A few weeks ago, I engaged in a very therapeutic discussion with a relative stranger, now friend. Thrust together rather randomly, this mom and I got extremely honest about motherhood. Why we felt so comfortable doing so and in that, sharing some very raw thoughts about the lows of being a mother, is beyond me. That said, we did. Suffice-it-to-say, we both walked away the better for the experience.
What do I mean by “raw thought,” you may ask?
I mean the type of thought that occurs deep inside of you, prior to all of the scrubbing and polishing that happens in making that thought completely acceptable for anyone else to hear, even our own spouses. The one that adds to our stress, isolates us (one from the other), and compels us to pledge absolute silence, less we risk accusations of insanity or incarceration, especially in today’s world where image trumps reality and humanness triumphantly. That kinda raw thought.
We all have them and yet we harbor them away in shame and fear as opposed to accepting and admitting to them and inviting others to do the same. So much guilt would be alleviated if we did. For instance, it is not uncommon to feel ill-equipped during certain stages of parenting — truly lost, in fact. I’ve felt such despair and pain in my own life during moments like these, leaving me worried, frustrated, and hating the very source of those troubled times. And yet, if we all felt more comfortable divulging our raw thoughts, we’d all feel the relief that goes with realizing that our “out-of-the-ordinary” thinking is anything but. It would provide us with a license to bury the myths and learn from each other’s shortcomings, experiences, and wisdom. We’d parent more confidently and our families would benefit.
I think this is something we, mothers, should truly begin to think about and, quite possibly, risk experimenting with. Take a few baby steps with a trusted friend and see what evolves. No doubt, you will both share a sigh of relief, if not a good laugh, and add an entirely new dimension to your friendship and parenting savvy.