mothering the mother, parenting the parent.

resting

this may not look like much to you, but it was a game changer for me. that’s me putting my feet up and getting a little extra rest this past weekend.

my parents came into town and offered their love, care and support to my family. my husband and child showed me extra kindness. i benefitted from some extra back rubs, some help with chores, a couple extra pairs of hands to care for my girl. and a nap. A NAP! it has me thinking and feeling.

oh no! here I go again:

in my birth doula and postpartum doula training we studied the idea of mothering the mother and how important this is for an expecting or new mom. i feel if we get down to it, it could be applied to any mom at any stage of her motherhood and yeah, partners too. we all need a little mothering. and i’m not talking about “smothering.” i’m talking about the real work of mothering we do. the mothering that sits next to you and rubs your back while you talk about your fears. the mothering that fixes you a snack or helps you make your bed. the kind of mothering that reminds you that you can do hard things, that you are capable of great things. real mothering empowers you and reminds you that everything is going to be okay. real mothering reminds you that you are loved.

it’s a goddamned impossible world out there and this kind of mothering has always helped me face it with a little more courage.

when i receive even a small dose of this it helps me to give it away more freely. part of being a mother, in my experience, requires drawing from a bottomless emotional well to make sure the lives around you are adequately watered and flourish. it can sometimes be hard to find others that are willing to deposit back into your well, because maybe they are running low too.

i cannot stress how much kindness and caring can mean to a pregnant mother or new mom. the small things add up. a little bit of kindness goes a long way. we all know this applies to many relationships in life but my point of view right now is that of a full-time mom, giving her all away to one courageous and cute child outside the womb and giving her all physically to one growing within. even though i’ve not yet met this little person earthside, my body is still mothering this being 24/7. and that is exhausting. my 5 year-old at least gives me an 8hr break during most nights. after those two little peoples, most of my other relationships in life require some level of mothering. and i meet those demands with various levels of success depending on how much i feel i have to give away on any given day.

so, the extra “mothering” and “parenting” i received from my own parents and family this weekend has helped me hit the reset button a little bit. i’ve said it before and i know i’ll say it again: i am so lucky to have been born to parents and into a family that gets this idea of support and love as fundamental to the functioning as a family unit. i know how hard it can be for people who don’t receive that love and support from their families. i think my parents did a great job of backing off and letting me spread my wings as a young adult but then stepping back in to be by my side once i became a parent.  they did not do so in a smothering way, but in a way that tells me they will be there while i go through the hardships of middle-life. they did so in a way that tells me my life is still my own to figure out but they’ll be there to listen, to remind me i’m doing my best and that every once in a while i deserve a nap.

i hope i will remember their example when life calls me to step into the role of grandparent and tread the waters of parenting a parent. because i can feel right now how important and necessary that is during this phase of my own life. and i can feel the effects of their presence in our lives these past few months in the functioning of my own nuclear family. i can feel how we’re all seeming to pull together a little more and offer up a little more kindness. this during a time when it would be so easy to buckle under the stress of it all and lash out a little more often. but no. there’s a closeness and kindness that keeps building and makes me feel excited to bring a new life into the loving folds i feel growing here.

so, in closing, i just want to express gratitude for all the mothering of mothers that takes place out there, and all the parenting of parents. these are small things with great compounding effects on the world. at least, on my world.

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our week

a

small

collection

of moments

from our week.

paint plant project

baby bunting

i was going to label this my week again, but seeing as how this little person is days away from being considered full term i think it’s safe to say that i’m truly and definitely a We.

miss darla spent the week in indiana again. i spent the week in a nesting frenzy. y’all first i painted all the things that needed painting. and then i painted all the things that didn’t need painting. i even made a baby bunting. i don’t know why!! this girl can’t help it.

since becoming pregnant almost all of the rooms in our house have had a major overhaul. it usually takes me a long time to get the house in order but this pregnancy really helped me have the drive to get things taken care of. it’s important to me to enjoy spending time in my home space, knowing that we’re going to be spending a lot of time bunked down very soon.

but in turn, this just leaves me feeling very boring these days. i can’t really seem to focus on much besides organizing our house and just waiting for this baby to be here. i feel like i’m on pause. i can’t remember if i felt this way with darla. i feel like i can’t make any plans or even think ahead into the future until this babe comes earthside. it’s like i have no memory…but in the future…

i’m also too tired to do much. so i lay my body down early at night and then just flop around…not sleeping.

