Monday, June 16, 2014

Without any marshmallows.

They've both left for the day.

She's dressed. Hair brushed. (Sort of.)

It's time for camp and I have clients.

But I find myself staring into a bowl of cereal.

Mornings are rushed.

After they leave I don't really focus on myself - I run on autopilot.

Things you wouldn't really SEE if you walked into my house.

I run upstairs and start laundry.

I might start reading or writing, too.

I load the dishwasher. Maybe unload. And re-load.

I sweep. Sure, sometimes I use my feet to shove dust-bunnies to the side before I can get to them. But I do - eventually - sweep.

I take care of my morning meds. When I remember. Otherwise it's noon and I think, oh. Yeah.

But I always take them. For certain.

Eventually I'll sit down and watch some TV. Zone out for a few.

I find myself particularly exhausted this morning. Yesterday was Father's Day. An emotionally draining day for me.

I slept funny because one of my cats stole my pillow. Or one of them. My neck hurts.

I'm tired, but I have work to do.

And this cereal, it's prompted so many thoughts. It's kind of ridiculous. Maybe.

But I look at it and think - well, it would be such a waste. I might as well have it for breakfast.



It's got my almond milk in it (that's where I draw the line. If it's skim I'll pass!) and isn't quite at the point of full-on sog-fest yet.


I guess.

And so instead of dumping it out I find myself eating it.

Spoonful after spoonful before I realize.

She ate all the marshmallows.

I laugh because I should have known when she said she was full she wasn't entirely full.

But in the rush of the morning, teeth and hair brushing - encouraging her to move along - I didn't stop and look.

She's seven now. Old enough to know if she is full.

I trusted that. Still do.

For her.

But for me?

What fills me up?

Is it writing? Reading? Social work? Parenting? Volunteering? Learning?

So so very much.

So many things.

And yet ...

Sometimes ...

I find myself without any marshmallows.

And while that's sometimes okay. Sometimes acceptable.


It's just not.

Moms need marshmallows, too.

Remind yourself of that.

You're entitled to marshmallows in your life.

Bright bursts of color.

Sweet moments of all sizes.




Yes. They count, too.

They're YOUR marshmallows. Do with them as you see fit.

Just make sure you have them.

You deserve them.

Now go pour yourself a fresh bowl.

And sit back and savor each one.

self-care, motherhood, reality


Tracy in Suburbia said...

I LOVE the Marshmellow metaphor! This weekend we were at the beach and I bought these extra huge marshmallows to make s'mores. The kids ate the whole bag and I never got to taste one. So I said to them, "How were the marshmallows?" They said they were good "in theory," but didn't actually taste that good. I guess big isn't always better and more isn't always better, but we are definitely entitled to SOME, right? :)

Carol Cassara said...

The best thoughts come at the oddest moments, don't they?

Susan Williams said...

Well...personally....I'd be grateful the marshmallows were gone, because I hate marshmallows in cereal.
I get the metaphor, and it's the same principle as me taking the burned slice of ...whatever, so they don't have to. It's what we moms do: we give it up for the ones we love.
There's a certain amount of giving up the best for others that is actually good for the soul, and character building; the idea of self-sacrifice.
But if our well runs dry from dipping all the good cool water out for others, leaving us with nothing but a mud puddle, then we have nothing from which to draw, and we ourselves will expire.
There's a balance to life.
Finding it is tricky.
Having a never-ending Source from which we ourselves can draw water is critical. Because we all need life-giving, cool, refreshing water.

Sharon Greenthal said...

So true and so important to remember - whether it's marshmallows or potato chips or something else. Getting filled up is so important and sometimes so difficult to do! Loved this.

Jennifer Wagner said...

When my kids were very young, I didn't hesitate to give up everything for them. But as I got older, even though I would give my life for them, when it comes to more mundane things, I realized that I have a right to share in them also.

Jamie Sherman said...

Love the metaphor! Great reminder on filling up! :)

Kelly Rodriguez said...

Love the marshmallow metaphor. I'm not a mom and won't ever be, but I believe in the importance of filling up. Anyone can get lost in a relationship. parenting or otherwise. It's important to keep your marshmallow...or whatever fits your fancy. Great post!


The Dose of Reality said...

Beautiful. Love the last image, as it is perfect. You have summed it all up so well, this motherhood gig of ours. Thought of you yesterday. Those days are hard. So bittersweet. Hugs to you.-Ashley

Jenny Gaskell said...

I love this post. We moms deserve more than just scraps. We need those marshmallows.

Tracie Nall said...

This is beautiful.

I hope you find a whole bowl full of marshmallows this week.

Jazmine Brown said...

I love the marshmallow metaphor. I love this post. I admit my mom sacrificed a lot for me and when I was younger I never really understood now that I am a bit older I do understand. I always encourage her to do what makes her happy. Now I am going to tell her to have some marshmallows. :)

Poet, Detachment Mom, and Navy Wife said...

I love this! I have been told before that I have to give up my identity to be a good mother. But moms deserve marshmallows too. No matter how much we love our kids, we have to remember (and remind other people) that our lives didn't end when our children's lives began.

Barbara Torris said...

My husband says I eat too much peanut butter at night so I have taken to marshmellows. Don't tell him but I like them better anyway AND I deserve them. Right?


Kathy Radigan said...

I too love the marshmallow metaphor. And it's so true, we do need to keep something for ourselves or we will have nothing to give. We know this, but putting it into daily practice can be so hard, at least for me!

Elizabeth Lund said...

Love this Andrea!! We do need marshmallows. I think sometimes I forget that. I make sure my little ones have what they need, but then forget my own...bad habit, but I am working on it. Thank you!!

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Kendra from Headband for Today said...

And this is why I love you...I love reading your blog and knowing the person behind the blog even more. I can't wait to see you again soon.

Janine Huldie said...

Totally made me smile and you are right sometimes we, moms, really do need the marshmallows! And I actually just bought a bag this weekend (sorry I couldn't resist), but still absolutely love this metaphor and truly couldn't agree more if I tried :)

Midnight Cowgirl said...

So true. Happy SITS Day!

Seana Turner said...

Oh Andrea, I love this! It's so true... even we Moms need some marshmallows. And yet we seem to put ourselves last all the time and forget that. Wonderful reminder. (ps... I love the marshmallows in cereal!!)

Nikki said...

I totally agree! So often moms sacrifice all the marshmallows for their kids, but every now and then we need a few of our own. I'm hoping a pedicure today will be my "marshmallows". It's my birthday so I don't think that's asking too much.

Clotilde/Craftybegonia said...

Hi, visiting via the SITS girls, very true, very true to daily life, happy SITS day, by the way, wish you the best with your blog.

Chihuahua Mommy said...

Such a great metaphor for mothers and all caregivers to sit back and realize that their happiness matters too! Happy SITS day!

TracyontheRocks said...

Fellow SITS girl here This post is a great reminder for us all to eat our marshmallows!

Susan F. said...

I just pinned this to my quote board on Pinterest! I love this post :) Happy SITS Day, a little late!

Theresa Lollis said...

I love this post! I think reminding myself of this and not feeling guilty for it is very important :)

thebluemuse, phd said...

Love this! I completely agree that we need marshmallows in our lives!