After the crazy success of our last CREATE THE GREAT, STRESSED, DEPRESSED AND ANXIOUS session at the gorgeous Ena Salon we decided to run it again. We would ramble on about it, but we have Steph Douglas who attended the last session to tell you all about it below. We hope you can make it, it’s bloody special.
Tickets include: goody bag, 3 hour well-being session, wine, meet and greet.
REVIEW BY STEPH DOUGLAS – Steph runs Don’t Buy Her Flowers selling awesome gift packages for new mums, is married to Mark and has two kids, Buster (4) and Mabel (2).
A couple of weeks ago I took part in a 25-strong Mother’s Meeting workshop with the catchy title ‘Stressed, Depressed and Feeling Anxious’. It’s not what you’d immediately associate with a rip-roaring Friday night, right?
It was pretty different to Business Club or sessions talking about interiors or social media, but actually like all the Mother’s Meeting events I’ve been to I left feeling reflective and in awe of the other women in the group. Determined to be more mindful and less hard on myself. Exhilarated to be with women, most of whom I didn’t know, and feel a total sense of Sisterhood. Unlike the usual Mother’s Meetings, I also left feeling a *little* pissed and emotionally spent. As well as the wine there were tears within approximately three minutes of it starting.
Lead by the awesome Aisha of Create the Great we went around the room and explained why we’d signed up to this session. I’m not going to tell you about the different anxieties individuals had – it was a closed group and those are their stories to tell. But there were recurring themes and I think this is what I haven’t been able to stop thinking about since. Every single thing said had at least half if not all of the group nodding along.
At times, we’ve felt isolated and we’ve felt terrified. We’ve felt lost – either in our relationships or about what we ‘do’ now. We feel the need to always be on and doing something from The List and unable to take time to just be. And we can’t moan about it because we should be grateful because we are so lucky really. We preface any moan or negative about family life with ‘I love my kids, they’re amazing, but…’. Some of us have been through heart-breaking loss and pain and feel we have to worry about everyone else’s reactions to those things before we’re allowed to deal with it ourselves, or we worry about how we’re supposed to react.
A lot of our fears stem from anxiety about judgement. Aisha explained it in terms of how much of ourselves is our public self, and how much we bury. The tiny amount of us that we show because it’s what we think we ‘should’ be (because of a fear of being judged), and the huge amount we suppress – actions and emotions, good and bad. Comparing ourselves to others when actually we don’t know the detail of their situation, or how they really feel.
Isn’t it a little bonkers that so many of us go through these feelings and yet we think we’re isolated by them? Thinking that everyone else is having a whale of a time – confident in their career choice, excelling at motherhood and having sex three times a week?
Hearing someone’s voice crack as they say out loud ‘Since having my baby I feel overwhelmed and lonely’ is so powerful in its rawness. I know it’s how I’ve felt, especially when my babies were small. It’s also something that every honest mother I’ve ever spoken to has felt but usually it’s said in hindsight because at the time we’re desperately trying to show how damn well we’re coping and doing the crying in private. Thinking we should cope better. Our parents didn’t do all this therapy shit.
Yeah well, we live in a totally different world to previous generations and as women and mothers today, we are pioneers. We’re the first to live in a time where expectations – from ourselves as much as anyone – are for us to be able to have it all and to look fantastic doing it so we can share it on social media. That’s quite a lot of pressure. Sessions like this offer a chance to reflect and step out of ourselves to work out how we really feel, giving us a chance to reset. Doing that within the safety of a group of women that understand how you feel is bloody awesome.
And yes, at the end we held hands and closed our eyes and you know what? It didn’t even feel weird. By that point we’d all had a cry and a bit more wine and there was an overwhelming feeling of solidarity and of being understood. Love and sisterhood are surely two of the best things going, and that was what this session was all about.
So if Jenny and Aisha put on more sessions like this, get in line. There is no bad outcome. It might just help you to ease up on yourself and realise that we are often our own toughest judge, and we can be in it together.
As Aisha said at the end:
Be gentle with yourself.
Be compassionate with yourself.
You’re all doing amazing.