This post starts grumbly, but it doesn't end that way. Stick with me…
I spent the weekend in and out of bed with two kids with change-of-season bugs.
Oh, come now. Both of them? Over the actual equinox? How punctual we are.
Now it's Monday morning and I both feel and look like death after spending most of the past three nights tending fevers and oogie bellies; rubbing sore heads, back, hands, etc.; and running up and down the stairs for bags of ice, hankies, and puke pails.
Sleeping? Not so much.
Oh, motherhood. Thanks for keeping me humble.
At around 3:27 AM this morning I had this delusional moment of self-pity when I remembered what it was like to have a sick baby and pretended that that was somehow easier.
Because I could latch that little one on and go back to sleep.
Except when I couldn't.
And then I'd tuck an arching and screaming babe into a sling – too congested or miserable to nurse – and wander the neighborhood, diluting their cries into the cool night air. And sometimes my own.
And now here we are.
And while the seasons of our life change, the essence is always the same.
It's about nurturing. Loving. Being real.
It's about pushing the limits of what you can give while still remembering to take care of you. (That one has taken me a while to learn.)
I remember when Sage was a baby and life felt so hard, all I wanted was to fix it. To fix him.
If I did this right he would stop crying. If I tended that need it would be easy. If I stopped eating those foods or found the right remedy or the new magical hold for burping.
Then it would be easy. We'd find our groove.
But then my midwife (mama to many) said to me, "It will never be easy. But it will always be different."
While she was speaking specifically about mothering a highly sensitive child, her words applied to motherhood in general.
Never easy. Always different.
And I was free.
Her words freed me from my need to fix it all. To fix Sage. To fix me. To fix every hard moment.
Because life isn't meant to be easy.
It's meant to challenge us. To help us grow. To inspire us to stretch and evolve and expand and to break every boundry of what we think is possible.
And no, last night was not easy.
But it was different than those early sleepless nights. And like those early days it pushed my limits of compassion and patience and giving.
How much did I have to give?
Just barely enough.
And could I take care of me, too?
Yes. This time I could.
Never easy. Always different.
So tonight we'll pull dinner from the freezer. I'll say "yes" to reading books together, but "no" to reading one. more. book. when I need some space. And then I'll pick up my knitting instead. Maybe we'll even watch a movie.
I'll find the balance in caring for us all. Myself included.
No, it won't be easy. But it will be different.
22 thoughts on “Never easy, always different.”
Hey, I used one of your images to link to your blog. If that’s not okay, I will take it right down.
Cheers and love.
We’ve had some health challenges at our house that last month that have left me feeling like everything’s a mess.Thanks for the reminder that it’s ok to take care of me too 🙂
Thanks for sharing your thoughts! It’s always a pleasure reading your blog and such a great inspiration.
oh that is rotten. puking again. We are not a pukey family. Athena has only vomited once in almost 10 years and that was motion sickness. I wonder why it is that your children are often throwing up. poor little loves.
The last vomit was chicken pox. Lupine tends to throw up any time she doesn’t feel well. Just once or twice, but enough to put me on puke-alert for days.
Of course. Thank you for the kind link.
Thank you, Laura.
Feel well over there. And yes – take care of you, too!
thank you for the words – they are just what i need right now… and the autumn pictures are beautiful. thank you!
My son and I always get change of season ickies too. Not so much for my daughter and husband. Some of us are just more sensitive. Hope you all feel better soon! (We were all up all night last night too. Oh, my my…)
Hope those little ones feel better soon. warmest wishes from my family to yours! 🙂
I bet those wise words were from Gretchen. She told me “this to shall pass”. It has helped me many times over the last 14 1/2 years. Amazing the power of words to change our perception and then our lives.
Thank-you for sharing.
Very well said. I hope everyone is feeling better now.
Oh, yes. I love her. A wise, wise woman.
Aaaargh. Wow I think I was meant to find this. We had 2 of my kids sick over the weekend, one is 8 months old. Then I got it too, the 8 month old already is awake every hour on the hour when he’s well so when he was sick was a nightmare. I need to remember to take care of myself too, but sometimes it feels like it’s support I need MORE of it. How do you support yourself MORE when there is no one else to help?
This is something I have been working on too…saying yes as much as I am capable, but letting go of the guilt when I need some solace too. Hope everyone is well soon.
Oh I hear you.
I always always forget about myself.
The grocery shops alone feel like it’s enough for me to replenish when really I know it’s not.
Gardening is my therapy, I really would be lost without it. I can sit in the garden after a hard day with the kids and just breathe for 15 mins. I know I should give myself more than that, but there is so much to do with time of the year.
Our fall equinox celebration plans were pushed aside for the canning, which was pushed aside because the kids had colds last week. It’s never easy when kids are sick, our baby was to stuffed up to nurse last week and it near breaks your heart to see and feel so helpless. But parents are not alone, we all go through it. I like your midwife’s description of it all.
I am so looking forward to the slower, snowy winter days ahead. More time for me.
this was exactly what i needed to read, thank you! baby number four has thrown me for quite the loop. he is ever so much different as a baby than his brothers were, and we have had many more challenging days. so this was an encouragement, thank you.
I needed that post today. Thank you!
I understand, Eve. Sometimes it feels impossible to take care of you while caring for them. Get help if you can – family, friends, neighbors, another mama – even if only to read or cuddle your kids while you take a shower. And sleep when you can. When Sage was small I stayed in bed with him 12 hours each night. Because I could wring out just enough sleep to feel mostly okay by morning. Be well. It will come. With time.
I’m still working on it, too.