More -er than you know

Yesterday I went to go running with my dear friend J at 5:30 a.m. We usually meet up Monday and Thursday mornings, run around her or my neighbourhood, peer at dark houses and talk about all manner of things (life, dessert, ridiculousness, broken brains, etc.). And then we usually talk about how tired we are, being the mothers of young children. It's a constant state of being, but some mornings are tougher than others...some moments are exhausted beyond measure, beyond knowing how you're going to get up and keep going. Somehow we do...somehow we're still moving. And running, with puffs of cold breath, at too-early-o'clock in the morning.

Yesterday, though, when I arrived at J's house, she was still in her kitchen, no socks on, brushing her teeth. Usually she's ready to go and I only need to wait for her shoes to be tied. But yesterday I came into the kitchen and she said, "I was hoping you'd cancel."

I kinda hoped she would cancel too. And I was seriously toying with the idea of cancelling on her. Both of us had been up too late and both of us had long days ahead of us, days that could have used those extra hours of sleep.

I couldn't cancel, though. I needed to see her, to talk to her, to ruminate over the latest developments in my mothering, to get her advice and support and reassurance that the next hurdles in front of me were not only achievable, but that I would survive and keep moving well after I had jumped them.

I needed to hear that I was okay, that the future would be okay, even if it turned out horribly wrong, that things would still be okay. I left as I always do - bolstered, picked-up, and ready to keep moving, to keep fighting, even though the exhaustion was in my bones. We didn't run, we had tea instead, but we talked and talked and worked through the moments that were causing me the most difficulty. It wasn't as fit-full, but it was mentally health-full. Thank God for J.

Last night my gorgeously pregnant sister came over, overwhelmed by all the things that having a baby meant - from needing new maternity clothes to actually being a mother. She was slightly horrified that when she came in my youngest was having a temper tantrum and I had pen on my neck from an earlier colouring session. It didn't help her panic of "How in the world am I ever going to do this?!?!?"

We sat and talked and ate candy and I told her all the things J had told me that morning - that she's got this. That things are only overwhelming because she's trying to tackle everything all at once. That she's going to be more okay than she'll ever realize because in the moment she'll be awesome. And after the moment, she'll look back and be impressed because no one ever knows that they have it in them. Ever.

And I reassured her that babies do not come out temper-tantruming and pen-wielding. They come out small, and basic in need, and they DO NOT MOVE. That you ramp up. That once you get to where I am, two babies, a miscarriage, and almost 4 years in, this is manageable, not always ideal or sexy, but survivable.

I found this today and it fits perfectly for yesterday's theme:

It's hard to remember this all the time...especially with pen on your neck or a panic attack coming on or when you get knocked down pretty impressively. And sometimes you just need someone to hold your hand and remind you: You've got this. You're awesome. It's going to be okay. You've GOT this.

Because you do.

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