Recently, I asked my granddaughter, Meghan, what she’d write about if she was putting together a blog post. She quickly identified three topics: the value of her Motherhood Community, the importance of perseverance, and the value of gratitude.
I was struck by the life-giving description of her motherhood community:
“ I really feel as if my motherhood community has kept me sane and saved me from the anxiety and depression that comes from isolation as well as anxiety that comes from the unknowns in motherhood. I feel safe to ask questions and enjoy sharing the victories (and failures) as a Mum with my motherhood community. They are so supportive, even though we all parent so differently. I love their children and they love mine! I love laughing with them as we realize parenting is not as easy as our parents made it look!”
Clearly, the kids love it too…pictured here is Jack, Cole, Brooklyn, Archer and Hayden.
This captures for me, the value of community, of gathering with like-minded or like-needed people. Those gatherings where you feel safe and supported, can share your burdens and joys, and that often result in long lasting relationships.
When I moved to the Saskatoon from rural Saskatchewan, in the late 70s to attend university, I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. That’s partly because I quickly connected with some groups of like-minded people. Two that stand out for me now are feminist and learning communities.
At that time, I really longed for, and found, a community of women, who were challenged with the narrow roles for women, with inequities and with how women were often treated in degrading ways. I was also part of a small learning community, those who were majoring in Psychology and loved it. Talked, read, all things psychology.
Over the years many other groups have provided me with support, generative conversation, and a sense of belonging. I think of the local informal training and development group or the cohort studying to be a yoga teacher, the meditation group, and an informal gardening club. Recently I have been enjoying circles that are gathering virtually to Grow in Wisdom and seek greater generativity as we age. As I was writing this, I was struck by the range of communities I was listing, and of course there’s many I haven’t named, like faith communities, schools, book clubs, families.
What a treasure these communities are. Some communities coming at the right time, were downright life-giving. Places where I could show up as me and not feel judgement.
Sometimes we long to find a community and our job is to seek. I can be hard work, and that has been the case for some friends during the pandemic. And for others the on-line opportunities have opened up options for community.
And, as for Meghan’s other topics on persistence and gratitude, they deserve their own posts. Watch for that!
This was the 70s
As I was writing about connecting to feminist groups in the seventies, I was reminded of how during my first year of University, I became a co- director of what was referred to as the Women’s Directorate, a safe space on campus to gather around advocacy and feminism. This was just one of the many ‘homes’ where I made new friends and could talk about feminist topics of the day, two of which were campus issues related to challenging the annual lady Godiva ride and the content of a student newspaper called the Redeye. This took me down a great rabbit hole. I checked to see what had been written about the University of Saskatchewan Redeye being challenged. Here’s one thing I found.
Why social connection
Social connection can make such a difference our well-being, we know this intuitively, and there’s lots of talk and on-going research to support that. Here’s a piece on social connection and happiness.
We’d love to hear from you
Let us know what communities have been live-giving for you, or what communities you long for at email@example.com
I am grateful for the inspiring conversations about creative expression that my Creative Partner, Debra Stobbe and I have. Her comments about my blog posts are always so helpful.
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