Palm trees are amazing trees. They are tall, have winding trunks, produce amazing coconuts, and are beautiful and majestic. They are on the front of every beach-view postcard, a symbol of the good life.
…but, palm trees don’t always have it so good.
Winds during a hurricane or other coastal storm are well over 80 miles per hour. The palms are beaten over and over again, pounded with wind and rain, just trying to stay upright. Unfortunately, some palm trees don’t make it through the hurricanes, or do, but sustain a lot of damage. Those trees don’t just bend under the weight of the whipping winds–they break.
Why do some palm trees stand firm, while others crumple over under the pressure? The answer lies in their roots. In order for a palm tree to stand firmly rooted, their roots have to have grown deep and wide around the tree. They have to have been nourished well, and some even entangle their roots with those of other trees, even more firmly keeping those trees standing tall. The palm trees that fall? Their roots are weak. They grow shallowly, without the proper nutrients, with no other roots to support them. Without a strong root system, they fall over under the pressure of the storms, when others around them are able to bend without breaking.
Being a mother is a lot like being a palm tree. Without a deep root system, intertwined with the roots of those around us, we don’t just bend under the weight of the storms. We break.
Whether it’s during our pregnancies, our births, our postpartum high, breastfeeding lows, parenting is a giant roller coaster. Without a firm root system, there is no way we will make it through the tough spots…we will bend, and we will break. We need nutrients–we need healthy food for our bodies, minds, and spirits. We need other people around us to intertwine ourselves with, who will support us when things are hard. They keep us upright. We just bend–we don’t break.
It’s never too late to develop your firm roots. Start reading, educating yourself about whatever stage of parenting you’re in. Don’t be afraid to take a stand for yourself and your child. Feed yourselves with nutritious food, empowering knowledge, and spiritual guidance. Then find your people. Join a mom’s group, play date, book club, church group, community service organization…anywhere you think you’d find like-minded people. Then don’t be afraid to open up. We ALL need people. Chances are, the people you’re looking for are also looking for you. So find them, then grab onto each other. The winds are coming, and they don’t always let up quickly.