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Give Yourself Away

I have been a lifelong U2 fan. My parent took me to Rattle and Hum when I was about 8 months old and I think it’s fair to say that the rockumentary made an impression. I’ve seen them live when they came to Minneapolis in 2011 and 2017 and have admired their work to help marginalized people.

But this post isn’t a love letter to U2, although I do want to refer to their first single “With or Without You.” There is a line in that song that comes to me often in my life as a parent:

And you give yourself away

And you give yourself away
And you give, and you give
And you give yourself away

As parents, our role is to give ourselves away. But, much like in the ballad, we can’t live with or without our children once we have them. How do we prepare for such a thing? It seems to be impossible, but I do have a few suggestions.

  • Set realistic goals, or M.A.R.T Goals, for yourself. It’s important to cut yourself some slack and make sure that self-care is one of your goals.
  • Embrace zwischen, because the “in-between” state doesn’t just exist in the final days of pregnancy.
  • Take time, if you can, to get to know yourself. It helps so much to know what you have to give before it’s all gone.

What roles have you had where you had to give yourself away? How have you survived, or thrived, through those roles?

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Photo by Gabriel Benois on Unsplash
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