I was just re-reading an email I sent almost exactly a year ago - and thinking about the past year I feel simply exhausted. We have endured so much and lost so many.
But sitting here on my porch in the sunshine, I'm also in complete awe of the wonder of nature. The breathtaking beauty of blooming magnolias, forsythia, and cherry blossoms truly lighten my spirit.
It feels strange to look back and think that we really had no idea what what the year ahead would bring and how it would change our lives. But the truth is, we never really know what's going to happen next.
Gilda Radner offers us some words of wisdom:
Can we savor the ambiguity? Delight in not knowing what's going to happen next?
My 5 year old daughter LOVES her body. She loves everything about it - she told me the other day that one of the freckles on her arm is "SO cool."
It is heartening and heart breaking.
As adult women we've been bombarded for almost our whole lives with the message that our bodies are never good enough. It's exhausting, it's controlling, and it's something that with every fiber of my being I can't stand having my daughter (or son) be defined by.
It's something that's come up in every single one of our circles. How pregnant bodies seem to be an invitation to comment - "Are you sure its not twins?" "You don't even look pregnant!" "You're gaining too much/too little weight." Or how in a pandemic we feel truly invisible even though we're literally growing a human being.
Then we're supposed to "get our body back" after giving birth - like it's something we've lost instead of something that grew and birthed a baby (or two or more). Even though we did the most amazing thing in the world, we still feel devastated when our clothes don't fit or someone's judgmental comment brings our insecurities roaring back.
Disrupting this system and changing our own thought patterns is HARD. But living in a system that benefits off of our body shame, that keeps women, minorities, and differently abled people out of positions of power, is so much worse.
This week in our newborn mamas circle we talked about the feeling that we should be doing more than just taking care of our babies. That it doesn't feel like enough to bring life into the world and keep these tiny humans alive.
And while sometimes we're motivated by the desire to move our bodies, or have clean laundry, or use our brains in a different way, so much if it is our culture telling us that we're not enough.
It's complete bullshit.
Mothering is hard. It's relentless. And the fact that it's completely unappreciated in our patriarchal culture makes me want to scream! And create CHANGE!
I have a whole lot more to say but for today (because my toddler is about to wake up from his nap) what I want to tell you is this:
If you have held a baby, lost a baby, cried with your baby, or been simply enraged at the unfairness of it all, you are enough.
If you work for pay or work for no pay, you are enough. All moms work. You are enough.
If you feel like you can't do it anymore, if you've set your crying baby down to go scream into a pillow, if you've melted into a puddle on your kitchen floor. You are enough.
I'm so over mothers having to pretend during the work day that we don't have children or be only grateful that we get to stay home with our kids. We are raising tiny people who are the future of our world, and that should be celebrated.
I hope that today you can find the space in your heart to know that you are doing the most important work. You are enough.
In a few of our circles last week we talked about division of labor at home - something that can be challenging without children and is almost immediately amplified with a new baby because there is SO much more to do.
The pandemic has brought a whole new level of challenge to many of our partnerships. Literally hundreds of news articles (which are no surprise to us) describe how women and mothers are bearing the largest burden of childcare and housework, PLUS the mental load that comes along with it. As a result, we're feeling completely burnt out, resentful, and often at a loss for how to redistribute the mental and physical load of raising kids.
So this week we're experimenting with the who does what list. It was originally developed by the Gottman Institute, but I like the way Better Life Lab breaks it down in an easy to follow "experiment."
Thoughts on pregnancy, birth and motherhood.