Three lessons I’ve learned from the sisterhood

May 1, 2016

The experience of motherhood—and life in general—is so much richer with your sisters by your side

Today I thought I’d talk about the power and beauty of having a solid network of women in my life, and the value and wisdom such a network has provided me over the years.

I’m fortunate to come from a family of strong, independent women, who despite their struggles, have managed to make their way through life with dignity and pride and who have shown me that anything is possible.

In addition to these women, I am also blessed with wonderful friends and colleagues who I can trust will tell me when I’m doing well and who can also deliver the hard truth when the opposite is true.

The feeling of disconnect

Lately I’ve felt the need to draw a lot on the wisdom of these women as I’ve been experiencing a bit of disconnect with my three-year old, Audrey. While I’m sure this is entirely normal from time to time, I still find it a difficult situation to grapple with.

Being our first-born, Audrey was the centre of my universe and before her little sister came along, we had a very close bond and connection.

Our home life was also very different to what it is now; I was working full-time and Audrey was in childcare five days a week with teachers who loved and cared for her and kept her constantly stimulated with their daily activities.

Fast-forward to the birth of her little sister, Minnie-Jane (and my being on maternity leave), poor Audrey’s life has been turned on its head and she is (understandably) just a little pissed off.

How to stimulate a three-year-old

I’m a massive over-thinker and the thing I’ve been struggling with most is the three days Audrey is home and the immense pressure I feel (only from myself of course) to fill every waking minute of the day with activities that stimulate and keep her entertained.

Anyone who has/had little kids, will realise the ridiculousness of this idea and that my expectations of what I “should” be doing as opposed to what I am actually managing each day are totally off point.

So what to do when you are feeling overwhelmed and feel you are potentially damaging your child’s emotional and intelligent wellbeing for life (yes, I think these things)? You speak to other women who have been there, done that, and who will promptly (but gently) put you in your place.

What I have learned from the sisterhood…

All mothers I believe are doing the best they can with the resources they have and in my particular situation and after consulting with the sisterhood, I have learned the following lessons:

  1. Audrey is not going to be permanently damaged from watching TV a few hours a day (ok, sometimes it’s all day…)
  2. It’s perfectly okay and normal for her not to be the centre of my attention 24/7
  3. The connection we have will ebb and flow over time, and that’s okay too

So to all you mammas out there, if you’re feeling lost or doubtful, I encourage you to reach out to your mum, your aunty, your grandma, your friend (or all of them if need be) and use them. Use them for support, guidance, and love, because while I don’t doubt it can be done alone, the experience of motherhood—and life in general—is so much richer with your sisters by your side.

What lessons have you learned from the sisterhood?

Who do you turn to when you’re feeling overwhelmed?

What advice do you have for women who are feeling alone or doubting themselves as mothers and caregivers?

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