Reading about other women’s experiences has helped me to learn about how women can support each other. This level of awareness has offered me the opportunity to appreciate the simplest of ways we as women can be there for each other. Recently, I witnessed such appreciation on a most practical level.
I was sitting in the waiting room of a Medical Centre on a Saturday afternoon filled with many ill patients waiting their turn to be seen by the doctors. I noticed that most of the patients were women sitting with their sick children for hours, way before I had arrived. The children looked tired and exhausted and the mothers were doing their best to support them as they waited patiently to be seen by the next available doctor. There was an urgency in the eyes of the various women and a sense of relief when their names were called out from the front desk.
I observed mothers with two, three and four children lining the reception room. As the hours passed the children became restless. For some, their newborns were hungry, or ready for their sleep time. One mother was feeling overwhelmed and doing her best to support her twins who were unsettled, and as she tried to feed her toddler, she was called in to see the doctor.
What took place within seconds was a humbling experience to watch. Women of all ages surrounded her providing instant support. Two elderly women carried a child each and another supported her to feed the little toddler. They encouraged her to take this opportunity to go into the doctor’s surgery and get seen, and that they would look after the children. In unison, they reassured her that the children would be okay.
This woman stood shocked and began crying not only from the overwhelm, but the depth of love that was offered to her by other women that seemed to be strangers, yet in this moment of need, felt like family. Knowing that others were caring for her in a time of need, the woman could let go of protecting her children and fearing what could happen.
Within seconds I started to feel teary, not in a sad way, but in a humbled appreciation of all the women that went to assist this mother in need. I felt a deep respect for those women as they carried on caring for the children and chatted quietly amongst themselves. In the past I would have sprung into action and gone into fixing the situation. On that day, I was given an opportunity to stand back and appreciate these incredible women and the quality of care they gave to one another with the simplest of ways and with such ease.
The conversation was minimal yet the level of support was maximum!
Sitting and appreciating this moment I pondered on how this experience was rare and unusual in our current world. There is an underlying expectation that mothers need to ‘just get on with life.’ If we are run down or needing medical support we often don’t feel comfortable asking for help, and feel that we ‘should’ be able to cope with these situations. It is often these ideas and beliefs that we carry and guard ourselves with when we head out into the world and put on a brave face for all to see. With that expectation of ourselves, we don’t allow the support from others, even when we could really do with it. We then all miss out: if we’re all pretending we’ve got it sorted, and not allowing ourselves to be fragile, vulnerable and human, there’s a disconnect from ourselves and from other women.
This woman allowed herself to trust these elderly women, and their genuine offer of care, free from any judgment or expectations. She surrendered to the possibility that fragility was not a weakness but an opportunity to be provided with the support from others without an ounce of hesitation. An abundance of love offered so that there was space for this woman to reconnect to herself and be provided with the quality of care she needed to continue to support her family.
This level of support came from the appreciation and confirmation I witnessed on that day of the WOMEN WE ARE.
By Anonymous, Australia
For further inspiration …
Can we be women first, before we are mothers? Read Sharon’s experience on getting lost in mothering – and how she found her way back to herself.
Mothering – the essence of true nurturing.
Esoteric Women’s Health – dedicated to bringing true wellbeing to women.