How are you feeling?
Autumn can be a time of transition, of new starts and shifting seasons. And that is both wonderful - and hard at times.
So... how are you really feeling?
On Monday, my son started secondary school.
I still can't quite believe it. I haven't adjusted. How did we go from tiny babe to almost teenager?
Somehow, each transition we face in motherhood is a surprise...
However much we try to prepare, however much we learn along the way, it's always a wrench to let go, just a little bit more. To release our kids to the life that's busy beckoning them onwards.
Even as he is rising bravely, brilliantly, to all the challenges that come his way, stepping into this new adventure, I'm not there yet.
I keep catching myself falling into loops of doubt, wondering if there is something I could have done differently, or could still do differently now, that would make life easier for him. That would protect him from all that comes with growing up.
And of course, there wasn't, and there isn't. We all do the best that we can at the time that we do it.
I know that we can't tie them up in bubble wrap and follow them around disguised as a letterbox, armed with a first aid kit and a water gun to scare the world away.
(Although as you can tell, I've clearly thought that option through in some detail...)
Because ultimately this is how we all grow up - by going through the hard stuff, finding ways to respond to the new, and experiencing the challenges of the transitions as they happen.
The kids learn that way. And so do we.
I have to keep reminding myself of that. When the letting go feels too overwhelming - that I too am experiencing a big transition. It's taking a lot of energy, and I need to make sure that I put some energy into taking care of myself too.
So often, we focus on the kids at these big transition points - supporting them to step into the next phase of life. And we're so busy doing that that we forget to notice how much it takes from us too - and how important it is - vital in fact - to look after ourselves as we walk this journey alongside them.
(Possibly, while wearing a letterbox, but preferably, from a steadily increasing distance...)
So I want to remind you today to pause and notice the world whirling around you as we shift from summer to autumn.
Notice how you are tending to the needs of others as they move through the challenges of growing up, and stepping into the next adventure...
And offer yourself the same love and support. Because you need and deserve it too. You too are learning as you go, stepping into a new way of parenting, a new phase, an as-yet unknown future. And that can be difficult, frustrating and scary sometimes. It's big for you too.
But you are up to the challenge. And how do we know that?
Because you have already faced and overcome so many of these transitions - so many changes - on this motherhood journey.
You have done so much better than you think you did.
You have adjusted and readjusted.
And readjusted again.
And yes, you have probably - definitely - also messed it all up at some point, learnt from that, dusted yourself down and got up again.
Because the journey doesn't stop, we can never get it perfect, give ourselves a gold star and tick it off our list.
...It just changes into something new, yet again.
So... I'm reminding you to give yourself a gold star and a big tick on your list right now. For all that you have done already. Today. Yesterday. This week. Last month. This year. The year before that. And on and on.
For every single day of managing these huge shifts, emotions and changes. You are brave, and resilient, and so much stronger and more capable than you think - capable of moving on through whatever you're in now, even though it may feel impossible at times.
We see you. We appreciate you. We know that you are doing the most valuable work in the world. Now give yourself a break - and some extra love and encouragement for all that you do.
PS Come join us in Mamas' Everyday Retreat next Wednesday 18 September for our monthly online get-together.
May you be FLUID
The sea is always moving, changing, adapting, responding, finding a way through. To be fully in the sea is to embrace the constant flow of life, and to find the power in your ability to shape-shift.
May you find flexibility. May you see potential. May you discover your strength in movement and flow. May you adapt. May you remember to drink water, often.
Find more Sea Soul Blessings at www.seasoulblessings.com. Follow us on facebook and instagram
Monthly Retreat Party: Join us on Wednesday 18 September for our monthly #somum Mamas' Retreat Party in Mamas' Everyday Retreat.
Mamas' Everyday Retreat is a safe kind space for mamas to connect and support each other. You can expect much me-time encouragement, compassionate conversation, gentle motivation, and surprise treats.
If you're not already a member, ask to join the group and we'll add you.