Are You Ready?
About a month out from this little one’s estimated birthday and this is the question I’ve been fielding lately. The answer is usually a mixture of: yes, no, and…I will be.
This is, as one might not intentionally imagine, quite a loaded question. When I’m asked it, I actually hear these silent inquiries:
Am I ready to shatter the personhood I’ve known?
Am I ready to transform through a rite of passage that may be the most intense I’ll ever experience into the new reality of motherhood and womanhood?
Am I ready to welcome earth-side this incredible human I’ve been hanging out with nonstop for 8ish months? Am I ready for the fact that as he grows I’ll need to learn how to more and more let go?
Am I ready for my schedule to be flipped every which way as I re-negotiate patterns of sleep, eating, and yes, even self-care with a baby in arm?
Am I ready to relearn the balancing act of romance, work, creativity, rest, and prioritization all the while loving and caring for something more than I could likely ever imagine?
And what is ready-ness anyway? Is anyone ever, actually ready?
In the mix of stroller setup, bottle-space-negotiations in kitchen cabinets, and the carseat installation, I can’t help but notice how the real “readying” is far more internal than the external baby industrial complex would have us believe.
And I’m happy to report I have been readying more space in my heart, and mind. More space for flexibility, for surrender, and for the different. This inner Marie Kondo-ing is far more significant than anything I can hold in my hands or point to. But it is still energetically palpable.
We certainly don’t become ready for a big life event like this overnight, but hey, that’s what a gestational period is all about. And whatever we’re growing, we do have the continued capacity to orient ourselves to the true north of readiness over and over again, however we may be feeling about the process.
Though, upon closer consideration, I would like to propose that the state of being ready, is far more of a moving target than usually discussed. Not in some tortured and never-enough Sisyphus way, but in the ever changing path of lifelong growth. There are always more meditations to do, more clients to see, more healing foods to eat, more great conversations to have, more natural birth videos to watch. You get my point.
So perhaps it’s OK if my answer to this initial question - however confident I may feel - still contains a bit of humble uncertainty. Always knowing more could be done, but that a crucial part of growth lies in surrendering to the reality of what presently is.
When the divine time comes, I will be as ready as possible. And as I continue to strive toward the ever-growing state of readiness I am content with the fact that I’ve been preparing for this for years. In the work I’ve done on myself. In the choices I’ve made. In the way I show up for this life with a fierce orientation towards gratitude and learning. In the openness of my heart and my mind to the thrill of the unknown.
So the next time someone asks if I’m ready, I’ll smile and say:
Yes, no, and I will be.