We Need Each Other

Women, we need each other.

I've peered long and hard into the swirling dusty air in the aftermath of my recent breakdown. As things have slowly begun to settle, weak rays of sunlight are filtering through - one by one. The brightest shaft of sunlight beaming down into my weak and frazzled mind this week is that women need other women.

Alan Pease, the author of 'Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Road Maps' says that women speak 20000 - 24000 words per day, while men speak 7000 - 10000. That to me suggests that perhaps instead of verbally vomiting on our husbands when they get home from work, women need to speak with other women. We need to talk out things. It helps us think and process!

I love talking with my husband. He's very patient with my verbal vomits. He's also a very active and objective listener who gives good advice. But I'll admit that I do prefer talking to my friends about some things, because they understand better.

It's soothing to my worried, small inner-self to know that it's not just me who struggles. I feel as light as a feather when I can share something with a friend who says, "I know! It happens to me all the time!". I love, love, love the sound of a group of women laughing at a satisfying joke or funny story. It's like honey on warm toast.

My mum, who grew up on a dairy farm in northern NSW with three families - all related, tells me that when a woman had a baby, the other women would go over to her home and cook her meals, help with the older children and support her until she was recovered from the labour. Then, they were close by, so that if she ever needed anything - they could help out.

How different is that compared to what most of us experience today?

Fair enough, we probably miss out on the snooping and bullying that went on in that generation! But my point is that families are now living away from each other. It's just how it is. Or has to be, in some cases.

I don't think we women are meant to go it alone, all day, every day. I think we are wired to need company, friendship and sharing. I think we are wired to share the burden of raising children and keeping a household running.

I was talking to a friend today and I was asking about her support networks since she has had her first baby. She mentioned there was a 'baby boom' at her church, so several women were first-time mums. She then asked about my support network, to which I was able to share that I have my MOPS group and a group of wonderful friends through school who are supporting our family in prayer and practical ways currently.

But then I realised that I had very few support networks when I had my first, second and third baby. It wasn't because people weren't caring - I knew great people, I just didn't let them in. I went through a lot of stuff on my own, mainly because of my mucked-up perceptions from childhood.

It was those years, I believe - years in which I carried so much on my own and refused to let anyone share my heavy burden - that led me to the spectacular stack a month ago and left me physically exhausted, suicidal and self-harming.

Now, I find myself in a very warm place. I have so many awesome people helping my family and I out. Do you know what? I really struggle with it. My twisted thoughts from what I learned as a child absolutely hate that people might like me.......because I'm me. I don't have to earn my right to exist here on earth by ignoring myself and pouring myself out for others.

I'm slowly learning to say, "Yes, please." when someone offers help. I find it hard to say, but I'm still saying it!

This week, I've been thinking about The Clan of the Cave Bear, written by Jean M Auel. It's a novel set in pre-historic times and a group of people called Neanderthals. There is no way I'm suggesting that we go back to those times! I am, however, very wistful when I remember reading about how the women in the story spent their days together, cooking meals, raising their children (they breastfed each others' babies!) and working to make bowls, baskets and other items. They had their own homes (caves) where they slept with their husbands and children, but their days were spent out in the company of other women.

I bet that if any of them were sick, or unable to care for themselves or their own husbands and children that they would have had no concerns about who was going to look after their family. No woman would have been able to hide her hurt, sadness or disappointments. Those women would have known each other so well! They would have known if someone wasn't going OK. They would have been such a close-knit group!

I'm guessing the idea of sleeping in a cave, spending your days cooking over a fire and weaving baskets out of yak hair isn't your idea of fun! Me neither. But I think there's something for us to learn and to take from that innate desire for woman-to-woman connection that we all crave.

Let's hang out together. Let's know each other so well so we can see when someone is not well. Let's draw close with hugs, encouragement, listening ears and shoulders that can bear some salty drips. Let's make the effort to conquer physical or cultural or emotional distance.

Let's do what women do.

We need each other.

Comments

  1. How do you start? I'm in a huge church church, yet find it very difficult to find Any one I connect with. Especially because I'm so young with so many young children.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good question, Rach. Personally, I operate on the principle of 'To gain a friend, you first need to be one.' Pray about it and see if God's put someone in your path who you think you could relate to. They might have children the same age (but be an older mum than you). Your husband might have a friend whose wife might be friendly. Invite her over or out to a park for a play. Sometimes you need to be a friend to gain a friend. I'll be praying for you, too! xx

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Trim Healthy Mama

Keeping it at Home

A String of Simple Things