Wednesday, August 9, 2017


I think this is the right word.  If we were playing Taboo or Catch Phrase, I'd say, "It's that thing when you've thrown yourself so far into taking care of a baby or toddler that you kind of forget who you are and when you're apart for a spell you don't quite know how to think or act.  You know, it's when you know you're in there- you're not really lost- you're just surrounded by the you that takes care of the them?"

And you'd yell, "Encapsulated!" and we'd win the game because we're like sisters like that.

I'm not sure what age my youngest becomes when those encapsulating layers peel off, but since my kids are generally about three years apart, I know it happens close to or just about prior to age three.  Or maybe that last layer or two wasn't quite free before the next one came along.  Either way, the me starts to shine through the me-caring-for-them at some stage.  I know it does.  I've caught glimpses of her over the years.  Yes, I have.

It's just amazing how those layers pile back on. They form a nice, thick blanket of wondering if they're eating enough and if they might be teething and what was that thing they just put in their mouth and are they getting enough attention and are we spoiling them know- the constant mom-mantra-thought-stream that runs through our heads.  You know it, right?

The thing is, I feel quite naked without those layers.  I don't think it's because I'm uncomfortable with the me underneath (although when we get get reacquainted each time it takes a bit to fall back in sync).  I think I'm just wired to nurture.  And I recognize that not everyone might be.  It's my experience that it's a gift...and it's a bit of a curse because it can be hard to take care of a person who is surrounded by cushion-y layers of baby-need-thought-sequences.  So, maybe I don't take care of myself as well as I should (eating well, exercising, time for quiet and prayer).  Maybe I don't write as often as I'd like.  Or call up friends as much as they'd like.

So, what do I do about all this?  I need to find a way to burrow a little hole through the layers and into the soft, squishy center inside.  A tiny laundry chute, let's say- where I can pass myself some raw carrots and a walk on the treadmill now and then.  Where I can reach out through to my keyboard and type a quick (likely, oddly written) post about who knows what.

I don't want to become de-encapsulated quite yet.  It's not time.  But that girl in there could sure use some fresh air now and again. Snorkel, anyone?
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  1. I am SO glad I am not the only person stuck in Mother-Hen mode 24/7. Although my boys are starting to leave the nest, they were all home (the oldest visiting from college) and under one roof last week. And I didn't realize why I was just SO HAPPY until I saw a momma peacock with 2 little ones - and it just clicked! All MY peeps were under one roof! I never did stop wanting to mother-hen people and take care of them - the only difference is I'm starting to need help myself, so can't physically mother-hen people very well....

  2. Thanks for putting this into words-it is perfect for me right now!

  3. There was a period of a few years when it wasn't quite so intense, the all encompassing motherhood. It ramped up again though when they got to high school and it feels even more so, in a much different way, now that they're both off to college in a week and in two weeks. I am definitely starting to see glimmers of me again.

  4. Hello. Lovely post. I'm always glad to see one from you on my feed. Thank you for making the effort.


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