Drinking Cold Coffee
My sisters, mother and I are planning to get together for coffee this weekend, for the first time in months. And right now, my main hope for this gathering is that I will get to drink my whole cup of coffee while it's hot.
I'm sure any mom and coffee lover will agree that drinking a cup of coffee while it's still hot- and not reheated for the umpteenth time- is a rare opportunity.
In fact, even before I was a mother, I realized that many times when you are caring for little people, you will eat and drink (and shower and sleep and pee and breathe..) on a totally different timetable with significantly lowered standards. You tend to take the back burner, because babies can't wait.
At least, that's been my experience..
You see, back when I worked in early childhood ( aka daycare) many moons ago, was actually when I penned the title for this blog. After an unusually fussy and chaotic morning and then feeding and changing and getting 5 little bities safely settled in dream land ( one of which was an incredibly light sleeper), I sat down to eat my lunch. My lunch of spaghetti that was served when they babies got theirs, but had since grown cold. I briefly considered microwaving and immediately nixed the idea because there was a good chance my light sleeper would wake and not get the nap that he needed. So I ate cold spaghetti and laughed to myself, thinking "that'd make a good book title one day."
So as a mother, eating cold food or drinking cold coffee or the variety of tiny inconveniences that have arisen, really weren't all that surprising for me. It was one of the few things about motherhood I was actually prepared for. And though I sometimes complain, one of the easier adjustments to make.
The all consuming nature of mothering and caring for my babies; knowing that they depend on me for their very life and comfort, however, has been life altering. It wasn't really something I could have prepared myself for. I will do anything for them- I give myself to them in pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding - but they also hold big chunks of my heart and mental space.
Because of this, I have found that the biggest challenge has actually been remembering to feed my soul and spirit.
It really hit me when, even after I was finally able to shower more regularly, and the newborn haze had worn off, I still felt out of sorts. I was still feeling on edge, frustrated, angry and moody and in need of a BREAK. Something was missing.
It's been a few months now, and with some outside help, I'm coming to realize that what was missing was me.
I was missing.
I'd lost myself to some degree and I wasn't feeling the joy. I was not seeing the good. And it was life draining.
I am by nature, a passionate person. So, although I threw myself all in to mothering with full gusto, I forgot to fan the flames of myself, so that I can keep mothering with all my might. I needed soul food that I wasn't getting and definitely not while it was "hot" if I did manage to get anything.
For me the soul food has been writing and reading for pleasure. Spending time in nature with my family. These are ways I reflect and release. They remind me of why I am mommy. The reason behind it all.
I guess the point I'm trying to make is that while it's called "self care" or "mother culture" or whatever other names it may go by, at the heart of it all, I am finding, is this need to be reminded of our purpose and our maker. To feed our souls. To feed the Spirit within us. And to do this within the chaos of our everyday life, not apart from it. It won't look the same for everyone. But the God beneath it all is.
And when I am feeding my soul- when I'm really drinking the coffee hot- I find joy in the daily things. I am able to laugh with my children. And that too becomes soul food.