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A friend in need…

I had a conversation with a friend recently, let's call her Ida. Ida is an amazing human; she is a new mom, works full time, married, family oriented, tries to be healthy and work out, and to always be there for her friends and sisters when they need her. Making time for working 50+ hours a week, juggling a baby, partner, trying to answer calls and FaceTimes from family to maintain her connection with them, trying to carve in those precious 15-20min windows to work out, clean, catch up on laundry. Her story may sound familiar to some of you. Ida is a healthy person, physically and mentally, she has never openly admitted to struggling with anything, has always had on a happy face, and been keen to say “yes” when anyone asks for help. So when I talked to her recently and heard the exhaustion in her voice, I could tell something was wrong. I asked her if she was ok, and she blew me off with a “yeah yeah, just got a lot going on right now.” I knew that wasn’t all there was too it, but it puts you in a tricky spot when it seems like someone doesn’t want to talk about something and you don't want to be pushy with them. My first thought was to reply with a: “Oh yeah girl, I get it. It never ends!..” And change the subject. But then I thought to myself, ok what does that REALLY accomplish? It doesn’t get me any closer to an answer on how to help my friend. It just shuts her down and reinforces the stigma that as a woman you just suck it up and deal, there are people out there struggling more than you so don’t be selfish and complain about your problems. But the thing of it is, thats NOT true. We are all capable of handling stress and pressure, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a breaking point, and just because you don’t feel like your stressors are as bad as someone elses, that shouldn’t de-value how YOU are feeling, because its YOU we are talking about here, not THEM. So instead, I replied to her with; “I understand. It can be overwhelming sometimes with everything we have to do, sometimes it feels like we are drowning as working moms. I am always here to listen when you need me.” Thats it. I hushed my mouth and let her take the lead. But by me not dismissing her, not giving her an immediate out, by me acknowledging that feelings of being overwhelmed are ok and happen to all of us... it opens a door. A door that showed her as a friend I am here to listen, not to judge, and to support her with what she needs from me. And guess what, it worked. The next day Ida text me about how she was really feeling, and we were able to have a REAL conversation about it. There is a lot of power when we take the time to listen, and to let our loved ones know their feelings are safe to be felt and shared with us. Make sure to check in on your loved ones, sometimes the happiest seeming souls can just be the best disguised 💜 #mondaymotivaton #mondaythoughts #selfcare #mentalhealth#womensupportingwomen #listening #checkin

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