How are you?
Three words, one small and simple question. But why don’t we say it more?
What I’m going to talk about could be considered in anyone’s life really, but I’m going to be talking from a parents perspective.
As we are coming into the darker, more dreary months, it’s got me thinking.
When was the last time someone asked you, as a parent, mother, father, how you are?
I think as we always put our children first (and naturally so), we kind of get lost in the background and are sort of expected to just be okay.
When people, whether it be a family member or friend, know you as the parent to a child, a little “How are you?” is quickly bi-passed to a “How is the little one?”.
When you are sick, again, it tends to bi-pass to “God I hope X doesn’t get it!”.
Do you see what I’m getting at?
The percentage of parents who would say they are lonely is at a ridiculously high rate, and I think the Winter months make this even harder.
You have less daylight, more rainy days, and overall spend more time indoors, adding to that loneliness. Apart from the fact that 1 in every 15 people suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which affects people in many ways during the darker days.
Now that isn’t to say that all of us have automatically got this just because we may not like Winter, but it’s something to be mindful of, especially if you are speaking to someone who may have it, and may be a bit down.
The point I’m really getting at here, is that when you are talking to someone who happens to be a parent, ask them how they themselves are first.
If they tell you that they are sick, acknowledge it, the chances are that if there is something else bothering them, they can talk about it without having to be the one that’s holding it all together and talking about the million times they’ve seen Barney in one day or the fact that their child has had a snotty nose for what feels like forever.
Parenthood is a crazy rollercoaster and there is nothing more rewarding than being a parent, but it doesn’t mean we want to lose ourselves either.
It’s not selfish, it’s not envy or jealousy, we just want to be cared for too, while we do our best to care for our babies. Is that too much to ask?
It’s really some food for thought as we are in (yikes!) November, but don’t just make it for the Winter, make it for all year round.