As I sit down to write this post, it’s been one hell of a day. In coaching, we’re not supposed to talk about that which we haven’t worked through yet. If I haven’t worked through it, it’s supposed to be a disservice to you.
Here’s the thing… I’ve somewhat worked through it, but I think by working through it together, we get stronger. Just a theory I’m working with, but you can report back in the comments if my theory is completely off.
Back to my hell of a day.
To be honest, most of it came down to my toddler’s tantrums. He wouldn’t eat his dinner. He nearly peed his pants on purpose (the kid is potty trained, so it is an act of rebellion when he pees on purpose). He planked when I tried to get him into his high chair. He didn’t want in the bath. Then he didn’t want to leave the bath and ended up kicking his legs, butt naked lying on a towel on the hallway floor. Then he didn’t want to have a diaper on. Didn’t want pyjamas. Didn’t want to go to bed. Was angry that it was only one story and not fifty. Then he raged in his bed for a good twenty five minutes while we checked on him periodically.
Throughout it all, I tried every trick in the book. Remain calm. Give him options. Empathize with him.
None of it worked in terms of changing the behaviour.
And so, while our son raged on in his bedroom, I asked my husband, “do you ever feel like we’re just doing something wrong?”
We talked about it, and we genuinely feel like yes, we probably are doing something wrong, but we’re trying our best and we’re giving everything a go. Perhaps we haven’t landed on the ‘right’ thing yet, but we’re trying.
And then I said to him, “the hardest part is that we don’t see what’s going on in other peoples’ homes. Their kids could be just like ours, probably are, but all we see is the social media perfect version of them.”
“That, or simply nobody talks about it,” said my husband.
Nobody talks about it.
Nobody. Talks. About. It.
And so, here we are. Talking about it.
I remember having these feelings when it came to my struggle with depression. And postpartum. And breastfeeding (or the lack thereof). When nobody talks about their struggles, you feel isolated and like you’re doing everything wrong. I mean… everyone else seems fine, right?
Or are we all just conditioned to glaze over things.
Instagram is made for the pretty pictures, not of the exhausted mother who is in tears over her child’s grocery store meltdown. Facebook is made for the gorgeously posed newborn photos, not of the bags under your eyes, the cracked nipples or the postpartum bleeding.
And I’m not saying that we need to see all of those visuals – please God, no! – but that we need to start having the conversations more.
Without the conversation, without sharing all our struggles and insecurities, we continue to live in our little bubble and think that we’re doing it all wrong, when, in fact, we are likely doing it more right than we give ourselves credit for.
Yes, I’m specifically talking about parenting today, but we could just as easily be talking about your struggles and insecurities in the workplace, in dating and relationships, in your finances, with your body image, etc.
By not talking about these things, we’re denying ourselves access to the tribe that is out there, the people that can say “me too” and let you breathe that sigh of relief. Holding in that tension, it’s not good for anyone. Having community, it’s so critical.
To find your people, you need to start talking, and so, for today’s challenge I suggest that you make an effort to put yourself out there with one of your struggles. It could be on social media, or one-to-one with a friend/colleague/family member, or online through a forum, or even with a coach or a therapist. It doesn’t matter how you take that first step, but I want you to talk to someone, to share your burden, and ultimately lighten your load.
It’s so easy for us to focus on all the things we do wrong. It often takes other people’s perspectives for us to realize all the things we’re doing right.
Find your tribe. One by one.