We are talking about securing stronger relationships. This is all relationships, family, friends, co-workers, spouse, significants - you name it. On a scale of barely existent to ride-or-die, where are your relationships? Do you have someone you can rely on, someone who has your back, a confidant to share with, a partner in crime, a mentor, a teacher, ….who are you missing? We are going to talk through it all AND on the cusp of Mother’s Day, we are going to talk about an idea I came up with called The Mothering Pact.
A friend of mine called me one day while she was taking her morning walk. I could tell she was worried. Her Mother had been ill for quite a while and something had just dawned on her. What would she do when she didn’t have her Mom to call anymore? She didn’t have a large family and her Mother and what little family she did have lived 6 hours away. Who was going to fill that role for her, who was going to be there like a Mother? That sparked a conversation about all the ways we’ve connected and shared with our Mother’s over the years.
You know, she’s the person you could bounce every crazy idea off of and she would be supportive even if she knew how ridiculous it was. She is always ready to chat or go to lunch even at a moments notice. Mysteriously, she somehow always has the items you forgot at the store or could make them appear out of nowhere. She always has the right recipe to get a stain out or make the perfect casserole. Every time you drop the ball she picks it up. But most importantly, she always lets you go on and on about yourself, what is right or wrong at work, brag endlessly about your kids, and never makes you feel guilty for a one-way conversation.
As we reach a certain age, our own kids have grown, and now our parents are aging it starts to become clear that we are the ones “in charge”. We have become our parents. When that reality hits it’s sobering. See for decades, subconsciously we knew we weren’t the final say but we had back up. You called your Mom to ask every question under the sun. She was Google in your eyes. Either she had lived long enough to have all the experiences or of course, she just knew it all.
As the roles start to reverse you are the one getting the calls. At first, it’s just about technology or how to work the cable remote but then it’s other things; how to figure out an insurance bill or what goes in a particular recipe she always used to make. It can really creep up on you and you aren’t even aware it’s happening.
It was fun reminiscing that day. We laughed and cried recalling all the wonderful ways our Mother’s had been there for us and at the end, I told her, “I will be there for you.” It was that simple. Right then and there we made a pact, a Mothering Pact to always be that go-to for each other. To listen and support without judgment and provide an encouraging word like our Mothers would have. A Mother’s bond is the first and deepest bond you create and in most cases, the most significant loss you’ll ever experience. Nurturing your friendships now can help you develop a strong support system to be there when you have cause to celebrate and when you need a shoulder to cry on or a hand to lead the way.
CHALLENGE: Make your connections a priority in your life. Stop hiding behind busy and reach out to a friend, go deeper in your relationship, and when the time is right, create that support system to be there for one another and add a little extra joy to your life.
I know YOU can do it!