My younger sister is four months into her first go at motherhood.
She's doing an amazing job, and thankfully has my mother just a half hour drive away. I, on the other hand, am a 30-hour plane ride away. It's been hard to watch my little sister navigate these early stages of parenthood through Skype, photos and emails. But, it's also given me a window into her experience and lessons for my own life – prior to motherhood.
During the first month of having a new baby at home, my sister was incredibly overwhelmed. A feeling I'm sure you mums out there completely understand. My Mom had been helping with the baby, things like holding him while my sister got her brief, yet luxurious shower squeezed in.
My sister was so thankful for my Mom's help. But then had a bit of a melt-down moment one day when she asked, "But what happens when you leave and I have to do this by myself?"
My Mom's reply, "That's the point though, you aren't meant to do this alone."
We need each other
As soon as my sister said this to me, it was as though God was speaking straight through her mouth and into my own heart. I so often try to plod through things on my own – assuming that's just the way it has to be.
I've been told several times, reminded in fact, by my glowing-eyed grandmother that I'd swipe at her hand when she'd try to help me as a toddler. I'd proudly state, "I can do it... all by myself."
Well, I guess old habits die hard.
Allowing others into our lives
A wonderful thing happens when we do allow other people into our lives. I've experienced it myself, even when my natural inclination is to self-protect by keeping to myself.
Others might have a solution to a problem we're facing. Or at least be a listening and compassionate friend. Vice versa, we might be an unexpected blessing to the other individual.
It doesn't have to be very complicated either. Start by telling people how you really are doing. This means going beyond "I'm good" when asked how things are going today. It seems kind of obvious, but it's not often that we are willing to open up more about our success or struggles.
It also means letting other people into your real life. This means your messy kitchen, or not-yet-showered weekend self. Remember back to university when you'd gladly hang out with a group of friends from sun up to sun down? You saw the best and worst of each other.
Just because we're grownups doesn't mean we need to cut off those types of relationships. So, here's the challenging part: actually do it.Let other people into your life.
Lisa Goetze is a 30-something-woman endeavouring to love Jesus and love people with reckless abandon. She's a full-time volunteer at Youth With A Mission in Brisbane.
Lisa Goetze's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/lisa-goetze.html