“I’ve got a job interview!”, a sweet mama friend recently announced. She was in a mixed state of shock and elation. And, truthfully, so was I.
It seems like each time I walk out the door to another meetup for coffee, yet another friend from my mothering hood informs me that she’s heading back into the working world.
There is a natural progression of feeling. First, I feel sadness as I consider losing yet another confidante` and partner in motherhood crimes. I almost always feel angry, next, that this economy has forced so many of us to have to go this route. And then, I instantly feel ridiculous for assuming anyone “has to” go back to work. Inevitably, though, I hit the acceptance stage, as I reluctantly admit that change is a part of life.
While I dole out congratulations with a mix of excitement for them and sorrow for myself, I redraw my friendship circles. This one goes into the “I can meet her for coffee before we head out for our day” circle. That one goes into the “we can meet at night for dessert, once in a while ” circle. And so it goes, because work schedules are as varied as the friendships themselves.
I find myself shaking and sifting my own daily schedule to accommodate the quick lunch downtown, the Skype session between meetings, or the neighborhood girls night out. And, every jig in the schedule is worth it, because I miss them.
Regardless of whether they re-enter the working world by choice or not, it’s obvious that the landscape of my Mother Hood is changing. Much like the transition from Fall to Winter, it is a bit upsetting to watch. I’m watching friends drop out of the picture like leaves blowing away in the wind.
But, there is new beauty to see, too. Watching mammas transform themselves with a renewed sense of care, is like watching the trees of Spring begin to clothe themselves in bright green splendor. As their children have flown away from the nest, or simply grown up enough to afford them time, they’ve been able to realize dreams that have long lain dormant.
No matter what the reason for each decision a mama makes, it’s clear that each of us is doing the best we can with what we’ve been given. And, I don’t think we give each other enough credit for that.
One of the things that I most admire about a landscape is its ability to transform with the seasons. The changes can be months in the making, like the dormancy of winter bringing about the brilliance of spring. Or, they can be as quick as a strong wind scattering a puffy white dandelion across a field, leaving a lone stem in its wake. I see our mothering decisions much the same way.
Weathering the changing landscape in my mothering hood is going to require looking for the beautiful in the new. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that a layer of grace makes everything more beautiful.
Change is inevitable. So, when the landscape of your mothering hood changes, seek out the beauty in the new. You will find it. There is so much beauty there.