Yesterday I ran a workshop as part of a mum’s camp at a hospice. It was a privilege and an incredibly humbling experience. Each of these mums have a child that is dying or a child that has recently passed away. No-one can really understand what these mums go through without having a similar direct experience. They have a unique set of joys and a unique set of challenges. However, during the workshop what came through strongly was, whilst most of us could not even begin to fathom what they are going through each day, they really understood each other.
They understood what it was like to be on edge each time they checked their child was breathing. They understood what it was like to wake up several times a night to turn their child over to keep them from getting bedding sores. They understood what it was like to have multiple children, including a special needs child and the challenge of meeting everyone’s needs. They understood all of this and so much more.
Together these mums had found their tribe.
“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”
― Seth Godin, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us
There are 5 key areas that make a strong tribe:
The ability to engage in open and real in conversations. These mums’ talked about their challenges openly and vulnerably. The topic of conversations they had would have been difficult with those that weren’t in a similar situation.
These women trusted each other with their emotions and their darkest feelings. They felt comfortable enough to trust they wouldn’t be shut down or their fears dismissed. Instead they were embraced and supported.
The openness and trust creates connection and a sense of belonging. There is a dignity as well as an aliveness that comes from a true connection with another and the knowing you are not alone.
“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”― Brené Brown
Honouring the individual
Whilst these women shared their common experiences, they honoured each person for their differences and where they were on the journey. “You do what’s right for you” “Don’t let others dictate your journey” were some of the comments they shared.
Every tribe needs a common reason to exist. These mums want to be their best for their children, their families and themselves whilst navigating the daily challenges of raising a child with extreme special needs.
“The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers & cities; but to know someone who thinks & feels with us, & who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Research tells us your tribe has a great influence on your daily actions and the direction you will take.
Do you have a tribe that supports where you are now and for where you want to go?
PS – Whenever you are ready, here are four ways I can help you thrive as a parent:
1. Download the Parent as Leader whitepaper
Increase your presence, connectivity and quality time. Claim back up to 10 hours per week, every week for you, your family and your child. – click here
2. Grab a copy of my book
Order here and receive a signed copy. It’s called Smart Parenting – How to Develop Your Child’s Mindset, Resilience and Courage for the Future of Work. I like to think of it as practical guide for moment to moment parenting to raise awesome kids.
3. Come to a live event
Click here to see upcoming sessions and on my Eventbrite page.
4. Work with me one-on-one
If you’d like to work directly with me to rediscover presence in your relationships, be more productive at work and create a life you love, book in a time to discuss your situation and see if we might be a fit.