Blood from a turnip, water from a rock

Whenever we whined of teen drama that we just HAD to set right my best friend’s mama would always say to us “well baby, you can’t squeeze blood from a turnip or water from a rock.”
It has taken growing into the full measure of my womanhood–with all the joy and pain that entails–to fully understand what she meant.
There are simply some things that are beyond our control.
What a humbling and comforting realization.
Infertility and a high risk pregnancy have really reminded me of the value of this lesson recently. When your biggest problems are medical, all other issues dwarf in comparison.
You see, when you don’t know from day to day whether you’ll have enough energy to eat, drink, or move, picayune things like minor office or personal dramas are fleeting annoyances. You learn to do your best, maintain your boundaries, and keep it moving.
When you worry that your toddler isn’t getting enough of your time or your unborn child enough nourishment, you ain’t got time to feed into grown folks’ childish actions.
You learn to gauge yourself by really the only standard that matters: “did I do my best?”
If you can answer yes then all is right in your world.
This is the kind of mother wit I believe we’re all born knowing. But we lose our bearings along the way as a child’s innate confidence is replaced by external gauges of what it is we should do or be.
And sometimes it takes feeling as vulnerable as a child to return to that core truth.


About domesticpolichick

My life is a crazy jumble of sitcom-level domestic hijinks and fast-paced political reporting in the nation's capital. Breastfeeding while doing a phone interview with a senator...yep, I've done it and no, I won't reveal the name. Toddler calling a member of Congress on the cell..yeah, that really did happen. Pregnant in high heels on Capitol Hill trying to chase down a particularly grumpy senator, yeah...that was nuts. But what can I say? I'm just one domestic polichick trying to figure out the work-life balance.
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