I had the most amazing mama connect moment the other day.
I’m rushing out of daycare with the kids (coz who ever gets to stroll anymore) and my 4yo daughter, who’s all about the ‘attitude’ these days starts climbing along the wall edge. After asking her to get down with no response (big surprise) I pull out the trusty old threat, “If you don’t get down now we’re not going to see your friend Freddie this afternoon”.
Still no reaction (what a shocker)
After a few more attempts I finale with the good ol’ bluff tactic, “well, your brother and I are leaving so we’ll see you later.” I turn, take about 5 steps before hesitating, intending to turn back and repeat any or all of my previous failed attempts, when a fellow mama who happens to be leaving at the same time with her kids glances in my direction with a quick smile and says, “don’t turn, keep walking.” I looked blankly for a split second, before replying “thank you, that’s the motivation I needed”, then continued on my course.
Now, I’m not going to pretend this was a fairytale ending, my daughter did eventually follow but there were a few more obstacles before we actually reached the car.
But that’s not the point here.
My point is the simple gesture from a well meaning fellow mama. She wasn’t telling me what to do or controlling the situation, there was no condescending tone to her voice. She was simply saying “don’t doubt yourself, you got this.”
It was actually the voice of reason I needed.
And it really got me thinking about how we as mamas connect with each other, can support each other & should support each other.
Unfortunately I feel like we live in a society where we pull each other down as much as we lift each other up. As women, we are our own worst enemy. We judge, we opinionate, glance, glare and roll our eyes with the best of them.
Who puts this pressure on us to be the perfect mums. The media? Social media? Our parents, our partners, authority figures? Actually, it’s mostly us.
Mamas are the worst critics of other mamas. It’s a fact.
I choose to surround myself (both in life and social media) with people who are in the supporting, loving, empowering space, so I don’t subject myself to reading a lot of the drivel that goes on. But I hear about and I have seen it.
So, why would we do this to ourselves? Particularly for those of us with the insight of motherhood already, why would we judge anyone else’s decision on how to carry, birth or parent. We know how friggin’ hard this gig is!
Ok, so in the spirit of looking at the positive, rather than turning this into a rant, I’m going to tell you what I love about the mama culture out there.
I LOVE that this mama made the most simple gesture and that she’ll actually never know how much it meant to me.
I LOVE the look that mama gives you in the supermarket when you’re kids are losing their shit and you’re at your wits end. It’s not the look of pity. It’s the look that says, “I feel you babe, mine are monsters too”.
I LOVE that mama that tells it like it is. “Of course I love my kids, but sometimes they’re dribbling, snivelling, annoying, boring, little aliens that go out of their way to make my life hell.”
I’ll tell you another mama story you may hear less about…it’s the previous generation of mums.
My mum was telling me about a friend of hers who recently came back from overseas after visiting the grandchildren. Mum asked how her trip was and this friend replied that it was a wonderful trip and the kids are beautiful, but…followed by hesitation. After some further prodding she finally revealed that she was completely exhausted, she doesn’t know how other grandmothers did it, the kids were really hard work. My mum just laughed and explained that it was the same for her. Her friend was shocked, “you always make it seem easy!” It was at this point mum realised she should probably be a bit more open with her friends. She literally can’t do anything for a week after she visits my kids because they’re that exhausting (they really are)
Adorable, fun-filled, awe-inspiring, ENERGY SUCKERS!
We’re all the in the same boat. Young or old, seasoned or new, mamahood is a rewarding but tough gig, at any stage.
If we relate this back to yoga, this is what it’s all about. Did you know the meaning of yoga is actually ‘union’. As mamas, we’re all the same. Yes, our kids and experiences are different, but we’re essentially on the same journey, facing daily challenges. Recognising our shared experiences and supporting one another is exactly what living the yoga lifestyle is.
So, what does this mean? What can we do to support each other. I don’t mean by giving advice at every turn, writing ‘motherhood 101’ guide books or running seminars on ‘how to do it right’.
I’m talking about a look, a gesture, a smile at the right time. I’m talking about those small moments that just say “don’t doubt yourself, you got this!”