It was at a sheva brachos, that I ended up shmoozing with my friend’s new mother-in-law… and we ended up talking about you.
As with most conversations with strangers, we started off with a “so what do you do?” and got to talking about, well, all the things I do.
Our conversation meandered on to talking about parenting, parenting techniques, understanding our children, and different hashkafos and perspectives when parenting our children.
And then, we ended up talking about… you.
Things Are Different
No matter how you slice or dice it, my friend’s MIL was raising her children (the youngest of whom is already in her teens) in a different world than we are now.
And compared to two generations ago -- it’s like two different universes.
In our generation, we are more likely to have larger families, significantly closer together in age.
We’re significantly more likely to have a job outside the home - whether because of the raised cost of living, a husband in kollel or chinuch, or simply because it fills us up.
We are generally juggling a lot more - therapies, carpools, offering nutritious meal options, giving our children our time and attention, and familial and social obligations becoming broader and more with every generation.
And, of course, we know we should be sleeping properly, eating well, exercising and meeting our spiritual and emotional needs.
In short: we have a lot more that’s filling our days and our heads and a whole lot more expectations - both internal and external - of what we could or “should” be doing, and we cannot possibly be doing all of it!
There’s a lot more noise now than there was then, more awareness but also more clutter.
But here’s the thing: the more we’re juggling, the more we have on our heads, the more we have to do, the more tools we have to be able to do it.
If you’re given a lot, you can do a lot
Back before my twins were born (just about one week before we found out they were twins, in fact), my husband and I were chatting about the idea of twins in theory. While he said he’d love to have twins, I said I didn’t think I’d ever be able to handle them.
… and here we are over 5 years later with exactly that situation, which I’ve, clearly, been able to handle.
Because underneath all those layers of juggling, the important truth to remember is that Hashem doesn’t give anyone a situation they cannot handle.
That means that yes, it’s hard to be a mother now (twins or no twins!); it’s the type of “job” that pulls your kishkes out of you -- but you’re also being sent everything you need to make it work.
And we have so. many. tools at our disposal -- that either didn’t exist or simply weren’t available a generation ago.
From the normalization of therapy to help you maintain balanced mental health in your life to “the therapies” (speech, OT, PT, etc.) that we have available for our children.
From being able to understand our children on a deeper level to be able to meet their needs at every age, to having a deeper awareness of our own needs, and how we can best build ourselves as women and as mothers.
From coaches and consultants, shiurim and support groups, and entire webs and organizations of services.
And, as I was talking about this with my friend’s new mother-in-law, we reflected on how much there is in the way of resources, how much knowledge and help is available, and how all of that mirrors the greater responsibilities and difficulty we have now.
Because Hashem only gives us a nisayon along with the tools to deal with it.
Don’t be stuck on a desert island
I’m sure you’re familiar with the story of a man stuck on a desert island who prays to be saved. A boat, plane, helicopter all come by and he sends them away saying, “Gd will save me.”
Well, he dies, gets to heaven and asks, “Gd! I was waiting for You to save me! What happened?”
And Gd replies, “Who do you think sent the boat, the plane and the helicopter? I tried to save you, but you had to be ready to grab the rope and be saved.”
We all have perfectly packaged difficulties in our lives, and we are all sent exactly the tools we need to be able to overcome them.
And, as mothers, those difficulties will come up.
Whether it’s an emotional difficulty or a physical one. It may be a nursing struggle, it may be a medical scare, or it may be sleep deprivation and a kvetchy baby.
And that’s why this work that I do is not about sleep.
This is deeper than that - this is my calling. This is about being able to help mothers like you with one of the biggest struggles so many women face.
Because motherhood is NOT about sleep deprivation. It's about being the best mother you can be - which, oftentimes may mean starting by making sure that you and your baby are getting the sleep you need, but expands far beyond that.
Click here to see some of the results of work I do with my clients.