It's my son's last day of his first year of preschool and it feels monumentous in a way I didn't expect it to. I have this incredible sense of "we made it!" In my body, it feels like a fluttering lightness in my chest. A sense of openness I didn't know was missing.
For the first one and a half years of the pandemic, my kids were home with cobbled-together grandparent childcare and outdoor pod school so I could work and we could all have some socialization. This past fall, they were both off to school. We've had great days and hard days, covid and quarantines, picnics and play dates.
It feels a bit like I imagine the end of a marathon would - elation, exhaustion, reflection. A moment to reimagine what I want our life to look like for the next few months.
This week was also our final session of this year's cohorts of Motherhood: Redefined - since last fall incredible groups of mothers have come together and supported each other in exploring our identities, learning to trust ourselves and value our needs, and, for every single one of us, finding more time for space and rest.
One of my favorite lessons that we shared yesterday in our closing circle is from writer and activist Karen Walrond, as shared with Brené Brown in her podcast Accessing Joy and Finding Connection in the Midst of Struggle:
But the point is really just to stop and check in, and just check in. How am I doing? Is this the part of the rhythm where I go hard, and I help and I do stuff? Or is this the part of the rhythm where I need to stop and gather, and gather the energy again and just inhale? Like, when we work out, we inhale and then we put all the effort in when we exhale. But at some point we’ve got to inhale in order to be able to do that again. It’s that back and forth, that flow.
I'm so ready for this inhale.
And even if this season isn't a big shift for you and your family, I hope you'll find some time to take a big breath in - physically in this moment just by drawing more air into your lungs. Or go it further by thinking of a few things that will feel like an inhale in your body & soul:
A long walk, a nap, a community playdate (this Sunday!), reconnecting with an old friend, a trip to somewhere new, a circle, a bath, or anything else that feels like gathering energy.
Thoughts on pregnancy, birth and motherhood.