The other day I saw a woman laughing and chatting it up with a friend of mine. I immediately thought, “Well she’s handling this whole pandemic thing just fine.”
That’s how it goes for many of us. We see a woman grinning and joking as she talks with other moms at the ballgame and we assume all must be well in her world.
It’s that “she must be doing ok” syndrome because CLEARLY she’s smiling. Heck - she’s even dressed in cute jeans and a top. 💅🏼💁🏻♀️
But I assure you, friend, if you go up and ask “how are you really doing?” you will get a different answer from many of these women *if* they are honest.
I ended up going up to that mom and having a conversation. First off, her foot was in a cast, and I hadn’t noticed that initially. As we talked, I learned she was a working mom with an intense job. Her former life was high rise Chicago office buildings, but she now shares the kitchen table with her husband as they both work from home and handle educating their kids. It’s stress city.
I never would have guessed it by her boisterous laugh and happy-appearing demeanor.
In that same week I talked with a mom who’s recuperating from surgery in a hotel by herself in order to stay quarantined from her family and other hospital patients. There was a heaviness in her voice as she worried over her recovery, her husband handling home life, and her children’s homework and eating habits.
But it’s not just one week of conversations that gives me conviction to write this. It is a lifetime of friendships and decades of leading groups - community groups, moms groups, couples groups, and youth groups. I am always struck by how much I learn about people’s lives in these settings. I learned that Bess’s mom had Alzheimers and that Julia and Evan had an infant boy that passed away and that Rebecca is waiting to hear back on her skin cancer report.
Everybody’s got something, truly.
I guess I share this with you for two reasons.
Keep talking with people. Keep checking in.
For your friends’ sakes.
And for your own.
We often don’t realize how much guilt we heap on ourselves as we compare our lives to others and think they have it so much better. Rarely do we get an accurate depiction of one’s emotional, physical, or family life health with a quick lookover or conversation.
It takes a little digging, some honest conversation, and yes, some vulnerability for the real truth to be told.
If you are struggling today, friend, you are not alone.
As a reminder, I am here to talk. Visit kimcaifano.com/coaching for info.