the hard, good work

I’ve been keeping late hours the past few weeks, partially because I’ve always had night-owlish tendencies, and partially because this part of pregnancy includes insomnia. So here I sit, in a dim room after everything else is quiet, ginger tea nearby (this pregnancy also includes so much nausea). I’ve snuggled and comforted a sick, tired toddler girl today, after snuggling and comforting a few times during the night last night. I’ve wiped so many tears in the past 24 hours, including a few of my own: liquid exhaustion.

I even managed to feed my family with what I scraped together around the house, after grocery trips were postponed because of the day’s events. I have worked hard today. And my body continues to work hard, long after I am ready to rest, building another small human, whose tears will bring me running to dry and to comfort, sometimes in the middle of the night.

But that is how this goes–these people are the best, hardest kind of work. All people are. We require a lot, beginning with our mamas, before we’re born. It’s something about motherhood I just was not prepared for until I experienced it–the depth of the physical work required to care for another human. My insides have roiled, I’ve lost so much sleep, my body aches, and that’s all before the hard part begins, when I am literally broken to give life anew, and then the sleeplessness continues.

Those are the specifics of my work. But mine is not the only kind of work, and any kind can be hard. All of our people require hard work from us to love them well. I’m learning to more graciously take up this role as I pour myself out for mine.

Whether you’re birthing and raising babies, navigating tension with coworkers, caring for ailing parents, caring for your ailing self, or lifting up friends, there is hard work to be done with our people. But you and I are hard workers.

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