Sunday was Mother’s Day and…I did a lot of mothering. It just turned out that way. Some things went down (no trouble, just life) and presence is what was required.
A lot of what I do as a mother is that I am present. I am available. I listen…as best I can. Turns out I’m so easily distractible! I use the other’s face and sound of voice as dristi/focus points and keep coming back. Compassion is a helpful motivator.
When I have thoughts or perspective I try to offer them in a respectful way that is translatable. At the right time. To help navigate. Sometimes I do this better than others. Yet more than anything I am just here.
Parenting in a pandemic is hard. There is a lot to face and continuous hard choices to make. Kids and young adults want to be with their friends and from what we have been told so far they are likely not at high risk.
Yet their lives that are just beginning are being seemingly derailed to keep safe the elders, many of whom have already lived long lives, and the immune compromised…like myself.
There are conflicting motivations for sure, and most of what we are going on is speculation at this point. It’s hard to make choices in this climate and then have to live with whatever that brings. Once again, always true. Yet accentuated.
Late high school and college age kids are deciding if they want to sign up for major debt while trying to plan their future when nothing seems clear. We just paid for likely the highest priced online schooling so far in history while having the highly anticipated freshman year experience cut off with no warning after moving cross country together to make it happen! Each of us has our own unique story…
These kids have worked so hard doing what they have been told they have to do only to have the rules change at the last moment. I suppose we are all experiencing this but it is really accentuated for the upcoming generations about to step into the world as adults on their own.
Although there is this…they have experienced the old way and yet are not already as ingrained in their life path. Perhaps they can more easily adapt to life as it presents going forward. Without the same preconceptions of how things are supposed to or have to be. They can help evolve the old to meet the new.
This is what I will encourage.
In myself, my child and whoever else I encounter. Whether the new way is full of roadblocks, newfound possibilities, or both. We may not be able to recreate the future in the image of the past, we will have to adapt. Yet the more seamlessly we can do this with fresh, open eyes the more likely we are to succeed in the new environment.
Perhaps this is post covid parenting. Expectation, entitlement and arrogance will only get in the way. We have to keep adapting as quickly as the world around us. Once again, this is not new, but even more so.
It seems…people want accolades and congratulatory pampering about their parenting. It is helpful to support the caregivers, yet remember, mother’s day was at least in part developed as a consumer holiday with a political agenda. Every day can be appreciation day! Yet that’s not why I parent.
While I sure could use a massage or a delicious meal I didn’t make myself sometimes, the real gift I receive is the parenting itself…learning how to adapt and meet my child and a situation right where they are. Not in the way I think I want things to be. As they are. And respond to that.
When I stop fighting or forcing I can better see what we have to work with. I see my child as a being with needs that are trying to express…and I can help or hinder that.
For being a mother…is really about mothering. It is something you give. The potential-yet-not-guaranteed reward is the connection, and your child. You give without knowing what, if anything, you’re going to get. In my case, I have given a lot. And been given back so so very much. Not always what I thought or expected, and sometimes so far beyond what I could have imagined.
It’s not for everyone, parenting, and at times seems not for me! Yet once you’re in it there is no easy out. We adapt or we suffer. And we pass that on.
Once again, this is not new. But accentuated.
We are all presented with this opportunity right now – evolve together or get stuck trying to force things to be some preconceived way. In parenting and in this post covid world. Same thing, accentuated.
I…am going to keep trying to meet things with fresh, open eyes, and continuously, consciously adapt to the situation as it presents itself. I don’t already know better, I am learning as I go.
In life and parenting.
This is my precious Mother’s Day gift.