This week I came across a simple illustration by Natalie Franke, the founder of Rising Tide Society.
I often feel like I spend more time thinking about women being nice to each other than I would like. I mean that in the sense that I wish we didn’t have to think about it, I wish we just did it. As a way of being.
However, usually through fear, we don’t. We worry about how short our measurements are compared to any woman around us. And now, with thanks to social media, women that are not even around us!
When I started having kids I learned pretty early on that people have tons of advice for you about how to be a mom. A lot of it really well-intentioned. A lot of it really coming from their own experience (which can be pretty narrow!). But, this was my marker: take it on if it works for you. Nobody else is sitting with you rocking your baby at 3am. It is just you. So, whatever great ideas you have been offered, it has to work for you. You have to do the work to figure out the mom you want to be.
So, now that I am running a company that creates gatherings of all women, I am giving myself that same advice again: it has to work for me. I have to do the work to figure out how to be the community I want to be to other women.
It boils down to relationship. And this is something no one teaches us in school, though goodness knows, we could do with the learning! Being a mom, wife, friend, community … that is all relationship. It requires a softness, an openness, that is tough to maintain when someone has taught you it is not safe to be open.
But again, you get to choose: who do you want to be?