Creating safe spaces for women to flourish is a personal value of mine. I find that as a mom and grandmother, I am faced with the question, “How do I do that for my own family?” As a mom, it is easy to get caught up in fixing, advising, and doing for your own children. I find it doubly hard when it’s my daughter, even as an adult.
I recently had the opportunity to practice creating that flourishing space for my daughter as she shared with me a financial concern she was facing. We had a brief conversation before she was off to work. I found myself going into “mom” mode in my head. Luckily she wasn’t around for me to sound off!
Throughout the day, I rehearsed different scenarios in my head about how she might solve the concern she was facing. In my head, I let myself get involved in “drama”. I was attempting to “fix” her concern, as her mom and make life all better. Isn’t that what moms are supposed to do?
However, as a young adult, she needs no fixing. When I saw her that evening, she didn’t even bring up her concern, much to my surprise. I’d been chewing on it all day! God gently reminded me that He had her covered. I didn’t have to “do” anything but keep praying. She emailed me the next day with how she was addressing her concern. “just wanted to update you, Mom”. I was very proud of the way she was moving forward, as a young adult needed to do.
In reflecting about that incident, I realized I had created a safe and flourishing space, luckily, with God’s help. I was so grateful. Thank goodness she had to work that day. God had prompted me to keep my mouth shut. Also I could have saved myself a little drama in my head had I reflected sooner. Perhaps some of these tips can work for you, too.
In reflection, I realized I was able to support her in the following ways:
That morning, she needed someone to listen and let her process her concerns and pain out loud. She didn’t need anyone to “fix” it, or “do” anything. I could just hold open a safe space for her.
I wasted a lot of energy that day on what was not mine. I could have let go sooner and held her concern loosely for her. I didn’t need to solve anything.
Stopping to pray sooner would have given me the clarity that God had her covered. I got that message later, thank goodness! I am slowly learning to pray quicker. He is here now and in her future.
By not giving too many suggestions (I gave a few, ha!) or rescuing her by giving her money, she was empowered to solve her own financial concern and move forward with it.
My role for my adult daughter is to love her, support her by listening and praying for her and show her care, not fix, rescue or do for her. Slowly, slowly I am getting that message and we are strengthening our adult relationship. I can then see problelms as opportunities for growth in our relationship, not wedges to drive us apart. My prayer is that I can continue to create safe spaces for us to both grow.
What about you? Where do you need to create safe spaces for relationships in your family? Which of the above tips resonate with you? As moms and grandmothers, we are the holders of space in our families and set a tone in our homes. I would love to know how things are going in your home and how I might pray for you. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comments below and let me know how I can support you as a mom or grandmother. Your own sanity and the health of your family can depend on the space you create in your home. I look forward to hearing from you.
Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach. She loves creating safe spaces for women, especially educators going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope. She writes about taming the overwhelm through connecting to yourself and others, possibilities thinking, and brain-based strategies for hopeful living. You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm, explore possibilities and find hope.