We’re in the car, driving back from a perfect weekend in my favorite place: North Carolina. No one does fried food, football, or Fall like this state. And what else do you really need in life?
We went up there to visit Matthew’s sister Emily and her family. I’ve been pretty lucky in my in-laws and perhaps I’ve been the luckiest in Emily.
She has two kids so compared to me, she has a wealth of information. And she wasn’t only willing to share, she was more than willing to listen to everything I’ve been feeling and thinking and doing for the past 13 months. She gave me every opening. But I haven’t been able to talk about motherhood eloquently in moments like the ones she was offering. In the past, I’ve let that stop me from sharing my struggles or hardships with mothers closest to me. Eloquence is important to me; being perfectly understood requires using the perfect words and there simply aren’t any. But this time, I powered through it. I tried just being honest, talking until she did understand. Talking until I didn’t have to look for the perfect words; they found me. I imagine that any problem I’ve been struggling with became something almost tangible that we could both hold and see and ultimately, address. Now I have new ideas and perspectives, not just the same old problems stewing around in my head becoming more and more unmanageable.
The ideas she gave me- routine is more important than schedule, your child has fun when you have fun, your husband can give your child things you can’t, so let him-are great but the better lesson I (inadvertently) learned this weekend is to talk to the people in your life. Be vulnerable with them. After our long walk by the lake, Emily thanked me for trusting her and it wasn’t until that moment that I realized I had. I’d trusted her with my motherhood, this journey I’ve been on, this education that I’ve been learning and living. She gave me great advice and I’ll pass on some of my own: trust the people in your life. Share your journey with them. Let your struggles become our struggles that we can all help with and lend our experience to. Share your pain so that we can more fully share in your healing.
Happy Sunday, everybody.