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.

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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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