Last week I shared the idea of a "rainy day" closet - a reminder that our kids aren't the only ones who could use a fun activity to turn things around sometimes.
I in NO WAY want to suggest that's the solution to centuries of patriarchal oppression, 2 years of a pandemic, and a culture that still has no appreciation for women or caregiving.
I actively reject the idea that if we could only get 8 hours of sleep, eat healthy meals, drink water, and take time for ourselves we'd be ok.
It's not enough.
I was recently listening to this incredible podcast and early on in the episode Martha Beck says:
Culture is just consensus.
The simplicity of it made my jaw drop.
I'm definitely not in consensus with our culture at the moment.
She continues a moment later:
...When you get bewildered by the culture, you have to be wilder than that. If there's no path laid out for you, that works for you, you have to stop coming to consensus and start coming to your senses. Being here now, opening your eyes and ears, and all your other perceptual apparatus and really seeing, also opening your intuition to whatever inspiration tells you about what to do next.
Over the last 6+ years of being a mom, my world has been rocked by how abandoned we are by our culture. By how little we are valued. How so many mothers are completely overwhelmed by guilt and shame and anxiety despite being incredible human beings who are raising kind, caring, compassionate children.
And that was even before the pandemic.
It's why we gather women together to unmask the culture that we're so steeped in that we don't even notice it. Until we do.
We're coming to our senses.
In one of our motherhood circles a few months ago we were talking about putting away a few holiday gifts (especially from very generous grandparents) for our kids to open on rainy days. We shared stories of how a new coloring book, set of stacking blocks, bath paints, or a $5 art kit from Michaels could turn a gloomy day (or a covid quarantine day) around.
It's a great strategy for our kids.
But what about us?
What if we could open a "rainy day" closet or an "I'm in a funk" drawer filled with wonderful goodies?!
Yes, we had a good laugh about this idea but then started diving in a bit more seriously. When we're having a hard day (or year) wouldn't it be nice to open a closet or drawer and find a few surprises to brighten things up a bit? What do we really want in those moments?
After a little more unpacking what would actually be most helpful, we challenged ourselves to make a list of things we could do to make us feel rejuvenated.
Here's what we came up with:
It's International Women's Day - a day to join together, celebrate our achievements, and build a better future together.
It may feel hard to celebrate today. Amidst war, devastating climate change news, and women's rights and trans rights being stripped from us by our leaders.
As mothers, we often hold two (or more) opposing feelings at the same time - the desperate need for a break from our baby, then missing them 5 minutes into our alone time. The heartbreaking reminder of a miscarriage as we celebrate our toddler's second birthday.
There is a place for grief. For joy. Anger appears next to hope and gratitude beside fear.
Today, on our day, I found these words from Mari Andrew especially inspiring:
Today, I'm turning toward the goodness.
Here's what I'm celebrating:
Thoughts on pregnancy, birth and motherhood.