September 6, 2017

Try a little tenderness

As I lay her down one last final time, I saw her eyes flutter closed. I heard her breath get a little deeper and I felt her finally relax. And then I felt myself relax. And then I heard this song explode in my ears and all I wanted to do was dance.

It was like the ultimate mom win and it felt so fucking good. It honestly just made me want to wake her up and be like HEY! We did it. We both chilled out enough to finally let this all sink in. Two hours later, who even cares. We’re here and I’ve just laid you down and it worked.

It amazes me that I still harbour nap anxiety. It’s been with me from the beginning, and the thing is, I get why. Her naps have been my time. My time to work, to finish freelance projects, to read, to sleep, to have a bath, to cook something, to take a phone call – it’s been this sacred time that I’ve honoured for myself and allowed myself to sink into. So when she doesn’t nap, she’s tired and out of it and we have to go to bed early ( which are all fine things ) but it means I’ve missed out on this moment in time that I feel as though I need for my own personal self care. I don’t know if that sounds horribly selfish – if it is to you, then I’m sorry. But for me, it’s what I’ve come to know and appreciate for myself.

She’s almost two and a half so I know we’re on the end of the spectrum for naps anyways – it’s bound to come to an end at some point, and then maybe I’ll calculate the million hours I’ve stressed over trying to get her to sleep. But that feeling – that amazing mom win feeling when you get them down, when they eat that meal you’ve cooked, when they’ve survived a car trip – it feels like someone should be popping champagne over your head doesn’t it?

After hosting my Summer Seasonal Mama Dinner a few weeks ago, I came to realize something – that what is now the nap anxiety for me, will soon become something else. The going to school, the meeting friends, the potential bullying, the desire to travel and roam, love and heartbreak – that’s all what’s coming down the pipeline. And what it’s made me think about is how I can meet those things for her or maybe better said, with her.

Tenderness.

With kindness, with love, with an open heart, with an open mind, with the understanding that it’s going to be hard, and challenge the shit out of me.

I asked all the women at the table what made them feel tender or what felt tender to them – the answers were amazing. Ranging from God’s love to the Moana soundtrack. Hearing the wild differences in our hearts gave me so much appreciation for not only how individual we all are as adults, but how each child we have is very much their own person.

With their own personality, likes and dislikes, needs and wants that are, for the most part, different from our own. That just blows my mind. We conceive and grow and birth these humans and somehow along the way I was under the impression that they would be just like us ( and they are in some ways ) but in others, they are exactly, perfectly them. They are their own tender souls, looking and listening to the world around them. Trying to figure out what’s up.

When you feel like you’re losing your mind, or when you get angry, or feel like you’re just done with where you’re at – remember that. They are at the beginning of navigating all of this – and if we recognize that we kind of are too, I think we can meet in some magical middle ground of tenderness and the ability to let go so that  we can somehow keep moving forward together. 

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