Constance Hall is an Australian blogger that often shares relatable nuggets about motherhood on Facebook. Many of Constance’s musing go viral because she has an ability to craft thoughts that many women and mothers have. Her most recent Facebook post resonated with several thousand moms everywhere for its clear message. Don’t be so quick to count out the “posh” and completely put together Mom because she really could be your best friend in disguise.
Constance felt insecure because of her milk stained clothes and matted hair. In order to protect herself, she immediately judged the “snobby” school mother and wanted to dissect her with another Mom. But the other mother was quick to remind her that maybe she should talk to the woman and not about her. And so she did. And that’s when she discovered a hidden best friend.
School started a few weeks ago for my two older children. My oldest son Phoenix is outgoing and confident (sometimes to a fault). He can literally make friends with any person in less than 5 minutes. But my second son Caspian is a lot like me. He’s very reserved, quiet, embarrasses easily and would rather hide underneath the slide and watch everyone else play than actually engage with the other kids.
I was so worried about him starting school because I knew that he would have a hard time connecting with the other kids because of his own social insecurities. We talked at length for weeks about how to make friends and reduce his anxiety, so of course, he was pumped. Until the day of. For about two weeks we had to push him through the door every morning and peel his chubby little hands from our shirt.
When I talked to him about what was worrying him, one of the major things turned out to be that he didn’t think he was able to poop at school. Once I assured him that he could actually poop at school, things changed. He started playing with people and talking to them. So if you find yourself in a similar situation with your own child, let them know they can poop at school and everything should be fine. 🙂 (That little nugget was for free).
After I read Constance’s post I was thinking to myself how easy it is to push our kids to open up and make friends but it’s something that keeps me rooted to my side of the bench at the playground.
I describe myself often as someone who is crippled by shyness and anxiety. I will keep to myself in a social situation because I’m afraid that my own insecurities will come tumbling out like all those bad words your kids keep overhearing you say. I tend to hang back and observe because I feel like most mothers I meet might hear that I’m 29 with 4 kids and think I must be some sort of tragic teen mom story with 7 different baby daddies (I’m not by the way.)
I think I’ll say the wrong thing or not enough of the right things. So I stay quiet. But that leaves me feeling painfully jealous of girl’s night out and wine playdates.
What would my social calendar look like if I followed the advice I gave my 5-year-old?
Why is it so hard as an adult to push past all of the preconceived ideas we have about not only other people but ourselves? Maybe another mom would be able to relate to me and feel comfortable opening up to me if she knew my kids can recite the entire McDonald’s menu or my 3-year-old knows his ABC’s because YouTube taught him and not me? Maybe she’d feel comfortable to talk about how she struggles with patience and pretend to look at her son’s Minecraft world the same way I do.
Be kind, introduce yourself, find something you have in common with someone else and then they’ll be your friend. As I was telling my son that, my oldest piped up from the back and said “Yeah Mom. You should do the same.”