Mother Nurture – Investing in Knowledge and Skills that Last a Lifetime 

I designed t-shirts for the kids this winter as we embarked on this business adventure. My oldest son calls them our “swag.” One of the shirts says, “We grow things. Curiosity. Vegetables. Humans.”  

We (the kids and I) call the seedlings our babies. 

We mother our baby plants. In the same way a mother gets excited when her child accomplishes something or learns a new skill, we get excited when our baby plants grow. I was recently equally saddened when something went wrong with my seedlings. 

Me, texting my husband, after doing a deep dive on some of my seeds and their progress, “I have identified so many problems. I was filling the seed trays with moistened dirt and then watering from below. I thought that was what I was supposed to do, but some of these cells are so dry. I’m not watering them enough because I’m scared of seed rot. The trays are too far away from the lights. The seedlings get leggy and stretched out because they are fighting to get to the light. Also, after the seeds germinate, they do not need to be covered. I thought the moisture was a good thing! Nope! If you leave the covers on, that is something called ‘dampening off’ and can kill the plants. These seem like such basic things I should have known. I’m both depriving them of what they need and also smothering them. I’m so disappointed!” 

My (chemistry major) husband, in response, “I’m sorry babe. But, that’s science. That’s learning. That’s expanding your knowledge. It hurts. It’s painful.” 

In trying to be a good mother, exposing my children to this huge new world of growing plants, I’m the one learning the most. Many years out of my own formal education, that’s currently my favorite part of this adventure. I crave garden knowledge and remain curious beyond my time capacity for curiosity. (I do also have a career in finance to focus on.) I’m learning how important the environment and care is for each of these plants. You need to follow the steps on the back of the seed package, but WOW, there is so much more to learn to be successful. Sure, seedlings need constant attention in the early stages, but they also need to be left alone to do their thing. I just transplanted many seedlings after this interesting step called “hardening off” where you set the seedlings outside for a few hours a day for a few days before being officially placed in the ground. Evidently, they need to experience “the real world” a little before they go out on their own. I hear a lot of “Mom, I’ve got it” these days. This “hardening off” step speaks to my soul as a mother in this helicopter mom world. 

This garden is teaching my household so many real, beautiful lessons. Lessons of responsibility, curiosity and patience. We are responsible for how we care and feed these living things, just as we intentionally care and nourish ourselves. We remain curious, seeking answers to questions or in exploring new things. But above all, be patient, and allow the result of the hard work to bloom in its own time if we give each plant what it needs. 

Caring for something beyond yourself finds its way back around and feeds each of us. Mothering is in our nature. This is loudly showing up in my young boys as our souls want to care for something. Nurturing gives us purpose. To the plant mothers, business mom-bosses and human mamas, Happy Mother’s Day. We’re all raising something; let’s make it count.


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