I recently had the opportunity to ask about 400 women what things they think women don’t talk about enough. Here is what they said
Anger – I am a pretty calm person but there is something about my children that can push every single button I have at the same time and I suddenly find myself wanting to punch the wall. As moms we are brought to the brink of ourselves on a daily basis. While I firmly believe it is my God’s grace we continue to put one foot in front of the other and make it through each day, we struggle. We get frustrated and we push it down because we think we should love every second of every day.
Depression – This is a very common problem. Let’s admit that we are struggling. You guys, seeing a counselor is a good thing and not a sign of weakness.
Anxiety – We are afraid for the future. We are afraid for the present. We are afraid of the past. We worry and dissect and worry some more and dissect some more and the merry-go-round doesn’t stop. This is a good area to seek affirmation from our friends, let them walk beside and pray for God to ease our fears and carry our burdens.
Sex – It would take a long time to unpack this one. I guarantee we all have something to talk about with this one.There are several important sides to this issue. First, you might be single and desiring more than anything to get married and have a baby, but your time has not yet come. How do you honor Jesus when you have ALL THE FEELINGS! What do you do with them? Further, what if you’ve gotten married and the sex thing isn’t working out quite like you had hoped. Or, you’ve had kids and things have changed. What if you are in the situation where you didn’t wait until you were married to have sex and now you have ALL THE GUILT. The church doesn’t deal well with people who haven’t waited until marriage. Trust me, firsthand experience here. So, we simply clam up, don’t talk about it. And, it makes things really hard.
Miscarriage, Infertility – Women who have had children have a very difficult time talking with women who have gone through miscarriage and/or infertility. The pain is there, but how can we do a better job of hearing one another and helping to carry one another’s burdens?
Adoption – What if a mom decides to adopt? Do you think differently of her choice, especially if she can have children? Think about that for a moment. Have you created any stories in your head about this woman? Chances are some of us have. Why?
Chill Out – We are very worried about each other. Let’s just work on our own story of motherhood. Yes, we need each other, but to build each other up, not to tear each other down. I had three conversations about motherhood in the last week that left me undone and in tears because I felt like I was doing every single thing wrong. You know what, I’m not. They aren’t. It’s okay. Can we just have normal conversations and stop worrying so much if there is a ‘right’ answer?
Guilt – The mom guilt is always present. I think there are stages in our lives where it goes away a little, but if you have found a way to eradicate this from your life will you please let me know? Guilt can destroy us. Comparison is always the thief of joy.
It’s okay not to love every single second of your blessed life – To be clear. I do think we all should focus on our blessings and practice gratitude. But, you guys, its okay to just feel tired and worn out and just over it. This does not mean that you aren’t grateful for what you’ve been given. Just stop the guilt you are feeling right now. Tell me about a difficult time recently? How did you get through it?
It’s okay to admit things are not fine. – Sometimes you are in a very hard place. It might be marriage related. It might just be personally or something going on with your kids. ADMIT IT. Don’t walk around with the ‘I’m good’ or ‘It’s Fine’ syndrome. If you don’t have a close friend to talk to then find a counselor or a pastor. Do not let these things grow, fester and spawn new issues.
I love women. I love the hearts we have, the compassion and the caring and the desire to help each other. Sometimes though we tend to work our magic on the surface and forget about all these deep issues underneath. I’d love to cultivate a community of discussion around these topics. How do you talk about these issues in your circles?