A Changing Voice


Sometimes it can be tough.  Saying what you mean, and meaning what you say.  Because what if you say something that offends somebody?  What if we write something that suggests there is a better way?  And what if the person who reads it has already and irreversibly done the opposite?  Then our words will make them feel sad.  And that is not something that I ever want to do.

So for a long time I made sure that my statements were diplomatic, and worded in ways that would make everybody comfortable.  I never wanted anyone’s sadness to be because of me.

Then my son was born.  And I started to realize how misinformed I had been.  And I started to learn how very much information was available.

But I stayed quiet.  I did not want to lose friends or stir up trouble.  I wanted everyone to be comfortable around me and feel good after speaking with me.

But the more I learned and the more I practiced, the more I realized how uncomfortable I was.  Because I was pretending that things were different than they are.

So slowly I started to speak up.

And sometimes people were glad to hear what I had to say, and sometimes they were mad.  Sometimes they even questioned my sanity.  But I kept  speaking.  And ever so slowly I found my voice.  And it was… different.   The voice was steady and confident and sure.  The part of me who spoke could  handle the insults and ridicule and the untruths being spoken of me.

Because I was speaking about those who do not have a voice.  And they are innocent and trusting and painfully confused.   And slowly, my fear of making grown-ups sad became far less important than making babies comfortable.

So now I am speaking regularly.  And while I am always saddened when someone is hurtful toward me, I have the ability to properly process what is happening to me.  And that feels more comfortable to me than babies hurting.

And this change in me is good.  Now I feel content and right and comfortable.  The insults are easier to take than the falsehoods of pretending that things are different than they are.

So saying what I mean is now my priority.  And this is a change that is bettering my life.

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13 Replies to “A Changing Voice”

  1. Saying what we mean and meaning what we say are two pretty tough things to become comfortable with. We are brought up in a world where we are expected to tread lightly so as to not offend anyone. How stressful is it to not be able to speak out on something you are passionate about?! I love that becoming a mother inspired you to find and use your voice. The person you are now, the one who is willing to put herself out there to be judged, is the person your children will look up to and strive to be like. And what a model that is!

    Thanks for the wonderful post and for participating in our first Carnival!

    • Jennifer, thank you for those kind words. One of the most fascinating parts of parenting for me has been the personal confidence and clarity that I have found.

      Thanks for hosting this great carnival!

  2. I have had my share of people attack me for standing up for my beliefs – mainly about how children should be treated. But, for every person who has done that, I’ve probably had at least 5 others thank me for showing them another possibility – for being a catalyst to their own change.

    • Mandy,

      Thanks for sharing such a good point. I know for myself it speaks volumes when I meet or talk with someone who has chosen to make a change that I am interested in.

  3. i can certainly relate! i felt the same way for so long. i dislike confrontation and stirring the pot. before i became a mother, i allowed people to have their opinions without speaking up much if i disagreed. but once my son was born, i knew i had to speak up for him and his rights…advocate for him…and teach him (by example) how to negotiate the world and advocate for himself. wonderful post! and i’m with you 100%!

    • Rae,

      I remember saying to my husband when my first child was about 2: “I cannot believe the confidence that I have since becoming a mother.” And it is so true; primal some say.

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing those thoughts.

  4. When you observe harmful behaviour, whether it is towards children or adults, it takes courage to speak out against it, especially compassionately , to exact positive change. Those causing harm are not always aware of it, or want to address it and that is when you get the strongest backlash against your attempt to speak out for those who can’t. It can be lonely at times, standing against the negativity seemingly alone, but those lives that you do touch are worth every effort.

    • Beautiful words Wolfmother. I agree that compassion is so important. I have experienced overwhelming compassion when admitting my own awful parenting mistakes. And the strength and inspiration that has given me is great.

      I think what I struggle with the most is the nay-sayers; those who try to hold back moms and dads who want to change things, but are held back because their mother/sister/aunt/friend believes a myth.

      Thank you so much for visiting!

  5. Ah yes! The push/pull between the convictions we feel so strongly about and the real live people in our lives who might not feel the same. It is difficult to make statements or take stances which go against the grain but how can we affect change and not offend anyone? It is impossible. I know this so well, since our main subject matter at mothers of change is controvercial and invites lots of negative comments or feedback. But the change we advocate for is vital. So is yours! Keep it up… We need more strong advocates out there…

    • Melissa,

      Thank you for that reminder. I am slowly realizing that you are right; if we are going to affect change it is impossible to not offend anyone. And as I shared it has not felt good for me, either. To pretend I do not feel as strongly as I do. Thank you for visiting!

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