This weekend, I very much wished there were some magical Mama machine that would allow me to be in three places at once. Increasingly that's the case, I'm finding, and I can only imagine the day coming soon that it will be five places at once that I'm hoping to be as each of these kiddos has their own exciting adventures, performances, races, and games that I want to attend. Does this sound family, Mamas? The pace of activity increases each year as they age and grow, and it's all good and wonderful things, of course. We try to delicately balance that tight rope of "Yes! You should absolutely do this, that, or the other thing that you are passionate about and we will support you 100%!" to sometimes having to make the call of "I'm sorry, but this time, right now, that just doesn't work for our family." The living, breathing, entity that is our Family, made up of all these seven individual parts. The Family has needs too. Surely, I've rambled on about this before here, and surely I will again, for it is precisely where we are right now in life and looks to be where we'll stay for at least another decade, and I'm far from having it all figured out.
But I am learning a few things as we get deeper into this world of only more fullness in our days. Or rather, I've been reminded of some lessons that were essential in the intense days of birthing and the early parenting a newborn child and am calling upon those once again, for they are just as relevant now. Things that are so simple and should just be second nature to do, but sometimes, for all of us, slip away in the flurry of the days and the fullness of family life. Most importantly, Self-Care....and Asking for (and Accepting) Help. So obvious, right? And yet we all, from time to time I know, let these things slide just a little bit. For me, those lessons have manifested in different ways recently and continue to shift as I keep them front and center in my focus. For one, I cannot remember the last time I had a late night crafting session! Neither can I remember the last time this former night owl made it past 10pm, as more often, I am asleep before at least several of my children. It's as though I am getting in shape for a marathon (not that I have ever done such a thing to have experience on the subject, but I can imagine), taking such care with food and sleep and mindfully not wasting energy on things that don't matter, and in a way, sometimes the days feel just like that. A really wonderful marathon, but a marathon nonetheless.
And help. Oh, it's tricky to ask for that isn't it? And even harder, sometimes, to accept it. But we are not meant to do it all - just one person or even one well-working team of parents. Perhaps it is the close self-examination that 40 has brought or perhaps it was simply necessity, but increasingly of late I find myself relying on others to make our days flow (and hopefully returning the love and energy in kind!) - whether it be with work, or the house, the farm, or the kiddos - and oh, the driving. We live in nothing like a literal village, but indeed there is a figurative village of a kind, of people whom we love and whom love us, and our family is made stronger by their presence, and their helping hands.
This morning, while Papa is working away from home, I will be in my studio focusing on the next issue of Taproot, and the beginnings of our holiday pop-up shop while my four littles are whisked off to the library with a friend. Upon their return, we'll meet in the garden where I hope to harvest so many of the things before dance classes and haircuts tonight. Because it's true what they say, many hands make light work. In so many ways.
Wishing you some lightness in your week ahead, in whatever way you need it most of all!