In a prior blog, I recounted what my eldest daughter (Candace) taught me about the process of potting plants and I shared what motherhood lessons I learned from that experience.
Today, I wanted to share 4 more motherhood lessons I learned from the whole plant-potting experience when it comes to parenting my twin daughters.
Be Gentle With Yourself
The process of unraveling the overgrown roots was as messy as it was, overwhelming, intimidating, and frustrating.
The sight of the degree of entanglement felt overwhelming. The resulting realization that the detangling process would be “involved” and require more effort felt intimidating.
When we actually started to untangle things and nothing seemed to be getting corrected just so, then that felt frustrating.
At one point, I had to step back, pause, and (re)consider my—our—strategy for detangling the roots.
Mom Pointer: Take time to pause and consider the way you are approaching things and be gentle with yourself.
Remember, you are not raising your daughter in a vacuum. You will need their input in some fashion at some point in time. But be prepared to hear things that may make you feel like you missed it (e.g. are a “bad mom”).
Know that if you did miss it – from your daughter’s perspective – then you missed it and you need to own up to it.
Spread Out Roots Draw In Water
The first watery environment my plant had was the moist earth soil surrounding its seed.
It was then transferred to the pot I’d found it in at Walmart and I welcomed it into the home of my life.
Having had its roots’ “entangled state” brought to my attention, I needed undertake the process of spreading out its roots.
Giving my plant’s roots more room (e.g. freedom to extend itself and its reach) is what’s best for it.
Roots that are spread out
absorb water better.
Mom Pointer: Allowing your daughter the room to spread out (venture out from you) will actually aid in your getting closer in new ways.
As your daughter spreads her wings, it can feel like you’re losing the closeness and influence in your her life.
However, her spreading out will actually give you more opportunity to “pour water” into her that she will be able to (better) absorb. And a by-product of that, if you navigate it well, will be that you’ll get closer with each other in a new way.
Covering Is Still Needed; Just Not As Much
As Candace helped me get my plant placed in its new (larger) pot, I saw that prepared (new) hole in the new soil was not as deep as it needed to be.
How deep was that?
My plant needed to be deep enough so that the bottom of its main stem would sit near the top of the pot where some more new soil would be added.
One of the misconceptions is that as your daughter gets older and ventures out from under your roof she will no longer need you.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
There are different needs
during different life stages.
Mom Pointer: Your daughter needs you in her life; just in different ways.
Your daughter will still need to be able to peer over the top of the new soil in her life and see you cheering her onward.
Trust that the core part of her roots will have clung to the essential “old soil” that she’ll need for the transitioning process.
Watering Is Needed; But Watch The Tray
After potting my plant in the new soil, Candace told me that I needed to saturate my plant with water.
I was happy to hear that. And I eagerly went to task.
I filled up a watering jar and proceeded to pour…over all parts of the new soil. The water seemed to be going it so nicely.
However, before I could blink, water started gushing out from the bottom of the pot.
I’d thought that since the new larger pot had a larger “catch tray,” then I had more leeway to keep pouring.
I had to be even more mindful of my newly (re)potted plant’s limits and keep an eye on the effects of my actions.
With more space comes
for the both of you.
Mom Pointer: It’s important to check in with your daughter regarding how she is functioning (doing, feeling, thinking about) her new environment (e.g. soil).
It can be tempting to assume that she’s just taking in everything and has room to take in more from you, her mom. However, you need to remember to connect with where she is first (emotionally) and then check to see if she has room to take in more from you.
If you pace yourself and keep tabs on the new pot’s “catch tray,” then you’ll be less likely to have things “spill over” (i.e. explode) between the two of you.
So, the 4 additional motherhood lessons I learned from potting my plant were:
- Be gentle with myself.
- Spread out roots draw in water.
- Covering is still needed; just not as much.
- Watering is needed; but watch the tray.
Let me know some of the motherhood lessons you’ve learned (&/or may still be learning) as you raise your daughter.
Would you like some good reading material to give you some additional perspective on motherhood?
©Dr. Michelle Deering