about what we agreed upon.

But once again, the wisdom of this request stemmed  from my inability to remember as well as I once could, and my weariness of doing all the work around it myself.

Sometimes it seems like it was a bad idea to wait to have children until my thirties.  Given the developing science around a woman’s brain at mid-life, it may not be wise to have children in the home just as a woman’s internal programming shifts from sacrifice to self.

But then again, maybe it’s a perfect fit for a mother of teens.

Kelly Salasin, August 2010

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Posted in Mid-Life Mama

The “Wicked” Ovary

I’ve just about finished my month with “The Wicked Ovary,” but not before she exits in style– with flowing reds–and a migraine twist.

It was just this fall that my Naturopath explained how I might experience a different set of monthly symptoms depending on which ovary was operating.  I’d never considered this before and it’s resulted in a ripple of realizations…

“The Wicked Ovary”  is the one which brings out the Mommie Dearest in me.  Paradoxically, she’s gentler on the inside.  For despite my terribly shortened fuse, I’ve hardly experienced any cramping this month.

“I’d take a few days of being mean to my kids over that disabling pain,” another mom suggests at the holiday cookie swap.  But I’m not sure I agree.  It’s distressing for me to live inside a grumpy disposition, even for a short time.

When the Wicked Ovary is in charge, even the sound of cereal bags opening annoy me.  Children’s voices are magnified and every fidgety move grates against my nerves.  To top if off, I wake at any sound, and then can’t fall back asleep–for hours.

Lack of sleep has long been my Achilles Heel. It’s turns my glass is half-full world to half-empty…or simply, empty.  Typically a ten minute nap can do the trick of righting my perception, but The Wicked Ovary leaves me too restless and annoyed to do so.

Yesterday, after shooting several curt directions at my teen, he had the gall to suggest that I “take a nap” before we decorate the tree.   It took all I could to restrain myself from shouting, “F— You!”

Interestingly, this month finds me with sores on the tip of my tongue as if to punctuate the burning words of my short temper.

I’d like to say that I look forward to next month’s ovary–and from this vantage point, those swollen breasts, swollen gums and swollen belly seem easier to manage than this round with outer angst.

It all makes me wonder about balance.  Maybe I can somehow integrate the two.  If getting angry with others leaves me without cramps, and getting cramps leaves me kinder–there must be a centering place in between.

Perhaps at mid-life, more than any other time, The Red Tent is definitely in order.  Taking time to nurture myself during this “change” has to be good– for everyone involved.

Kelly Salasin

Stay tuned next month for the “Woe is Me” ovary.