June 22, 2012


Im slowly finishing a very long article on the stigma of asking for help. I’ve spoken to 4 amazing women who all share the ways they’ve made meaning from the things that happen in their lives. How, taking someone at face value, doesn’t create the chance to really understand what that persons needs are.

Every Wednesday night, when I finally lay my weary head down on my pillow I brace myself for Thursday. Some bright spark (me) decided earlier in the year that rather than arranging swimming lessons for after school Id trick the world and beat it at its own game. So began the era of the 730am swim lesson. It was fine for the first wee while and then strangely winter appeared and it slowly became the half hour of my week that I hated. Waking a child to go and get in a pool perhaps wasnt my finest decision. Lucky my girl still loves me.

Yesterday was a juggle – we had a parent teacher interview at 8am so it meant I had to drop a small person at swimming, wait for my lovely mum to arrive, leave, go to school, grab the other small child after the older two were dropped off, listen intently for 22 minutes and then head home to meet the wet little one who had been dropped home. And all by 840.

When I pulled up to the lesson I grabbed a car spot, I intentionally left a little bit more space ahead of me than I normally do because I was tired, because I’d only be 10 minutes, I then played that cat and mouse game of juggling bags, dodging cars that were whizzing past, pulling a child out of a car to be met with a woman stopped next to my car, holding up traffic, beeping the horn at me telling me to move forward so she could try and fit in. I motioned that I was getting my child out of the car, she persisted, I walked away.

7 minutes later as I was fashioning blu tak to go into ears to keep grommets dry the same woman came up behind me telling me I should have moved. It wasnt the morning to hassle me so I asked her to move on, that I wasnt going to argue with her. She told me if more people in the world were kind like her then the world would be a better place. I think for a moment steam came out my ears and I said through clenched teeth ‘Lady…you dont know one thing about me so why dont you move on’.

I spend a lot of time putting other people and things ahead of me – my kids, my studies, my old clients, friends and I found it odd that when I intentionally planned ahead to make my life simple for one moment in time it came back to bite me. We cant all be good all of the time.

I think on one level the woman was right – being kind to others is a help but kind, like words like closure or right or love have different meanings to different people. True, I should have planned my morning better but to be hassled in front of your kids, before your first coffee and before 8am suggests to me that stepping away and taking a breath might be better.

Be nice people, you never know whats going on under the surface, even if under that its just a severe case of caffeine withdrawal.

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Mental health, Parenting