Mother Borg

12 Dec

Today I attended a mini morning retreat for ladies in the parenting group I’m a member of. The theme was “Relax and Reflect”. One of the reflection exercises was designed to force us out of “mommy mode” and reconnect with ourselves removed from being a good mom. We were to pick one characteristic or skill that we are awesome at and write it down.

I couldn’t think of anything.

Well, I could think of some things but they were all “good mom” related. I kind of wanted to cry. Where did I go? How did I get so disconnected from myself? I felt like I was immersed in a hive mindset, so to speak. Solely focused on my family, children, and spouse. Those are all VERY important things, vital to my life and essential to my world BUT having a mommy and wife who is one step away from becoming a Borg isn’t beneficial, either.

So where do I find the balance? Where do I locate ME, yet still maintain my focus on my 2 babies and spouse?

In the past, I’ve tried getting out of the house by myself or just with a young nursing baby (so far, all of my children are boob snobs and refuse a bottle. UGH.). I’ve tried escaping into books, the internet, and talking on the phone. While all of these options are good tools to use in moderation, I was missing a key point. In using these tools, I was trying to escape from the stresses of the day and ignore my reality. Yes, I do recognize the necessity of simply zoning out but if that’s all I do, where’s the recharging of my spirit? Where’s the energy to face the next meltdown or financial discussion?

At the mini morning retreat, I got some great ideas that I hope to implement. One that I hope to start as soon as possible involves art therapy. This morning, I made made my first Mandala. A Mandala is a drawn circle and the user fills it with shapes, colors, and lines. The goal is to draw like no one else is looking, and as if no one else will see it. You aren’t suppose to work towards the end product. The point is the process, not the end result. Then, when you feel like you’re finished, title and date it. At this point, you can throw it away, store it, or burn it. Basically whatever strikes your fancy!

The Mandala I created today was very calming for me. I focused on my immediate feels about this morning and expressed it in colors. By working through my emotions and viewpoints in an abstract manner, I was able to see things in a different light. I felt calm and emotionally centered. At that point, I decided that I needed to make a habit of this. I need to carve out just ten minutes from my day to sort out and process the way my day unfolded.

My goal is to try and do this every evening once I get supplies (that will be next week after we get Aaron’s unemployment check). I hope to get a spiral bound sketch book and some sort of art media. I thought that the oil pastels were pretty cool today but I should probably stick with crayons for the sake of frugality! On the front of each sheet, I’ll create my Mandala with a title and date. On the back of that page, I’ll journal two or three sentences about my creation.

I hope that by doing this, I’ll find a new tool to recharge and refill my emotional bucket. I’m even considering scanning and posting one Mandala a week to keep myself accountable. Is that too weird?

Going back to the inability to think of something that I rock at to write on my rock. Now that I’m home and have processed things more, I’ve come up with an entire list! A few things on the list include: being frugal, knitting, writing, cooking from scratch, and trip planning. It’s rather encouraging to realize I’m not a Borg Mom. Hopefully I can maintain my resistance to the hive mind through a new balance.

9 Responses to “Mother Borg”

  1. Alicia December 12, 2009 at 6:58 pm #

    I think it is easier to fill out other people’s rocks than our own. Off the top of my head, I easily could have written yours as warm-hearted, witty, an amazing writer, and full of grace.
    So I totally have a set of oil pastels that you can have. 20 or so colors. Other than our table using them today, they had been on my shelf for over a year, unused. I’ll be in P-town Wed. afternoon if you want me to swing by & drop them off. I can leave them at your door if you won’t be home….just need address if you’re interested!

  2. Alicia December 12, 2009 at 6:58 pm #

    Almost forgot….

    YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED. lol, loved your title even if it was a more serious, heartfelt topic. 🙂

    • Dallas Ann December 12, 2009 at 7:32 pm #

      Oh Alicia! That is SO generous of you!!! I’ll email you my address. I *think* we’ll be home but if not, just leave them between the glass door and main door. ❤

      And yes, when Julie said something about a hive mind, my immediate thought went to Star Trek. LOL

  3. watchingthewaters December 12, 2009 at 9:51 pm #

    Dallas Ann, I have not known you very long, but I can tell you that you ARE more than a wife and mother. From the first time that you wrote to me, I thought, I have *got* to get to know this girl, because she is one cool chick… and seriously girl, I like to think I have good taste. You are creative, you are artistic, you have flair & style (I look at the stuff you like on Anthropologie and think: really? if girlfriend can pull this stuff off, I *need* to be friends with her, because I have ZERO fashion sense.) This season of having youngsters literally attached at the hip (and the breast) is so short and so precious.. do not let someone tell you that you are doing wrong by giving during this time. Only be sure that you are able to have your cup re-filled so that you are not sucked dry.

    Love to you, Little Sister.

    • Dallas Ann December 12, 2009 at 10:21 pm #

      I was just thinking the other night, as I lay in bed with Ella TRYING to get her to go to sleep and getting SO ANGRY about her just not sleeping (gosh, that is another post all in itself) that this will all be over so so SO soon. She's two today and tomorrow she'll be 13 and a week after that, she'll be moving out. I need to relish these moments as they come and not wish them away. I really feel that having SO MUCH being demanded of myself now will allow me to fully appreciate and enjoy the peace and freedom when it's just Aaron and I again.

      I don't think it was anyone's purpose today to tell us we were doing wrong by giving. To the contrary! The folks I hang out with encourage and support being attached to your children, available to them and meeting not only their physical and mental needs but also their emotional. *I* just really suck at finding balance. I've only been doing this whole parenting gig for 2 years now and I haven't quite found the exact science of meeting everyone's needs in addition to my own. It's such a learning curve. I'm constantly trying new things and tossing what doesn't work (which is most of it). I'm really hoping this pans out for me. I *can* carve out ten minutes out of every day and find peace. Really. I can. Especially since I have such an amazing spouse. Like tonight! He put Ella to bed, I got Miles to sleep and then I had 15 minutes or so before he was done with Ella where it was JUST ME. It'll work.

      Anyway. I need to stop now or I'll be writing a HUMONGO comment. Aaron and I need to finish watching Love Actually from last night (my all time favorite holiday movie!) and he's poking at me to get off the computer.

      Love you too.


  4. Hannah Stevenson December 13, 2009 at 1:42 am #

    Great thoughts Dallas,

    I read your reply above and know what you mean with the whole balance thing. I also feel that this time is so fleeting and I don’t want to look back and think I didn’t enjoy it more. I think what you did today was awesome. I also agree that having an awesome spouse is such a humongous blessing. I’ll kiss mine tonight thanks to your comments. THANKS!

    Oh and P.S. the jeans tute should be up on Monday or Tuesday. Thanks for your interest. I think it will be helpful for you.

    • Dallas Ann December 16, 2009 at 11:58 pm #

      The jeans tute was awesome! Thank you so much!

      It is comforting to know that I’m not alone in my perspective. ❤

  5. mrssoup December 14, 2009 at 1:39 pm #

    ❤ This is a hard time in your life, but you are right. It will pass and seem to have just flown by. You are your own person, not defined by your marriage and motherhood but shaped by it.

    Love you, honey!

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