Do All The Things
It was 3pm, on a hot July afternoon. I got the text: "she is actually straddling me, while I'm working and is dripping snot on my shoulder while I type" ... yes. Working Motherhood.
To this message I quickly texted back: "Do All The Things!!"
There are many moments in motherhood when I send and receive these words. We, my sisters in this parenting journey, use this as shorthand for permission and a reminder to do all the things that will make this moment better. Give permission to turn on all the screens, bring out all the best snacks, get the soft blankets, pour yourself a glass of wine, order pizza, breathe deeply, keep text venting, hide in the bathroom briefly, laugh at ourselves and know we are not alone. We talk about this in relationship to illness (raw garlic, hot bath, SLEEP, rest and recover at all cost), travel (candies, screens, ridiculous toys wrapped in paper so there's more to delay and delight our wriggly travelers). It is also helpful to be reminded of the things we can do to wrangle a bit of control back into our hands.
At the core of these words is the permission to treat ourselves with compassion. Permission to let go of any judgements we may hold or feel from outside, to choose the luxurious - and also survival - options we can to make this moment better. It is a chance to give ourselves the grace to know that parenting is hard. It is also a reminder that we can create a soft cushion for recovery. Recovery for our kids. Recovery for ourselves. Recovery from the intensity, whatever it may be.
Hilariously, since writing these words I came down with the same nastiness that was plaguing my friend's kiddos. And received the same reminder: Do All The Things!! So I took a hot bath, got myself a sinus rinse kit (wild but it works!), swallowed large vitamins to fight off this bug and went to bed. I think I might have beaten it... and it really helped to be reminded to mother myself in these moments. Because, I think we forget. We forget to mother ourselves. To treat ourselves like we would treat our best friend. Do all the things you would do for your best friend.
This is one of my strategies for handling the swirl of life and family and work. What do you do to make things better when they feel beyond your control? Who helps you remember to do all the things?
It's my jam to help working mothers find grace and space in the midst of the mess of life. Contact me to start a conversation.
image from - Nicola Osborne - creative commons license