late pregnancy is a bit of a roller coaster. i am trying desperately not to wish away these last few weeks. this is more than likely my last baby. i feel like i should be focusing on how special this time of my life is. i feel like i should be journaling and wearing flower crowns or something. ok, maybe not. but i definitely feel like SOMEONE should be giving me an essential oils foot rub. i think i really want to get all my to-do’s done so i can get down to some sacred work of ENJOYING this. 

is that maybe what this blog is for?

i guess i get to determine that since this is my space.  i want to state that my desires are for this to be a place to put down the positive, lovely things about pregnancy that i will dearly miss in all the remaining years of my lady life. i will try to refrain from complaining here.

just let me get two last words of complaint out there. that’s all i need. and then it will be all focused on the magical happenings of these last few weeks. just two last words:

vagina lightning.

ladies, you know what i’m talking about. gents, you don’t wanna. we’ll leave it at that.

 

almost full term baby belly

aaaaand when i wasn’t doing ridiculous crafts or freezer meals i just took poorly lit selfies of We.

you know. the usual.

*wishing you and yours a wonderful full moon friday the 13th weekend!*

hi all, please give us your vote for the week by clicking the vote for us icon below. thanks for your help!

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this girl and our week

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before i jump into the goodness from this week i want to take a minute to put some words down about this girl above. these weeks have been very challenging for me. i wanted to give darla the best of me for these last few weeks of her only-child existence. i wanted to give her an amazing last summer together. i feel i’m falling way short on these expectations. i feel so stretched, in every figurative and literal way. i am not giving her the best of myself. i’m trying but we get to the middle of the day and i’m completely used up. she has so many qualities that are going to be huge assets when she is older but they thoroughly exhaust and aggravate me to the core during our everyday life. i need some reminders for myself:

stop. these are her last few weeks of onliness. put the to do list down. make your time with her count.

breathe. don’t wish away these last few weeks of pregnancy. by your designs, this is your last pregnancy. i know you’re tired and uncomfortable but very soon it will be over and you may never feel this body transformation again.

relax. in the end it will be ok. it always is.

there, i have those down there now. only future me knows if i will do a good job following my own advice.

now,

a

small

collection

of moments

from our week…

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we joined the world in strawberry picking this week. seriously, did everyone quit their jobs and head off into the fields? last year we were amongst a handful of people in the fields and this year it was a mob scene. granted, it was the very tail end of the strawberry season when we made it out last year but i think it’s safe to say U-pick is having it’s time in the sun {pun! produce pun!} at this time and i for one, couldn’t be happier. it was nice to see so many people investing in local produce, many with their own reusable containers. zero waste wins! {ps. we used one of our leftover bulk peanut butter buckets for this year. last year i cut the top off an old milk carton. take a look around at what you have at home before heading off to U-pick this year.} we found a little slug buddy whom darla carried around for a while and had a hard time understanding why he couldn’t come home as a pet.

our local library branch had a farm pets day which made for a perfect pit stop during a rainy afternoon.

we also ventured to the rose garden for our annual park of roses visit. D had chosen to wear her rose garden dress for the outing and was pretty tickled when butterflies mistook her garments for the real thing. i really should have taken the photo of her face instead of the butterfly but it was too late. the look on her face is what i really want to remember from that moment though.

*that’s a wrap on our week.  i hope you had a wonderful week and weekend as well*

hi all, please give us your vote for the week by clicking the vote for us icon below. thanks for your help!

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our week

 saved baby clothes
 north market breakfast date
 darla at north market
pottery boss
 pottery enthusiast
 mother daughter selfie
tostadas and creme fraicheportrait of mom

low lighting gave our pictures this week that fuzzy look, which is ok because that’s how our week felt. anyone else have a fuzzy week?

normal life rolls on out and the magic is in the small stuff: washing up and organizing saved baby items, visiting the market with my girl for a waffle reward as a stimulus after i’d been out late at a birth, watching darla take on the pottery wheel. you can see that girl means business. i think my favorite little life detail is in that second photo up there. the ever so slight arch in darla’s eyebrow as she takes in the enormity of her donut. i wasn’t going to include this last photo of myself {that darla took} until i noticed that i, too, have that slight arch of my eyebrow present in that image.

that might be the most important thing that happened in my week. even though much grander life events took place this week, transitions and births and responsibilities, that small shared trait trumps them all. there’s little in life so poetic as the slight arching of a woman’s brow. those few centimeters can mean the difference between living and existing.

