A Story about Underwear
"I'M SO UNCOMFORTABLE!"
These were the words one of my children yelled toward me, full of frustration. I had noticed more grabbing their nether regions and couldn't figure out what was wrong... until I did. You see, it's easy for me to see with my eyes when their pants, shirts, jackets, or shoes are no longer fitting. But their under things? Those get worn far too long until I finally pay attention to all the extra pulling, tugging, dancing, and complaining that should have immediately indicated their underwear are too small.
So when I finally picked up what they were laying down, I promptly ordered the next size up of underwear and presented them to my child. Only to have that child continue to complain that they were "uncomfortable", especially the elastic at the edges. Assuming this was an sensory issue (and maybe I dried them with too much heat...), I showed said child how to stretch uncomfortable underwear.
(All the ladies out there know the drill. Put one foot on the elastic of the leg of the underwear. Pull upward with one hand. Repeat with other leg hole. Don those undies more comfortably, proud of your ingenuity.)
(Insecure note to self: I'm not the only one who has done this, right?)
After this valuable life lesson, child says the underwear are fine and proceeds to wear them, until a day or two later when complaints about discomfort arise again. I believe this to be an elastic issue. It's just too thick and right in the crease of a leg; I get it! I begin to ask other moms about the softest, most bottom friendly under things their kids prefer. I do intensive internet research on kid's underwear for sensory disorders, thinking those will be the softest and least likely to bother anyone.
I was very convinced I was solving this problem.
Until yesterday. I finally looked at the tag of the child's previous underwear, the ones BEFORE the new ones I just bought. The issue was not the underwear. All of the discomfort was caused by the buyer.
I didn't check the size of the previous underwear. I thought I knew, ordered them and had them delivered a few days later. But the discomfort was my fault. All along, my kiddo was putting on new underwear in the exact same too small size as before. Because their mom didn't check and verify that she was actually buying the next size up. And throughout this, I was trying to convince my kiddo that they were comfortable in something they already knew didn't fit.
There are a number of failures here. I should have looked at the old underwear to make sure I was buying the right size. This would have saved me money and time.
But my biggest failure is this: I didn't validate my kiddo's knowing. They know when they are uncomfortable and they voiced it. I'm even more proud they continued to voice it even when I was trying to convince them everything was okay. My biggest failure was not listening and reinforcing that they know themselves best.
This happens to all of us. We try to share something we know to be true about ourselves. Until society tells us, especially as women, that we are too emotional to trust our thoughts and feelings. We have to get everyone else's insights on what we should do like they somehow know what is best for us. We don't fit in, aren't strong enough, don't look or act a certain way, refuse societal standards, don't have enough education or experience, and on and on and on.
So to all of you out there, trust yourselves.
You DO know yourself best. Listen to that quiet voice of inner wisdom that knows the next right step. And surround yourself with those friends who trust you to know you and reinforce your knowing of yourself.
If you've lost that connection with your inner knowing, I'd love to help you find it again through helping you meet your Inner Mentor. You can join me at the Women Lead Conference on March 8 where I'll lead attendees through this activity or you can sign up for one of my Inner Mentor workshops.
You know you best.
It's time to reconnect and trust that voice inside you.
The recent "We Can Do Hard
Things" podcast about Life Hacks: Strategies for Suffering Less hit a lot of sweet spots for me, suggestions like
don't make big decisions after 9 pm, parties can have end times, how to to take selfies with the volume buttons
on your iPhone (I'm old, y'all), and sometimes you just need to go to be angry; you were angry in the first place because you needed sleep. Highly recommend for a few laughs and some AHA moments.