Holding on, Holding Space and Trying to Give Myself a Lot of Grace
For over three weeks now I have been pondering when and how and what I would say about what is happening right now in our world.
It is an unsettling feeling to go from very busy; with a nearly full massage schedule, on call for births, serving postpartum clients and parenting two busy children, to this new rhythm and routine (or lack there-of).
There have been incredible moments:
1. Doing reiki daily with my daughter, who loves it and asks for it often.
2. Shared moments of peace and love and joy between my son and daughter.
3. Having space to finally start to incorporate all of the self care tips I recommend to people always (Good food, reflection, hydration and movement!)
4. Creative time (I am nearly half way done crocheting a blanket!)
I am seeing all the helpers out there. Folks who are shining their lights a little brighter for the collective good!
Actors, artists and musicians sharing songs, readings, paintings, crafts.
Small local businesses doing their best to continue to serve their communities and provide crafts, food, drinks, and more with contact less deliveries and smiles from afar!
I'm seeing people support their neighbours and family in all the ways they can. Food drop offs, messages of support and art in their windows and the creation of so many virtual hang outs!
It is not all cupcakes and unicorns though.
This is hard. In so many ways.
The children are feeling the loss of presence of their teachers, peers and general freedoms. Despite living close to a playground, we can not go there to play, to feed the ducks, to burn off some extra energy.
I am mostly alone with my 2 children, 1 dog, 3 cats (this number actually jumped to 7 when my cat had babies yesterday!), and 2 guinea pigs.
My usual supports of my partner and my best friend are extremely limited.
My partner does not live with us and as per the rules, we should not be seeing him at all.
He has been coming to relieve me so I can go and teach my online childbirth education class and get groceries without my children.
The rules change every day and it is becoming more difficult to follow them, especially if you have very little support and let us not ignore the incredible amounts of privilege that one must have to be able to follow them all to the letter. (IE: the ability to stay home, the ability to buy enough groceries to last a week or two at a time, someone to watch the children so someone can get groceries, internet at home to place orders for online groceries (which may or may not even include all the food you need, as more and more people take advantage of this service)
There are many messages out there:
"Use this time to deep clean, organize, purge your home!"
"Use this time to learn a new language, start a new hobby, etc!"
"If time was your excuse, now you can do whatever it was you were putting off!" (As if parents who are now attempting to work from home during a crisis, with children, household duties, etc have extra time. I can honestly say that I have LESS time to myself now than before.)
Some more realistic messages that I am living for and that I am preaching to myself and to others:
You do not have to be productive right now. In fact, part of me feels that this is the perfect opportunity to stop.
Stop rushing. Stop consuming. Stop hustling.
We have a collective chance to see what the world is like and who we are when we are not defining ourselves by our job, what we do and the amount of money we make.
Take this time to breathe.
To connect with your core.
To just work on loving yourself and your family and your village as fiercely as you can.
To see what parts of our old "normal"we want to carry forth into our new "normal".
I have long desired to see a world where capitalism is not the question and the answer.
Where we structure our lives based on doing what we love, surrounded by who we love and where we live mindfully, simply and from a place of gratitude, compassion and honour (for ourselves, our world and each other).
That being said, I am holding space for myself and others to feel all the feels during this collective grief, anxiety and pause.
I am learning more and more every day to be gentle and gracious with myself and the others in my family as we swim these uncharted waters. The feelings that arise are big ones.
All of them are valid. All of them are real.
Do what you need to do right now to survive.
Do you want you need to do right now to thrive.
Some of us will create our best work during this period.
Some of us will cry a lot and eat a lot of cookies.
Some of us will do both.
Some of us will do neither.
It is all okay. It is all enough. If you make it through, your kids make it through, you have done enough.
If you need support, reach out!
If you want to have a virtual coffee date, reach out!
If you need food dropped off, reach out!
If you need a guided meditation, reach out! I have several recorded and will happily share.
If you need to cry or scream or vent, reach out!
Know that it is okay to not be okay. It is okay to be thriving. It is okay to be loving this extra time with your children and it is okay to be struggling with it too!
Stay tuned for a blog post this week about current regulations regarding childbirth and Covid19, ways to be supported during your pregnancy in this time, and resources available to you!