A good friend contacted me wanting to set up a playdate for our children today. She homeschools all of her children now, and most of mine are in public school. She wanted the opportunity for E and her oldest child to socialize and waited until we were out of school.
She used to be a school teacher and a firm believer in public education....until her own special needs child forced her to realize she could provide a better education at home herself than to continue to fight the school system.
She's making the right choice for her family. As a mother continuing to homeschool my young elementary children and my complex special educational needs child, I can completely sympathize.
As a mother who lose herself in the life of homeschooling and non-stop children's needs, I can see my past in her current struggles and burn out.
Last night, I cut my hair. I don't like it long but II does. So, we play a constant game. I cut it short and then grow it out until I cannot stand it any longer. It's not that I allow II to dictate my hair style. I just try to take his opinion into some consideration. He would prefer my hair down to my rear and the reality is that my thyroid thinned scraggles look like strings of nothingness when they get long like that. Back when I had long, thick, gorgeous wavy hair, I used to prefer it long as well. I haven't had that for most of our marriage. It looks less thinned and unhealthy when maintained in a simple bob cut than what he prefers. So, I generally cut it chin length and then let it grow until it's below my shoulders before I cut it again.
However, if it's time to cut it, I always cut it before I henna it. It makes no sense to me to dye hair I'm about to chop off anyway. Henna is one thing I absolutely maintain for my hair these days. I've talked about it before how I prefer the auburn tint to my hair but struggle with justifying the time and expense. I solved that struggle by buying a year supply of henna. Then, the Psoriasis got SO bad that it was painful to henna my hair and I spread a year's supply of henna out quite a bit longer. I have one package left after this time and fully intend to replenish my supply within the next month. However, through last summer and fall, I dropped how often I was using the henna from the eight weeks that I normally do that serves me well to every three to four months. My last experience was pure torture at the height of the Psoarasis flare-up. My scalp is not 100% recovered but finally close enough that I felt brave enough to try henna again. So, today is the day.
My poor friend is interested in henna but scared of maintaining it if she tries it while she is here. She is fully in the self-neglect mode I lived in for so many years. My heart hurts for her. I can fully see burn-out in her future, just like it was in my past. However, it was also a reflection that surprised me today.
There is so many things I still need to improve in my life, in my self-care, in my approach to mothering. It seems keeping my hair the way I like it has finally crossed from the 'know I should but cannot bring myself to' category into the firm 'I do this for me, end of discussion' realm. It's nice to know that I do make progress in my life and not merely stay stagnate about everything.