Friday, June 28, 2019

Supporting Each Other Through the Hard Seasons

I talk a lot about grief and about the emotions a nanny feels when she leaves a family.
Today I want to talk about how we, as colleagues can support each other in the hard times.
One of the things that I have learned is that life has many seasons, good, bad, easy and hard. As I have gone through the hard seasons of my life, I have learned some valuable lessons that I want to share with you today.
1. Frequently, when people are going through hard seasons, people don’t show up for a couple of reasons. Sometimes, they don’t know how.
The first thing I learned is that the way you learn to show up for people, is by going through hard times. We don’t walk in this world alone and it is so important to show up for others but if you have never been through it, if you never sat next to a loved one as a Dr. said
the words that no one ever wants to hear, you don’t know how it feels, you don’t know how scary it is, you don’t know the pit in your stomach.
If you never sat by a parent as they took their last breath, if you never lost a spouse, if you never lost a sister or your own child or your beloved charge… can’t imagine the gut punch it is.
Here is what I want you to know.
It doesn’t matter what you say. It doesn’t matter what you do. It only matters that you show up! Are you worried you might say the wrong thing? You don’t have to say a lot. A hug speaks volumes. A whispered prayer, holding a hand, taking food, a card in the mail, a gift card for a place that delivers…….it’s enough.
Sometimes you ask someone what they need and they say “nothing” because honestly, it is hard to know what you need in that moment.
Just reach out, even if it is just a text that says I am thinking about you, showing up in some way shape or form is all you need to do.
One of the most important things you can do is listen, or even just sit in the silence with them. Just knowing they are not alone is more than you realize.
Many of you showed up for me when my mom was sick and I couldn’t keep up with Nanny Transitions, when my husband had cancer right after my mom died, people on this page that didn’t even know me, showed up for me with posts to my page, and private messages of support. I’m telling you….showing up just requires the effort to do it.
2. If they ask for something and you can offer it, do it! If you can’t offer what they want but you can offer an alternative solution….do it!
Don’t assume that someone else is going to help them figure it out.
We as a community need to show up for each other because I promise you that your day is coming. Everyone goes through hard seasons. It is a fact of life.
Showing up is a life skill we all need to learn. It doesn’t matter if you know the person, if you know they are in a hard season, reach out, support and love.

3. Don’t assume that if they are quiet, that means that they are ok.
What silence really means is that they are most likely feeling deserted, or alone or forgotten which can also lead to feelings of depression.

4. If they express frustration or fear or anger or hurt feelings because no one is stepping up. Respect their feelings. They have a right to feel the way they feel. If it makes you uncomfortable, maybe it is because you feel guilty for not stepping up.

5. We, as nannies, as women and men in the same profession, share a unique bond.  Our jobs are unique, our circumstances are unique.
We understand each other like no one else does.
Let’s start treating each other with love and compassion and grace.
It can only make us stronger.