In their eyes
I’ll preface this post by stating the obvious – I’m not a woman. I know nothing of being a woman. I don’t know about the struggles, the challenges, the obstacles – I am simply the product of years of listening to and hearing what some women have to say.
I want to extend an invitation to the woman – particularly the mothers – in our communities. Be gentle with yourself.
I need only try a bit before I can find a bajillion articles, blogs, posts, feeds, pictures, memes…all about what you’re ‘supposed’ to be. Holy shit – that’s a lot of pressure.
Now, I’m an educated man. I’m what some would call emotionally mature. I understand that you only take on the pressure if you believe it. You only feel the weight if you choose to take on what others believe you should be. When it’s thrown in your face day after day after day – and in this world of social media – minute after minute, it’s only a matter of time before all the pressure meets up with a vulnerable moment and BAM! You feel like crap because you’re not the supermom the world (and your 437 friends on facebook) believe you should be.
Take a breath – no, really. You deserve it. A nice deep breath.
Several years ago I attended a workshop with my wife to strengthen our relationship. I remember learning that men, with regard to actually listening to and hearing a woman’s judgments and feelings, is intended to be a mountain – to stand and weather whatever she brings – without judgment, without fixing.
I tell you this because I listen to my wife. I hear here stories and beliefs about herself. I want to fix them. I want to ‘make her happy’. I can’t. I won’t. It’s hers to carry. I will love her through it and smile in-between (with gentle nudges along the way).
Recently I offered her the same invitation I’m offering you – be gentle with yourself. Be good to yourself. Sure the manicures, massages and whatever are nice. I’m talking about something a little deeper – a little closer to the core.
When you tell yourself you should be a better mom, don’t believe it. Tell yourself something else – something new; like you’re a great mom. When you tell yourself you’re not exercising as much as you should, stop. Tell yourself you’re busy as hell and the stairs are good enough for today. When you’re down on yourself for that extra pound you see on the scale, remind yourself you’re a mom – you’ve given birth to another human being and your body is different.
In line with the invitation I presented to my wife, I suggested when she has moments of vulnerability, moments of self-doubt – for her to close her eyes and think about the woman our son sees. The beautiful, strong, loving, caring, hard-working, laundy-doing, dishwashing, dinner-cooking, kick-ass woman he has as HIS mom.
If no-one has told you, you’re beautiful. You’re doing a great job and you’re kicking ass.