We’re going to be doing things differently around here.
I have expressed my frustration most recently that I don’t have enough space in an Instagram caption to fully articulate my thoughts and processes.
If you're reading this, you obviously got the memo.
Thanks so much for being here!
Sometimes, I like putting my words out there for interpretation. You can take what you need from those words. And often, I'm really surprised by the way these words are translated into the lives of others. In the comments section, people often reflect quite openly about what these words mean for and to them. These reflections are so diverse! It's truly amazing.
Other times, I do like to explain my process and thoughts behind the words for context - whilst still encouraging this self-reflection and personal interpretation. It can add value.
Today, I'm wanting to talk to you about the behind the scenes process of writing these words.
It may come as a surprise that these are not stock-piled and scheduled to post. All of my words are written during the day and then posted at night. Sometimes, I have more than one thing to say and do end up with a post in draft form - but this is quite rare.
I'm always thinking. Always writing. Always reflecting.
Same goes with the poems that I write. Sometimes, I don't think they are "good enough" to post. Do I call them a "poem"? I don't really have a specific format, so can I? Am I writer, a poet, a social worker - what am I? What is this?
But every single time, someone takes something from it. So, that's a massive win. Goal achieved. And it is so therapeutic for me.
This piece, was written upon reflection on the way we do very little to support parents in their transition to parenthood. "You know when someone has a baby and you just want to leave them to it; give them space?" Yeah, I do know that - because I was always too afraid to allow my vulnerability to show. But now, I know that this is an absolute load of shit.
There's a difference between "giving space" and "holding space". Giving space can be quite isolating. Holding space means dropping a frozen dinner on the doorstep and valuing that privacy - whilst still connecting in.
I just don't think we do enough to give the reality of parenthood justice. Hence, the "no one taught you the steps to this dance" notion. We talk about parenthood as if it is on a pedestal. And when parents don't reach this unattainable standard of parenting and wellbeing during this season of life, the pedestal crumbles. Self-blame, shame, secrecy, putting on a brave face. What if we were honest and were met with support?
It was also written in relation to the fact that I feel as though I've recently become more and more busy - yet not much has changed. I haven't had an extra child, I'm not doing anything extra, things are pretty consistent in my world. And I've somehow picked up more to the mental and physical load. It's very, very subtle - yet very, very apparent. My mental and physical health notices the difference. I'm sure other families share a similar experience; in that we raise the bar - we increase our expectations and then this suddenly becomes the norm.
How does this happen? For me, it's a combination of feeling like my children are getting older now. Kindergarten is now part of our "village" and so, I should not need as much help. I'm filling in those gaps with more work - the stuff that wasn't touched before.
Again, I'm reflecting personally here, but I also struggle with perfectionism sometimes. I struggle to leave things undone. I'm inclined to become agitated if I'm not "left alone" to finish what I feel is important work (tidying the kitchen after a long day, hanging the washing that's been left in the basket, picking up pieces of paper that have been cut up during craft time, writing here!)
In the Mama, Let's Be Honest eBook, I discuss this. Does it matter? Can you be late today? Can the hair be left unbrushed? What's more important?
I truly believe this. And yet I do understand how difficult this can be to put into practice.
I also believe in seeing your family as your team. "Keep dancing", keep going - because they notice. They notice your work, your effort, your love. Even on days where it feels thankless. They are watching.
Here is it again, my friends:
you're not failing.
What came up from you when you read this piece? Join the conversation via Instagram, Facebook or the comments section below.
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