Mamas, this is a crazy week.
We're living moment to moment and taking deep breaths (when we remember). It's hard to be in the DC area, hard to know what to tell our kids, hard to not feel on the edge of our seats.
No one wants to be going through this. The stakes are so high. Our physical and mental health is on the line. Although we are by no means in the same boat, we are all in the same pandemic storm. We are all afraid. We all want safety for ourselves and our families. And yet completely opposite approaches to the situation are also being forged. Ones where empathy and care for ourselves and each other are not mutually exclusive.
I’ve been moved by the stories of mothers who are negotiating pods for their families. More often than not, these pods don’t work out. Or they work for a little while until something changes, and the pod dissolves. The creativity and tenacity it takes to show up and communicate to ensure everyone’s needs are actually met is awe-inspiring. At best, these conversations are awkward and uncomfortable.
These difficult conversations are happening with partners, extended family members and childcare providers, bosses and co-workers, friends and neighbors. We are creating small communities that can and will support us in ways that take care of everyone. This work is immensely challenging. It’s ongoing and relentless (much like mothering). And we are seeing that it is possible to be desperately afraid, have no sense of control, and respond creatively anyway for the sake of everyone.
I believe we are at a tipping point in history, emerging into a way of being where no one has to suffer at the expense of someone else’s gain. Just like giving birth, it’s painful. Each contraction brings us a little further along. Eventually, just when we think we cannot stand one more minute, a last push (or pull in the case of cesarean birth) will bring new life into being. And along with it the real work of nurturing, loving and raising that precious new being for the rest of our lives.
Breathe through this moment. Shine some of your light of compassion and empathy on yourself. Ask for help and support. Together we can be courageous and continue to nurture this new way of being into existence.
Thoughts on pregnancy, birth and motherhood.