July 21, 2020 — We are better together, no question.
Each one of us has a wealth of knowledge, energy, and perspective enough to light up a planet. Each one of us is like a unique snowflake. When you combine those strengths with a weakness, then other strengths can rise and fortify the weakness. It’s a beautiful dance that reminds me of a lava lamp.
Have you watched a lava lamp before? The vast rolling mysterious mass of it slowly gives forth a single blob-unit that gently soars up alone, fortified by the mass below, celebrating its achievement, being something singular for a moment, but then must return to the mother ship for comfort, re-centering, fortification. It then can contribute to the release of another unit, recently buoyed by the greatness of the main part. Much like a scoby or a sourdough starter.
No one should go it alone and expect greatness. We have been taught that it shows unacceptable weakness to seek help: the pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps mentality. Granted, yes, sometimes you must, of course; but the REAL power for improvement, change, forward action is drawing strength from others that are side-by-side with you or have been through it already and can provide a must-needed nudge with their experience. To help each other get un-stuck.
Why do you think there are committees, boards, panels? We must put our heads together for success. We are so much better together.
Culturally, we as Americans, have this go-it-alone mentality that weighs ultra-heavily on the moms. Think of your image of “Super-mom”: we revere her for DOING IT ALL, and with GRACE AND EASE. Guess what? She doesn’t exist for real, only in our minds. Yes, Super-mom does it all, but with stress and constant worry that she’s not enough, so she overachieves relentlessly.
(SPOILER: the actual Super-mom “does it all with grace and ease” because she is BRILLIANT ENOUGH TO HAVE A SUPPORT TEAM.)
So with this unrealistic ideal of “Super-mom” front-of-mind, we try to do ALL THE THINGS for our families, extended family members, kids, kids’ schools, kid’s activities, communities, go go go. MORE BUSY. LESS time for mom’s needs. Mom’s needs take the back seat by default. It’s how we moms are built…we have the ultimate goal in mind: safe, happy kids. Sound familiar?
But what about empowered, independent adults-in-training? So much harder in the NOW, but oh so much easier LATER. Not only easier, BETTER.
Real-life: you got a kitten, puppy, hamster (insert domestic pet here) for the KIDS. Oh how excited they were…for say, a week, and they took great care and paid attention to said creature. But then, Mom notices, because that’s how moms are (AWESOME), that the creatures aren’t getting enough care nor attention! So in steps mom, taking on that responsibility too. She is taking care of the KIDS’ pets, teaching the kids that if they shirk the duty, mom will take up the slack. At least now while everyone lives at home.
Later, the grown-up child gets a pet when they’re on their own, and is completely overwhelmed and unprepared for the responsibility of pet ownership, never having learned to take the reins. Not fair to that trusting animal, is it?
I am so OVER the “dinner situation” in my house. Taking action: so wish me luck! I will be assigning nights to each of my 3 grown children to prepare dinner. They are already quite capable in the kitchen (if the dirty pots and pans are any indication), but I will seek to set them up for success at first so that they want to continue. (remember how AWESOME moms are?) So then THEY in turn, can SOAR always in the kitchen.
My family the lava lamp:)