I breastfed my son until he was 15 months old. From birth until 15 months old, he only took a bottle once. When I dropped him off at daycare, I nursed him before I left. When I picked him up, I nursed him before heading home. He preferred to spend the day on a hunger strike than to drink from the bottles of liquid gold I sent with him every day in an insulated bag.
Then one day he stopped. As he started solid foods, he nursed less, but his nursing cessation came without warning. One day we followed our typical nursing schedule, then the next day he didn’t want to nurse any more.
My body freaked out.
I had lived on a hormone high for four years straight – my pregnancy with my daughter, nursing my daughter, my pregnancy with my son (btw – nursing is not an effective form of birth control), my pregnancy with my son, and nursing my son. The sudden drop in hormones after nearly half a decade of a hormone high spiraled my body into chaos. Specifically, I developed allergies. To everything.
I already had many allergies, but they expanded when I stopped nursing. I gained allergies to foods, chemical products, and fabrics. Unfortunately, learning about these new allergies took trial and error. Especially the fabrics.
Coinciding with my son’s nursing cessation, I got a new job teaching at a local university. I dressed professionally for work, but that meant wearing synthetic fibers. By the time I got home from work every day, my skin itched and oozed, with layers of skin sticking to the inside of my clothes as I peeled them off. I didn’t realize I had developed an allergy to these fabrics, however, until one day after work I threw on a 100% cotton t-shirt and felt a reprieve from my discomfort. I began expanding my cotton clothing collection and experienced greater relief with each item. My skin, however, remained covered in weeping rashes.
Then one night a dream changed my life. I no longer recall the dream, but I know when I awoke, the word l’arge-a-neen filled my mind. I didn’t understand, but I journaled about it and consulted my dear friend Google. I discovered the term l-arginine. L-arginine is an amino acid with a variety of properties, including playing “an important role in cell division, wound healing, immune function, the release of hormones, and the production of growth hormone” (https://thedermreview.com/arginine/). I found a body cream with l-arginine as an ingredient and moisturized my skin back to good health.
Without journaling and reading that morning, I wouldn’t have captured the answer God sent in my dream. I would have gone about my day, forgetting my dream, and never learning about the cure it revealed.
Early morning reading and journaling can serve you well. You can capture your dreams from the night before, find inspiration for the day to come, and give space to your hopes and plans – all before the bustle of the day begins.
The best time to read and journal is whenever works best for you, but if you’re looking for a place to start, give early morning a try.
I am doing a 31-day series on reading and journaling as self care for educators. Each day of the series has bonus journal prompts. Click to join the LELA House family of educators committed to nourishing their reading, writing, and creative souls. You’ll receive a link to the journal prompts and gain early alerts for upcoming LELA House ideas, courses, and products. You only need to subscribe once. I will add a new worksheet each day to the access link.
Roshaunda D. Cade, Ph.D. is an educator, writer, and creator. She offers life coaching and writing coaching to educators, as well as other opportunities for educators to practice self care through reading and writing. Check out her LELA House website to learn more about her services. Roshaunda lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband and teenage children and enjoys reading, writing, dancing, and pushing her creative boundaries.