Take the pain away

August 12, 2011

People aren’t very good with pain. Their first impulse is to try to take it away and I’m not always sure that is a good thing.

For example, there are times and moments, where I am convinced that I am being a bad mother. Not that I am always a bad mother. And I don’t mean this in a dramatically-putting-the–back-of-my-hand-on-my-forehead-to-fish-for-compliments-and-reassurances kind of way.

But sometimes I step outside myself for a minute and observe something awful come out of my mouth or I see myself act harshly or ignore one of my children. Then I can plainly see that in that moment I have been a bad mother. Those moments add up and take their toll because they effectively undermine who I think myself to be.

It happens, I know. Nobody is perfect but I don’t want to explain the bad behaviour on my part away too quickly just to make myself (and apparently others) feel better. I want to resolve the underlying problem.

So please, next time someone tells you something like ‘I feel like a bad mother/person/etc’ don’t just minimise their pain and try to placate them with daft cliques. Instead be brave, sit with them in their discomfort and confusion, ask them gently to tell you why.


One Response to “Take the pain away”

  1. Wendy said

    I think there is a lot to learn in what can be called this “Integrity gap” (i.e. where there is a discrepancy between one’s values/ intentions and one’s behaviour/actions). This is not only true for parenting, but in a lot of other areas as well. This is definitely a multi-hour conversation, not just a comment and/or a short carpool discussion!!!! 🙂 xow

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