an empath parent… (the early years)

My older kids have always been described as “sensitive.” This word has been used both as an insult and a compliment at various points in their lives. Having grown up self-conscious of my own quick-to-cry nature, I always thought it was one of my flaws.

It took me a long time to realize that this part of me was actually a superpower. In fact, it wasn’t until long after I had my first two children that I discovered I was an empath.

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catch me flying in the sun…

As I’m sitting up in my bed listening to Mazzy Star’s Seasons of Your Day, I suddenly feel a wave of contentment wash over me.

Maybe it’s the music; maybe it’s because the kids are asleep and it’s only 10:12 p.m. (this is actually early for our household… don’t get me started); maybe it’s because my littlest love just became one year old; or maybe this is just supposed to be my opportunity to breathe.

A moment from my past comes to mind… I was young (probably under 10 years old) and was spending the afternoon with my sister. I only recall a few details about this particular day, but I’d still consider it a “core memory.”

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circle the drain… (pt. three)

I realized that I was so deeply unhappy with myself that I couldn’t even look in the mirror. If I did happen to catch a glimpse of my reflection, I didn’t recognize the person staring back. I pretended not to care about my appearance after awhile, citing “#thatquarantinelife” and “#workingfromhomewithababyatoddlerapreteenandateenlife.” Though these are legitimate stressors, they are also excuses. BS excuses.

Sure, times are hard and you don’t have to be perfect, but when you start to feel disgusting in your own skin (and there’s something you can do about it, but you just don’t), there is something wrong. In my particular case, there was no one to blame but myself.

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circle the drain… (pt. two)

Since March, it’s been hard to express joy. It seems like everyone around us is facing hardship, whether it’s illness (COVID-19 and beyond), financial loss, unemployment, racial inequality, LGBTQ+ discrimination, depression, or something else.

Because we haven’t wanted to make a big deal out of it given the current social climate, not many people know that we bought a house this year. But truthfully, it’s a BIG EFFING DEAL. We still can’t believe it. Coming from Southern California, we never expected to own a home. At best, it was a far off goal.

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circle the drain… (pt. one)

Over the last few months, I’ve noticed that friends and family have picked up some new hobbies or learned new skills while in quarantine. Activities have included solving puzzles, gardening, sewing, and refurbishing furniture.

I never thought I’d be one of those people. Cases in point: the two dusty guitars hanging on our walls and the shrink-wrapped ball of macrame cord sitting at the bottom of my drawer.

That said, I have been known to go a bit overboard when I set my mind on something. And sometimes, I get a bit obsessive or completely consumed. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that I’ve got addictive tendencies.

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so many signs…

Alright, alright, alright… here I am again. Over the last several months, I’ve started drafting blog posts, but ultimately abandoned them. I let ego get in the way of putting out content. Instead of running to the computer as soon as an idea struck, or heck, even putting pen to paper and just getting something down, I would begin writing it in my head.

My mind would start asking those dumb questions, like “how much could you really write on that subject?” “who would care?” and “what’s the point?” After reading (okay, fine, listening to) Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, I realized it was just my ego screwing things up for me. I was too hung up on what other people would think or what other people would get out of it.

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here’s the problem with being sick…

My family has been some form of sick for over a month now. This is one of the drawbacks to being a part of a split household. Illness has the ability to bounce back and forth like its a ball in a pinball machine, hitting this person and that person, and maybe that one again.

As I write this, I have a throat infection and pink eye. Owen has a double ear infection and nasty cough as a result. Since it hurts to speak, I just keep having all of these thoughts swirling around in my head—things I have to do, things I have to tell people, things that I want to do, things that I worry about, etc. But I’m at a loss because of the sickness setback.

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the day you came along…

And on the day I was to be induced (but never actually got induced), a little boy (KNEW IT.) came into our lives. Owen Noah Insley entered this plane of existence on August 12th at 2:07 p.m., weighing in at 7 lbs, 3 oz. with a length of 20.5 inches. The miracle of birth, amiright?

Baby Owen smiles
Our smiley little dude.
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hello 41 weeks…

Seriously? Never did I think that I would still be pregnant seven days past my due date. Four days? Sure. Six days? It’s happened before. But seven? HMMM… I have to imagine the ultrasound tech or doctor got my date wrong. Especially for my FOURTH kid?! Bananas.

Well, regardless, here we are. I have an induction scheduled for tomorrow morning; I have to be at the hospital at 7 a.m. I was fortunate enough with the first three kids to avoid the need for drugs, so I’m a bit bummed that I might have to take something to induce labor. I’m pretty much hoping that by the morning, my body will be in a good enough position to just get things going with a swift break of the water bag. I say “hoping,” but truthfully, the word, hope, gives me pause these days. Ever since I heard Rachel Hollis speak at the 2019 Rodan + Fields convention, I reactively flinch whenever someone says “hopefully” or “I hope…” or something similar. During her talk, in relation to business (or making your dreams come true), Rachel blew my mind with five words—hope is not a strategy.

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the waiting game…

Here we are, two days after my due date, and we’re still waiting to meet our little babe. I genuinely thought that this fourth child would come earlier than the others, but apparently not. (clearly still have a ways to go with this intuition thing) And that’s okay. Even though I’ve already begun to go stir crazy, I have been able to be semi-productive in other ways…

The first day home from work, I did my nails, finished the last season of A Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce, and almost finished Good Omens (have since finished it and it’s great—recommend). I also picked up the book, “A Spectacular Catastrophe,” again and made some headway. I may or may not have done a load of laundry, as well (baby brain). It’s a good bet, though; I’ve been doing at least one load every day. I’m trying to stay on top of these things now, as I know there will be a day (any day now) that I will completely neglect laundry and potentially most everything else that requires even a modicum of attention.

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