Each day, I visit several facebook group pages and blogs because not only do I sincerely enjoy connecting to, relating to, and sharing with virtually thousands of wonderful women with whom I have the common experience of motherhood, but also because it strengthens my convictions to pay forward the wisdom and knowledge I have been given through my own personal experiences. As women first and mothers second, we relate to each others pain, frustration, fear, hope, fatigue, and excitement, and we share our many occasions for celebration.
Although tangibly connected by the internet, there are emotional bonding moments that occur when the act of understanding form deep connections. We reach out to one another to help calm fears, to encourage, and to assure while sharing and celebrating in the joys, and while mourning in the times of loss and sorrow. We share the common bond and experiences together as mothers of multiples. Some of us are moms of multiple multiples!
When a woman posts a question or concern, say for instance, about her high-risk pregnancy or upcoming delivery, I witness tremendous, generous support and assurance in the warm and sometimes humorous comments that are posted beneath the question. Some of the conversations go on for days, and include 40-50 comments. When the inquiring mom or mom-to-be thanks all of her advice-givers and cheerleaders, I know she means it. I know she’s just received some solid advice and information that she can trust because her supporters have BEEN THERE. They have walked 100 miles in her shoes, and she knows it. The inquiring woman is affirmed and empowered knowing that she can trust and act upon (most of) the advice of these trusted sources.
As for the many commentators — those women who encourage and support with their tips, ideas and suggestions —they are also on a receiving end. Knowing that she’s been able to contribute some nugget of wisdom that she’s acquired from their own experiences, and has personally contributed to the peace of mind and support of another, she feels affirmed and blessed.
We all know the saying: ’Tis better to give than to receive. It’s so true.
In giving, we receive a boost of self-worth because the advice or suggestion we have to contribute is received as valuable and will be put to use by the woman who needed to hear (or read) those particular words of wisdom we shared. As women, we have a strong desire and capability to nurture not only our families, but others who we may sense need nurturing. When we receive the nurturing and support, we are strengthened and comforted by knowing we are understood and we are going to be okay.
Assisting, calming or encouraging just one woman as she goes through the overwhelming experience of having and mothering her twins, blesses me tremendously, and is a very empowering experience.
Women helping women … it’s been going on for centuries.
Long before babies were born in hospitals, women were the only attendees and assistants present during childbirth. For centuries, women worked to prepare meals while passing on their skills to their younger female generations. Women naturally love to talk, to share, to commiserate, to vent, to laugh, and to confide.
Does sharing your wisdom and experiences give you a sense of self-worth, of confidence, of empowerment?
What experiences, knowledge or aspects of your life that have given you peace of mind or resolution could you share with another woman or mother who may be experiencing difficulty? Has a female friend or relative in your life reached out to you in a subliminal way, conveying a need, a desire, or the hope that difficulties won’t last forever … that a solution will present itself some how?
We’re here to support and help one another. It’s just what women do.
I think of the devotion between Ruth and Naomi in the Bible. For those who are not familiar, Ruth was Naomi’s daughter-in-law who had lost her husband (Naomi’s son). Through all the trials and travels the two women experienced, Ruth remained loyal and devoted to the service of Naomi, stating in Ruth 1:16: “… Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.”