*i’m sending out my gratitude for the living that took place this week

…and for the existing.

i hope you had a good one. all my best for your weekend.*

weekending

 father daughter snuggle time
coffee dates family breakfast
music history lesson
 richard buckner living room show
tea & scones patti smith & gremlins
baby booties

these are the moments i want to remember. i fear i give moments like these too little importance in my mind. it’s hard when so much of life seems to be planned around big events, get-togethers and commitments, which have their rightful place in life. but i am in love with the moments like these from our weekend:

like remembering that husband is my daughter’s chosen companion in the early morning hours. making coffee and breakfast for my family during our weekend mornings. darla receiving a music history / art history lesson over the breakfast table. listening to one of my favorite voices in the world in a friends living room. seeing richard buckner’s living room show this weekend was a highlight {if you have a chance to go to a living room show at some point, please do}. going on a tea & scones relaxation date when we were feeling squirrely {she} and unsatisfied with productivity at home {me}. husbeau gifting us with patti smith’s easter and singing along with darla, who had been listening to gremlins on her player earlier. but my most cherished moments of the weekend were going through saved baby items and uncovering little pieces of the past. like those boots. gawwww. i’m tearing up over here writing and thinking of how big my little girl is but one time, long ago, she stomped around in these when she first got to stompin.’  and now i’m going to put another baby in them.

life just kills me with the small moments. thanks for taking in these ones that mean so much to me.

*hope you had a wonderful weekend. wishing you a stellar week*

our week

a

small

collection

of moments

from our week.

picnic belly
 flowering branch mango sill cupcake papes cupcake makescupcake makes taco picnicgoddess headband georgie boy

in my journal this week i wrote a list of the things i want my life to be about:

love. beauty. passion. gratitude. and the human spirit.

 i think we did pretty ok getting that all in there.

* i hope you enjoy a lovely weekend *

 

our return to the outdoors {and some thoughts on unschooling}

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we’ve returned to the great outdoors for our days, finally. these days have been bittersweet as i know that, at least for now, this chapter of our free wheelin’ unschooling days is coming to a close. it’s the right decision for us at this moment and i have high hopes that we’ll see darla in the right atmosphere for the next phase of her education experiment. because that’s what it is in the end right? an experiment? each generation comes along with ideas and tests them out in the big experiment that is the evolution of the human species so i don’t have to worry about making *the right decision* for her. it’s all a gamble, no matter which way you slice it. i feel like education is one of those areas of life that many people take staunch stances, sure that their way is the best but from where i stand i feel like it’s all a gamble. it’s all a dance and at some point it’s time for this group number to narrow down to a solo effort. i feel darla has lent her voice towards the desire to try out school so that’s what we’ll do.

and it doesn’t feel as heavy as it once did. i’m not stressed. i feel that as she’s grown older and come into her autonomy these decisions that we’re supposed to navigate are not as loaded as they once were. one of my main goals as a parent is to be able to trust that my daughter has what she needs inside of her to create her own path and that she always has. that is just where i’m at with this journey. a few years back i felt like i could feel the weight of every decision as we pressed on into the future. now i’m more at peace with the fact that it’s really my daugther’s right to figure out how the path of her own life is going to run. she must be her own and i must be my own. i’m settling into this role of “guide” much better than i ever have felt as “mom.” as darla told her friend the other day “no ones the boss of me. my mom and dad just help me figure out how to be the boss of myself.”

maybe i can get this next child to call me mother-guide.

so this leaves us with one last summer, one last summer of flexibility and adventure. this leaves us a few short months of mother + daughter roaming until we all go through the very big learning experience of incorporating another human into this fold. how’s that for unschooling?

and then i’ll get to start this all over again. and who knows, if we get a year of school under our belt and find it’s not the best fit and we find a way for me to be able to accomplish my work as well as help two children educate themselves then maybe we’ll take that path.

maybe not. it’s all a great experiment, after all.

creek skipping

 fallen tree

 stone steps