By Lisa Bondarenko – Mind Heart Body
Image credit: romancingliife.wordpress.com
So on Friday our little man “graduated” from his music class and I use the term “graduated” very loosely! As all the children and parents were sitting in a circle singing with actions we had lost grip of ours who was doing head stands in the middle….the hubby leant over and whispered, “Wow, this has really cemented solid music skills for him!” baaaahaaaa
I am always a little defensive because being the only boy in most classes it’s hard to compare with the cute little girls sitting with their matching outfits and headbands whilst I am running after mine wiping boogers, sweat and trying to create some form of discipline. The other mothers are super cool and non judgemental which BTW is a welcomed relief!
It has been such a great little space over the past 18 months every Friday morning. As I was leaving the hubby asked why I was a little quiet and emotional. The truth was that the music class was not the primary reason I joined us up – I had a 14 month year old at the time who I was loving but I was so, so lonely. Of course I had friends but most were leaps and bounds ahead in the stages of motherhood, the very few I had which was less than a handful either lived a mini packed lunch away or worked full time, so there were many a day that I would get into the car at 8am and turn to the little man and say, “Where are we going today buddy?”
Sounds tragic huh, not really it wasn’t all bad but it was the truth. So those Friday mornings I used to look forward to because I didn’t have to “fill time” and I was with a group of women that were actually really nice and down to earth and well I’m not going to lie – my hopes and dreams of raising a mini Josh Groban echoed in his little chubby fingers as he grasped the plastic microphone and blew bubbles into it week after week!
This is not a post about motherhood but more so humanhood if that is even a phrase? Every stage, season, phase, space whatever we want to call it comes with it challenges, loneliness, faking it until we are making it, joy, trials, sadness, happiness the entire gamete of emotions. The thing that baffles me constantly is why we don’t talk openly about it and by “it”I mean the REAL LIFE stuff. There is so much pressure to be “all together” and presenting with complete and utter, “I have this sorted!” Which P.S. I totally don’t!
What would it be like to actually sit with your friend who is recently out of a marriage and listen to him/her say, “It’s tough, I don’t fit in with the married’s anymore, or the singles, or the….or the…or the….” with out responding with, “But you wanted out of that hideous relationship?”
Or for the recently diagnosed struggling with the reality of trials, treatment, and their health scenario, without saying, “Be thankful, it could be worse, at least you’re alive” . Or what about the friend who got that big promotion they had been dreaming about who is sitting across from you saying things like, “Its so stressful, I don’t know how I am going to keep it up” without responding with, “Come on, you can do it, you wanted this your whole life, suck it up!”
Sound familiar? What most of those scenarios represent is just real life, what I call the “shadow” side that every human being experiences. I am not a huge fan of “positive affirmations” because they feel a little robotic when assigned to pain and discomfort. What I am a fan of is giving people the space to be heard, to unpack a little, to be real without the fear of being “scolded” so to speak. You see, like me 18 months ago I didn’t know it was common for Mums to feel like I did and I didn’t know because I never spoke about it after being told one too many times, “Well you waited for him for 8 years so be thankful” insert….shut down and guilt!
We can all practise gratefulness every day of our lives which trust me I am a HUGE believer and student of but to ignore the other is just plain stupid. Week after week I listen to the above type scenarios and more, people needing a space to be heard, feel normal and ok with what they are feeling AND to be told “I understand” – perhaps not exactly the situation in comparison, but the feeling and experience of those emotions a.b.so.l.u.t.e.l.y.
Wouldn’t it be great if my job as a counsellor was redundant because the worlds army of “humanhood” learnt to look after their patch of people and gave them permission to be real….
Lisa x x x