Give what you can, when you can

Alexandra at Good Day, Regular People reminded me of this in a recent email.

For a long time I had felt disappointed and sometimes hurt, even resentful at the sparse emails that I was beginning to get from girlfriends. Of course, the spurts in correspondence coincided with early motherhood, and a single girlfriend and I used to say how we would never become like thatthat as in writing 2-sentence emails, that as in taking 2 months to respond to a friend, that as in ending an email with “Gotta go, baby’s crying!”

Now, three years later, that friend and I – both mothers of young boys – are emailing each other twice or three times a year, brief 2-sentence emails, often in attempt to set up a phone appointment to catch up.

The truth that I wanted to deny is that it is hard to carve out extra time when you have young children making demands, perhaps also non-home work responsibilities that could care less if your child is sick or if you only had 3 hours of sleep the night before. Even if you have just 5 minutes, Alexandra told me, give that. When you’re a mother, you need to just give what you can, when you can. I realized that it is the connection that is important, and not necessarily the content of the communication.

I’ve been out of touch recently, literally not visiting my own blog, let alone those of others. My work is cyclical (running from late summer through early winter), and my season has started. Because we are self-employed and this is the time of year when we “wait” for clients to sign up, I’ve been a bundle of nerves hoping that we will pull through. Though there is risk with any business, somehow it feels that much more nervewracking when everything depends on just the two of us. So I’ve been working a little harder this week to make sure we start off as strong as possible.

And tomorrow we take off for a major road trip up the east coast to visit my parents. I’ve got a washing machine of clothes waiting to be hung and a suitcase or two waiting to be packed. I’m going to try and finish the laundry in the 26 minutes I have left before I need to pick Fred up from camp. I’d finished writing a 52-page manual for work earlier and I thought, okay, I have another 10 or so minutes that I can spare. So I popped in here, blew some virtual dust off the blog, and grabbed those free moments to say hello.

6 thoughts on “Give what you can, when you can

  1. Very good, Cecile. I hear what you’re saying, and oh, yeah…just a few seconds is all you need to remember that you are not alone in this motherhood gig.

    So sweet of you to bring me up, too. Thank you. You know, I have always felt a draw to you since we first met. I can’t even remember how. But, yes, an email from you is sometimes the buoy up I need in a day that has got me drowning.

    We can’t be all work, or we begin to feel isolated. At least, I do. It’s the time I make for communication, that gives me the renewed energy to keep on going with all there is to do.

    You did a great job. An excellent read.
    Thank you.

  2. Hi Cecilia – it is so very hard often to carve out time for everyone and everything. I think you have to decide what is important at any particular moment in time and what is not and decide from there how you divide up your time, but you cannot be all things to all people all of the time. So let the dust settle on the blog for a while, get your work done, go see your parents and we’ll still be here when you get back to us.

  3. I’m sending good “potential client” vibes your way, and I hope you enjoy your downtime. (And don’t worry if you don’t get to all the laundry. That’s what mom’s house is for.) =>

  4. A virtual hello right back at ya! I love how our blogs connect us impersonally and personally at the same time. Take whatever time you need as you know your loyal readers (like me!) will always be around to catch you when you swing by our neck of the woods. Enjoy your trip!

  5. I forget how nice it is to get a call or email, even a short one. And then get caught up in the self conscious fears. But we give what we can when we can. And friendships continue. It’s good to ‘hear’ your voice today. Have a great trip.

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