Brené Brown has a great video On Empathy that explains so well the difference between empathy and sympathy. About that vulnerable place where you are asked to “feel with a person” when they are saying to you, with or without words “I’m scared, I’m overwhelmed”.
I experienced a very vulnerable moment this morning in which a rush of thoughts came pouring into my mind and I felt so overwhelmed and scared, because I don’t have the answers and sometimes the thoughts in my mind get a bit out of hand like they want to take over my sensibility.
I hope you will take the time to watch the video and if at any moment you feel like you are about to pass judgement or try to fix my “problem”, please watch the video again. Because I’m not asking for a fix but rather empathy and encouragement. In my heart and in my mind what I’m experiencing feels big to me, even if for others it may just be trivial.
Being a mom is hard work and being a stay at home mom is really hard work and very often unappreciated. And I’m not here to say one or the other is better, whether you’re a stay at home mom or you work full time or part time, that doesn’t take away that being a mom is truly hard dedicated work. And it’s awful that we live in a society that puts little worth in a mom that decides to stay home and instead we listen in awe and applaud when we hear someone say they juggle a full time job and being a mommy while keeping a packed fun filled day for the kids. Because either way, at the end of the day, you’re working hard.
After 11 weeks of being on maternity leave, I go back to work next Wednesday. I picked the date. Yes, my first day back is April Fools Day.
A part of me has been so excited about this day and looking forward to it. Until suddenly I began to get doubts and all these thoughts in my head.
I have missed work. I miss what I do and the people I help whether directly or indirectly and I have missed the people I work with. I miss the interaction.
And yet now I feel as if I’m moving in slow motion toward that day. And I’m scared. Because God has been putting some really beautiful blessings in my path while being on maternity leave. I have made friendships with some amazing women, most if not all of whom are stay at home moms. I’m connecting with them each time I see them in a way that I never expected and that God knew I needed. In a way that helps me feel more confident in my role as a mom, that assures me all will be ok no matter what mistakes I make, and that brings me closer to God.
My battle is with myself though, with the mommy side of me and the self part that has always worked and in a large way defined herself by her work.
I place a lot of value on my work experience, my work ethic, and my passion for the way that I work. For a long time a lot of my self worth and assurance in my capacities came from the affirmation I received at work. And so I’m scared of what changes God may be moving in my life, what he sees me doing next. I’m trusting him more but that doesn’t take away the fear and vulnerability I feel in knowing I am relinquishing control, and what that may mean for me.
I’m scared of finding that where God wants me is at home. A place where you work so hard, yet what you do is often unappreciated and devalued. A place where affirmation and appreciation can often go without being said for days or where someone asking you what you do and finding out you don’t work gives you the idiotic comment “must be nice”. And yet although it’s a place of never ending hard work, it’s a place filled with love, memories, and family.
I was going to say there is so much to figure out, but then I thought, no, it’s not for me to figure out, it’s for me to have faith in God and allow Him to guide me. To relinquish control and instead trust.
And that is my vulnerable spot right now. Thinking I am going in one direction and the fear of realizing I may be heading in another. Another that I never imagined I would want.