Sunday, 20 July 2014

Good enough is best

Sat in a small room full of mothers from different backgrounds one could easily be mistaken and take it for a PTA meeting at the local school however this meeting was in the pub, cups of tea replaced by Pimms cocktails and the focus of the meeting was not to talk about what we could do better for our children but instead to watch a performance that would reassure us that as mothers we are good enough, and good enough is best.

The set

The small cast of actresses highlight the importance of speaking out when you feel you can't cope and not judging others for their parenting 'mistakes' because if we are honest we all make them in some shape or form.  Above all else what I took from the performance was that we should place great importance on not judging ourselves nor trying to measure up to the picture we've created of a perfect mother.  There are NO PERFECT mothers.

Not only was the show very entertaining but it provided information I had not known before such as the fact that PND can effect you at any point up to the time your youngest child is aged 4, a fact that may yet prove very important to my own life.  I am unfortunately part of a club to which I would gladly hand back my membership.  I have suffered from depression since the age of 16 and in the last few months have been having a tough time.  

Some people think that something in your life has to be awful to in a sense validate the state of depression, which for some is true, but for me at this present time there is no reason.  The tears are unexplained, the sleepless nights are without reason and the irrational anxiety without clear cause.  Writing that down was difficult, but keeping it in has been harder.  So I for one am very glad that I went to see the show because alongside the encouraging words from kind-hearted people either face to face or via email, this show has made me able to talk a little more about the feelings I have behind the mask I wear to protect others, my children included.

Sometimes the people that write plays such as 'The Good Enough Mums Club' and another fantastic play that I saw a snipped of this week, 'So You Think I'm Crazy?' ( written by Ekanem Hines) set out just to talk about their personal experiences, such was the case with Emily Beecher (who suffered from post natal depression and psychosis) or to bring awareness and make an impact but the writers are not always privy to the good they are doing by not only bringing awareness to the illnesses they cover in their scripts but also encouraging people to seek support, know that they are not alone or know that they are good enough.  I purposely took my friend along with me because I knew part of her story and this morning she wrote this:

"I am proud to say that I have become an honorary member of the Good enough Mums club. This means I will no longer feel guilty that I cannot be 12 places at once. I will no longer allow criticisms of my mediocre attempts at motherhood to dampen my spirits. I will celebrate my achievements and my children rather than focus on what I haven't done. And I will pat myself on the back every time I manage to do the school run after 2 hours of convincing children to eat breakfast, wash, brush teeth, get dressed and we all manage to get out the house fully dressed, a pair of the same shoes and ironed clothes is a bonus. #motherhoodishardbutworthit"

One of the things I always say is if I make a difference to one person, be that a child when I'm teaching, a women when I'm doing a workshop, a friend, a partner or my children, then I have done my job.  The writers and cast can walk proudly knowing that they have done their jobs and good enough is best.

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