I’m off to visit a friend today who has just started maternity leave for her second child. We will probably talk about our children a lot, as well as things like our houses, husbands, jobs (we’re both teachers).
But I’m determined to be really mindful when she talks about her pregnancy and her wishes for when the baby arrives.
Because if there was ever a topic to make anyone a self proclaimed expert, I think it has to be parenting. We all like to think we know what we’re doing, that we’re doing it right and that everyone should follow our example (even though we spend most of our time making it up as we go along, worrying we’re not doing anything right and looking at what everyone else is doing and wondering if we should try that!)
So I don’t want to be that cocky expert, talking as if I know exactly what I’m talking about. If she asks, I’ll be honest about having two children: I am totally making it up as I go along. I’m trying everything. I find things that work and tings that don’t. But most importantly, I’m not going to bombard her with my version of everything, or about the time my baby met his sibling for the first time, or about my labour second time around – unless she asks.
Because all too often in life when we just want to talk and have our feelings heard, there is someone offering their ideas, advice and anecdotes. And it’s all completely well meant. But sometimes, e just want someone to LISTEN. Which is why I love this quote: