A Parent and a Mystic
Words of wisdom by Martha Beck, a Harvard trained sociologist and renowned life coach wrote this in 2006 for O magazine.
I once spent years studying role conflict in American women. Our culture has created two almost irreconcilable descriptions of a "good woman." The first is the individual achiever; the second, the self-sacrificing domestic goddess. I found that women fell into one of four categories: those who'd chosen career (and were very conflicted); those who put family first (and were very conflicted); those who'd combined work and family (and were very, very conflicted); and mystics.
I bookmarked this a long time ago and have thinking more and more as our kids start online school in a day. There is no winning this. I am not the individual achiever or the self sacrificing domestic goddess. Both of them seems to be a huge burden to carry. I have combined work and family, and in constant mode of conflict but what seems to work is to see the big picture. If I constantly seek answers from others, it doest seem to get me anywhere. I don’t think there is a defined path which will lead to the success of my children AND give me peace mind. I will have to fight this battle with some kind of mysticism and ask what I truly think is a successful year. My kids are young enough ( all our kids are young enough) to try this new mode of learning and come out of it feeling accomplished .
I also think if my kids have majored in google , siri , alexa and youtube this summer, they are capable of learning what these incredible teachers are helping them understand actually being there on screens and showing them the light. I would like to see them try, fail and try again. I would like for them to understand and work with the limitations of poor internet, poor connectivity and the noises of my dog barking at squirrels. They just have to. Of course, its not easy but you know what love, I never said learning new skills was ever going to be easy.
As for us women, we need to take a break and try not be the goddesses of our children’s performance because this is a just practice. They are just practicing for their future performances which might come , or may be not. We have to dig deeper into that inner voice which comes only from our experience, only from our context .This will help us to juggle between the social pressures and our own which is truly what I struggle with everyday of my life. I switch back and forth from the inputs I receive from everybody around me and the what I have found out to be true within my experience. I have to pull myself away from this whirlpool time to time and seek answers within me. Hope you guys have a fantastic school year and give yourself permission to be a mystic.
PS: The above picture is how we practice mysticism , with a huge smile or by closing our eyes between the chaos. We switch between that constantly. And here is the link to that write up by Martha Beck