Getting Real About Caregiving on International Women’s Day

Kendra Kolb Butler with flowers

In celebration of International Women’s Day this Sunday, March 8th, Alpyn’s founder Kendra Kolb Butler shares some real-world, real-woman cues inspired by the powerful Grandmother Plants that have helped build our brand:   

In wildcrafting, we always look for the grandmother plant when we harvest. These are often the largest of the group, those with the greatest visible ‘presence.’ As the leaders of their families, they are never to be picked. Why? Because they help provide for the smaller plants around them. 

As women, willing or not, many of us take on the nurturer role. Everyone wants a piece; everyone needs a little something from us at any given moment. It might reveal itself in a demanding career, a relationship with a partner, or a role as caregiver to parents or children. We give and we give until we often find ourselves tired, depleted and stripped of our personal energy source while those around us thrive happily, unaware of the weight of this responsibility. 

This Women's Day, I want to shed light on the reality, the hardship, the struggle that we all feel at one point or another in this process. I want to offer some unfiltered, unsolicited advice from a fellow female comrade who often feels like she is holding it together with a piece of scotch tape that’s constantly struggling to maintain its grip.  

Below, a few straightforward ways that I make an effort to stay centered, focused (and sane) no matter what life sends my way. Truly, I hope this helps you, too:

  • Enjoy the small victories.
    Remember that right now, you are already doing your best. Feel incredibly proud when you put your energy into something and it actually works out. Pat yourself on the back and recognize that it wouldn't have happened if it weren't for you making the effort in the first place.
     
  • Laugh when you want to cry a little.
    Find humor in hideous (yet ultimately hilarious) situations. For example, when your toddler points to a wine bottle in public and says "mommy's," or picks up a piece of gum from the parking lot to proudly carry to the trash can after learning by example that littering is an issue. 
  • Find your alone time.
    We all have our methods. Sometimes it’s eating cookies in the pantry while hiding from the kids, other times it’s faking a bathroom emergency to dodge the chaos of dinnertime cleanup. For me (and my shameless Alpyn plug), I like to apply a double dose of PlantGenius Line-Filling Eye Balm during these mini escapes to depuff after a quiet cry or keep the dark circles that surface from my abbreviated sleep schedule at bay. Even a few minutes alone can help you regroup. Pick your moment (you'll know when you need it) and just go for it. Skedaddle.

  • Have a really good girl-talk text chain going (a few if you're lucky).
    Anything goes on this. From hormone-driven breakdowns to menstrual cups–these are the secrets kept safe with your nearest and dearest. The ones who would never, ever judge you; the ones that deeply root for your daily happiness. You know who they are.

  • Do something nice for somebody each and every day.
    Whether it means telling a stranger in the grocery store that her skin looks incredible or holding the door a little too long for the person meandering behind you, take an extra second to be a kinder human being. You will feel good when you make someone else feel good. Like a firm, reciprocated handshake, it's meaningful to both sides. We are all connected. 
And remember, like the Grandmother Plant, never let anyone uproot you.

You are a gift to us all, exactly as you are. 

Happy International Women's Day!

Kendra and Ryan Butler