Last week I was all by myself with my two littles for the very first time. I went from the luxury, of having my husband and then his parents around to help, to all by myself day and night. Surprisingly, the week went pretty well and I not only survived, but actually emerged from it relatively relaxed and with a new sense of self-confidence.
I find that mothering two is not so bad. That is, if mothering is all I do. By the end of each day, I just plopped on the couch with some tea, or even a glass of red and just let the sounds of not-so-high-quality TV wash over me.
So my conclusion from last week is, that two things help me tremendously in this new role as a mother of two: I can't stress over tasks uncompleted too much (a bit of whining about it is totally natural) and I have to have little "hygge" moments throughout my day in order to keep my sanity intact. Little isles of calm.
I let the light in. I have a window in my bedroom that can't be fully closed off and so the morning light can come right through it. Waking up to natural light has felt so good lately. I don't mind that its early, either. It gives me time to wake up in peace, before Smilla screams at me from her crib, or baby demands his milk. So I just lay there a few moments with my head towards the morning light and think about the day ahead. I stare at my son next to me and watch him sleep a little longer. Some mornings he wakes up smiling at me. The mornings are simply wonderful, when I get to stare at this little being breathing next to me.
I'm mindful about the things I'm grateful for. I didn't come up with this genius idea. I'm certainly not the first one to write about it. However, now that my planner has a designated weekly spot for "good things that happened" I'm finally jotting down just that. After a hard day in the motherhood, it is a gentle reminder of how beautiful life is. I have a new appreciation about the rough moments and can stay calmer through them. Just yesterday, I showed Smilla a new dress I bought for her and she ran away screaming, then there was crying, then she banged her head against her wooden toy drum (what?) and all this, because of a new summer dress. It was horribly frustrating at the time, but just a few hours later it moved into my "these are the moments I want to remember" part of the brain.
I turn on sweet sweet melodies. Music makes everything better. Miles Davis, while making coffee in the morning. Gregory Alan Isakov for the afternoon play-doh time. Coltrane for winding down on the couch at night. The right tune, at the right time does wonders to my mood.
I send warm thoughts to my friends. Hygge is all about togetherness, but lately I have found it hard to make time to be in touch with all my dear ones. Hopefully, they will be forgiving and understanding towards me and still be around once I get done with changing nappies and breastfeeding one day and have the mental capacity to talk about adult things. In the meantime though, I think about them - a lot. I send them good vibes and wishes and a whole lot of love. Hopefully, this quantum physics thing is all true, and somewhere, on some deeper level they feel all that, because I just don't find the time right now for long phone calls and long messages, but I do really love them very much.
I seek comfort under the covers. When life gets to fast, I try to retreat under the covers. Nap-time cuddles with Winter have such a rejuvenating effect on me. I need them and he needs them, too. Plenty of kisses and tickles and stories under some wool blankets with my Smilla are soothing and plentiful these days. I need these moments and she, more than anything, needs these moments alone with me, too. Lastly, snuggling up together in the evening, talking about the things life throws our way with my man is so very important. Even just laying together in stillness is comforting. I need that, and my man really needs his wife, too. So, really, the whole family needs to get "hyggelig" with blankets and pillows and soft feathery goodness under our heads.
I light my candles. Every time I write anything about hygge, it seems candles are on the list. Rightfully so. The soft, yellow glow is soothing after a long day of being mom. I close the curtains, light some candles and know the day's work is done and it is time to relax.
I forgive myself. I used to be very hard on myself. About the laundry, about the dishes, about the toys, about the unwritten words and the unedited photos, about so many more things. Now I'm trying to practice acceptance and forgiveness towards myself, as I am a beautiful mother to two beautiful children, but I'm also only human and I have to face it - I can't do it all.
The beautiful woolen shoes you see in the photographs are made by "WoolenClogs". I found Aiste's shop on etsy and was thrilled she agreed on collaborating with me. Aiste is another great talent and maker from Lithuania. Lately, I have been so impressed with the small shop owners there and how wonderful and friendly they are, besides being incredibly skilled. Aiste told me her day job left her reeling and in need for some personal space and quiet and that is when she started working on "WoolenClogs". The work with natural materials, creating warmth and coziness with her own hands helped her relax and so eventually she created her own hygge workplace to help others get more relaxed and comfy (and her shoes are oh so comfy!). Now, the store is her family business and she loves having her husband work side by side with her all the time. Her slippers and clogs are really worth taking a look. You can follow along with her on Instagram @luckyaiste