We Need Capacity.
Capacity in the form of emotional space and mental energy to process all of the inputs.
Almost overnight, my kids have gone from needing my help to eat, to learning how the world works. It’s a fundamental shift. It’s more than just survival now, it’s teaching them to be good people. They have so many questions, like why are people happy or sad? When to defend yourself or walk away. Why are there different rules for boys and girls, how does friendship endure misunderstandings and what is unacceptable behavior? Real questions. Big questions. Questions that require thoughtful reflection and my capacity. It means no longer rushing through routines but pausing, thinking and doling out wisdom. It’s about shaping character, not just wiping noses. It’s moving from the physical to the cerebral part of mothering.
We Need Time.
My personal infrastructure has been crumbling around me for quite some time, months … no wait, years! I cook in a dim kitchen night after night under a broken light. The time and mental energy required to schedule an electrician, and the disruption from having the work done, just feels like too much right now. Too many steps. When managing the needs of the humans in my life is all-consuming, I balk when inanimate objects in our home need me too. I dutifully taxi to and from soccer games on the weekends … hauling car seats and gear. It’s inconvenient and time consuming, but in the short-term, not as time consuming as the research and logistics of donating our old car and buying a new one. Prioritizing what matters most is always a tradeoff without a clean win.
We Need Care.
I had a fall during my run on Monday. It was bad, but thankfully, I will recover. I broke a tooth among other injuries. A few hours later I was at the dentist, shaken and sore. She asked if I had eaten anything. I couldn’t really eat, it hurt to open my mouth. She offered chocolate. A little Nutella on a plastic knife, along with a couple of Advil and some water. It was delightful to feel cared for. She was kind and gentle. I realized in that moment, I spend most of my life giving care to others and myself, but I rarely receive it.
Guess What. We’re Building it!
We’re building the capacity we crave. The constant context switching becomes easier. Maddening and stressful … but easier. We’re all climbing a mountain, filled with peaks and pain, that’s only visible to us. Whatever that looks like for you, please know, you’re capable of handling it.
Despite how vigilant we are, we still get tripped up and surprised. We continue anyway, hoping and somehow, knowing it will get better. It’s through this unwavering belief we build capacity. We’re becoming more capable … even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.
To all Mothers, today and everyday, craving time, space, capacity and care… I hear you and I see you. Even when it feels impossible, just know, you’ve got this!