I am discovering that I need people who are walking in my shoes or walked in them already to validate my feelings and efforts. I am uncertain if this is a strength or weakness, but all I know is- I am missing it in my life. It’s one thing for someone who hasn’t walked in my shoes to validate what I am going through, but for another woman who “gets” it to emphasize and encourage- wow, how much that makes a difference for and in me. Monday night I went to my work holiday party. Aside from the event making me feel worthy and special, I had a nice chat with a mother of three. Her encouragement and validation of my experience as a first time mom and the challenges and joys that come along with the journey was delivered just at the right time. It’s the “It’s hard work!” and “Today I had a leftover bagel I found in the car where the cream cheese hadn’t molded yet with the last remains of water from our child’s sippy cup,” that I appreciate so much to hear! It’s real; it’s honest; it’s normalization; it’s validation; and it’s empathy. At this moment in my life I am confused with why I feel like I am missing this. Maybe it is because other mothers have embraced and/or accepted their roles as mothers. Maybe it is because it’s not their personality style to act this way. Maybe they don’t want to share real life. All I know is- I am in search of the mothers who will join me in my shoes. And I was also thinking- if I want to join someone in their shoes, I can always read up on their experiences or ask thoughtful questions. I am always thankful for my childless friends and friends with grown children who try to or “get” it. For example, Daniel can never truly “get” what it feels like to be sleep deprived for nearly a year. So in order to speak his language, I had to Google several online articles that could describe to him my feelings and thoughts. I think it was effective as one way to get him to see the cliff I was headed towards!
Do you have the right people to join you in the shoes you are walking right now in life? What does that type of person look like? If you don’t need anyone to join you right now, is there anyone you know who may want you to join them?