If anyone ever asks me if there ever was a life-changing, coming of age moment for me, my simple answer is Yes, the day Emma came to be.
I had a chat with a colleague I’ve known for quite some years recently, and during the conversation, she shared a little with me about the stresses from every part of her life that was simply just not within her control and it’s taking a toll on her health. She too is a mother.
What I can say is that, as she spoke and I visualised myself in her shoes, it simply felt impossibly exhausting.
A working mother,
A supervisor holding a heavy portfolio at work.
An only child of two retirees.
A mother of a young child taken care of by her parents who regularly sends her on emotional roller coaster rides.
Bills and mortgages to pay, and she is the one bringing in more dough.
I sense her frustrations and her tension. And it’s apparent to everyone as well.
I finally told her my take on this whole work thing — we just do what we can. No point putting up fights and resistance unnecessarily. And the work, it never ends. We are always hard on ourselves and we feel so overwhelmed by the deadlines and the worries that something bad will happen if we don’t try to get things done asap.
And I said, “it (the work) can never be finished. Tomorrow if we die, someone else will take over the work. We are not indispensable. We are only indispensable to our children.”
I’ve never been clearer about my priority in my life.
I was trying to slowly get her to wrap her head around the idea that if we let all the work and the other stresses affect our health. If anything bad happens to us, what will happen to our children? So take it easy, learn to let go and go with the flow at work.
Whether anything I said got through, I don’t know… but at that point, I felt like an wise old granny. And I wonder where the old me went.
Thrown away with the placenta I suppose.
The current me stood, staring at the sky, holding a chocolate chiffon cake I had bought for Little Foot.
At that point, nothing could be clearer. Unspoken.