Settle In For the Season

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The wind is fiercely dancing past my windows as I sit to write this. The trees are barren after their final showing of life and vibrance. The ground is hardening, and winter, she is coming.

November always brings with it a certain feeling of settling, at least for us New Englanders. It’s time to cozy up our dens, build a fire, and hunker down for what is likely to be a long winter. At this time of year, it’s possibly to feel ok with that, especially if we have soaked in plenty of summer sun, and autumn warmth. We know that winter is just a season, and in time she will pass.

I’m settling in in many ways right now. Yes, the heat is turned on, soup is on my stove almost everyday, and my big comfy sweaters have made their way back into my closet. I’m ready for the time of year. But I’m also settling into a time of life, a season in itself. I’m finally settling into motherhood in a way that feels good, and right.

Let me explain…

After last year’s whirlwind of birthing a baby, and opening a new business, then slowly realizing that it all was too much… I’m taking a gentler approach. I’m (trying) (very hard) to let go of my ego, my need to be, and do, and achieve more. I’m letting myself adopt the mantra of “good, is good enough”. And in very practical matters, since I am unable to massage right now, I am taking a part-time job, at a nursery school.

In some ways this feel like a hundred steps back. Like something I would have done when I was in college, or high school, ┬ánot now with a bachelor’s degree, hundreds of hours in specialized training, and the experience of successfully being my own boss. But in other ways, this feels like a huge step forward, and a perfect place to be right now. It’s a good job, and good is good enough.

Right now my attention, my time, and energy, is flowing in all directions towards my family, and my own self care. I know that these early years of making, growing, and caring for babies are unique. I know that many women jump right back into their normal lives after having a baby, but I also know that many women face crippling health issues from burn out and exhaustion. I have been on the verge of these health issues due to my own ambition and drive, but I have finally given myself permission, and the necessary support, to stop.

Settling in carries with it a certain sadness. In November we in the northern hemisphere mourn the loss of our daylight, our warmth. As mothers we may mourn the loss of our former selves. The selves that could work a 10-hour a day job, and still have energy to exercise, go out with friends, and keep up with all of life’s demands. However we all must remember that this is just a season. This winter, this time of life, it will pass. How we spend it is what is of most importance. How we choose to play in this life is what really matters.

I’m choosing warm slippers, and cozy blankets, fires built, and soups cooked lovingly. I’m choosing self-care, and simplicity, work that is satisfying but not overly demanding, and time with my babies. I’m settling in, to enjoy all that I am blessed with. I hope that whatever season you are in, you are able to do the same.

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Who I’m Wearing

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Some women like to wear designer clothes. I’ve never been much into fashion. My best friend in elementary school used to tease me for my mismatched socks. “But they are both white, what does it matter what style they are?” was typically my response.

Still today, my wardrobe consists of many pairs of black yoga pants (which I shamelessly wear everyday, now having not only the excuse that I am a yoga teacher, but I am a mom, and moms get to wear yoga pants every damn day), solid colored tank tops and tees, and open-front sweater wrap thingies. See, I don’t even know the proper terminology for what my wardrobe items are called. I wear clothes from Target, Old Navy, T.J Maxx, and sometimes the Gap. And while sometimes I ogle other women’s fashion sense, or put together an outfit that borders on stylish, mostly I am just pleased with myself when I happen to be wearing matching socks.

So as you can see, this post is not about my chic mama fashion sense. This post is however about the most important person I could possibly be wearing these days. My baby.

I wear my baby. I wear him on my front. I wear him on my side. I wear him on my back, where he sits up nice and high. (I couldn’t help but go a little Dr. Seuss on you there!) I wear my baby for walks, for naps, for grocery store trips. I wear my baby at the park, at weddings, and in the dark of night at music festivals. I wear my baby when he is sick, tired, or simply wanting to cuddle. I wear my baby because he likes to be worn, held, snuggled in next to my beating heart, and my softly swirling breath.

My baby is not so little anymore. But I wear him anyways. Maybe not as much, maybe not for as long, but everyday I put my baby “up”. Soon he will grow even bigger. Soon my baby will be running circles around me. He may not want to be up, most of the time. That’s ok. I don’t wear my baby because he is the latest fashion accessory. I wear him because he needs me to. I hope that he will still need me to, at times, for at least awhile longer. I hope that he will look at me with big, sleepy eyes, reach his arms toward me, and know that I will always gladly pull him “up”. Maybe he will even remember these moments, consciously or not, of being tied to my body, rocked gently by my swaying hips, soothed by touch and rhythm.

I will never be one to wear Ralph Lauren, or Gucci. I will never worry about the name on my clothing, or shoes. But I will remember the cloth that bound my baby to me. I will remember the colors, the woven threads, the way he fit on my hips, and the way the fabric stretched across my shoulders. Designer clothes do not make me feel beauty, or strength, or purpose, or love. Wearing my baby does.

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