Mothering can be a lonely gig.
For all we spend it surrounded by many tiny humans. And their big, gaping demands. And their tugging, tireless hands.
We can tend to retreat, to hole up, to recede from life and each other because, let’s face it, just managing our own homes is more than enough crazy for a lifetime. This might work for a season, a day, a week or two. But there is a danger of withering beneath the weight of the every day, 24 hours set on repeat over and over again with no off button if we keep at it alone.
There is something you can give. Something you can receive.
From your sisters. From the women you might never actually meet. From the neighbor who lives at the end of your quiet street, your mother-in-law, your church friend, school friend, PTA parent, baseball-bleachers-sitting sister.
There is this one thing we can do for one another. This one thing that is everything. And costs nothing.
Holding up the arms.
Rubbing the tired shoulders, folding the laundry, sharing the recipes, reminding each other about free donut days and birthdays and showering grace when we’re late to the preschool pick up.
Not comparing our kids. Celebrating the victories. Weeping the pain. Delivering the casseroles. Sharing more than just, “I’m fine.” Rocking the colicky babies, offering the girls nights out, teaching the best teething gels, powders, rings.
Admitting the temper tantrums.
Sending the cards, loaning the good boots, complimenting the jeans. Sharing the best books, driving the car pool, ignoring the squabbling kids, making time for the catching up. Coming when she calls when her man’s out of town. Showing up with the Starbucks and sticky buns. Telling her, she can. Especially on the days when she’s still wearing her pajamas. Telling her to be kind to herself, and that comfy clothes are always the right choice.
Not comparing houses or laundry piles or kids’ behavior.
Cheering for each others’ dreams, kids, work, art, new hair cut.
Crying alongside. Holding on. Hoping. Passing the tissues. Buying the chocolate. Holding the hands. Opening arms to the grief. Patiently walking the valleys, flash light packed, stop watch left at home.
Believing the best, giving the benefit of the doubt, calling. Complimenting.
Spending time in each others’ kitchens, laundry rooms, living rooms, cars. Meeting up for breakfasts, sending notes just because. Praying. Cracking knees to the mat and praying for her story, her life, her rabid fear of parenting.
Sharing the mess ups, the upside downs, the glimpses into your chaos, the dog days of motherhood when you want your money back. Not cleaning up before she comes over. Being OK with being seen just as you really are.
Welcoming her into your real life. So she can exhale.
And you can be encouraged.
This. This we can do.