A mother’s work

I write this sitting in an empty bath because it’s the only place I won’t be disturbed. You
might think the sofa would be a more conventional and comfortable spot to lounge whilst scribing my daily notes, but it’s far too obvious. As for lying in bed, well, that would be just plain awkward if the family whose home this is found me under their duvet.
That’s right, this isn’t my home. In fact, because of the nature of my job (which I will fill you in on shortly), I’m very rarely in my own home. This means I have to get creative when it comes to practising my favourite self-care activity – writing down my thoughts, feelings and plans. (Or journaling, as it’s called these days.)
The bathroom is the perfect spot because it allows me the privacy I need to document the day. I can shut the door without anyone questioning what I’m doing. She’s probably busy
cleaning, they assume. Or, it sometimes crosses their minds, she might be answering the call of nature. Which leads me nicely to my identity. My name is Gaea and I am 4.5 billion years old. You may not believe me as I don’t look my age, but it’s true; I’m as old as the hills. I’m sometimes referred to as Mother Nature or Earth Mother, but I prefer just Gaea. It’s a little less official and, I like to think, makes me sound down to earth – which I am, of course. Working in close proximity to people who are in such a fragile state, I have to be.
Even if I did introduce myself as Mother Nature, I highly doubt my clients would believe me, which is understandable. So, I tend to keep the more official title to myself. Until now, I suppose. But that’s okay because today I am retiring. Hanging up my hat and moving back to Greece for some much needed and long overdue TLC. That’s enough about my needs for now though.
My job is all about tending to others. I guess you could say I’m a sort of Mary Poppins for
weary mothers. Dispatched to those who feel lost in the jungle of motherhood, I help women find their way. Both physically – through the mountains of washing – and emotionally.
Why me? Because nature has the power to soothe, heal, restore and connect. Health is
intrinsically linked to the environment and, it’s proven, those connected to nature have
stronger feelings of unity and belonging. Two feelings that are so often missing among those I work with.
My role, first and foremost, is to focus on a mother’s needs, bringing natural beauty and
human unity to the environment. But I’m not a mother myself. I wouldn’t be able for this line of work if I was. Most of the women I meet barely have time to inhale and exhale properly, let alone keep a watchful eye on the world’s mothers. I do have one fur baby – a Chihuahua, named Rex after my first pet who died 65 million years ago – but no human babies to call my own. Being in this job for as long as I have, however, means I understand just how hard being a mother is. Yes yes, it’s wonderful, of course (hashtag blessed, I think they say nowadays), but let’s just be honest about the situation. I’m all about being real and true.
Nobody can raise The Future entirely alone, but over the last half a century or so, more and more are attempting to, which is why I’ve been assigned an increasing number of cases. Moving away from their villages – literally – for various reasons, these women find
themselves without a support network to call their own, at a time when they need it most.
That’s where I come in. As well as helping with all the practical stuff – washing, cleaning,
batch cooking – I gently guide them towards their own self-care practice. Even if it’s just
taking five minutes a day, by tending to themselves, mothers are better equipped to look after their children. Like putting your own oxygen mask on first. (That’s been my favourite analogy since the 20th Century when passenger air travel became a thing.)Speaking of travel, my arrival at people’s homes is very rarely questioned. Usually, the mother is so relieved to have some help at hand, she welcomes me straight in, so I can get to work. On the odd occasion that my presence is under surveillance, I simply tell them I heard they were in need of a little assistance and leave it at that. It tends to be assumed that someone has sent me, which is not entirely untrue.
In reality, I am as mysterious and elusive as my creation. Magically making order out of
chaos, ensuring each mother is recharged, reset and balanced before heading on to my next case.
But today’s case marks my last. For some time now, I have been witnessing the rise of a
wonderful movement I call Motherkind. Women are building villages, finding tribes and
looking out for each other. They understand the value of treating themselves and the planet with the respect deserved, and I can hang up my hat safe in the knowledge that the word is spreading. A change has begun.
This allows me to turn my focus to the very pressing matter of the state of the earth. I have started experiencing power surges and blackouts; I need to practice what I preach. All that’s left to do this evening is finish my case notes and respond to a message that has just come through from The Boss…
There’s a new mum in dire need and she’s just down the road from where I am now. I can’t refuse. I don’t want to refuse. My retirement can wait another day. A Mother’s work really is never done.

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