For me mothering means being responsible every moment of every day. Holding it down non-stop. As a full time mom I started bearing this responsibility a month before I conceived my daughter and have continued to bear it every day in the six years since then. Being a diabetic meant that in order to bring a healthy child into this world I first had to make my body a healthy place for my baby to live. This responsibility continued throughout the entire length of my pregnancy. Once River was born it was my duty to make our home and family a healthy place to be. I continue this work every day. Even in times of struggle it is my job to not lose control. I am the rock that my daughter is anchored to. I must stay steady for her, emotionally, mentally, physically, economically. I must focus on my roots and my values while simultaneously looking ahead to see how my choices will affect her life and her well being. It is exhausting, to say the least. So the other side of motherhood is taking good care of myself so that I have the reserves, the strength, the sleep, the wisdom and patience to lead this family where we need to go.
Which is why sometimes I need a break. Sometimes I need sunshine alone in the garden. Coffee with friends. An uninterrupted novel. A soak. For mothers’ day I am giving myself the day off. No making breakfast, no letting the chickens out. No feeding the animals or giving my old dog his medication. No making the bed. No picking up. I’m not even going to look at the house as I head out the door. I will wake, rise and depart, only to return once my soul is filled with silence. The best gifts always come from oursleves, because we know just what we want.