The Squeaky Wheel Gets The Grease!!
‘The squeaky wheel gets the grease’. This metaphor can be readily applied to those who complain or whine about their lives. Parenthood is no different. You have those who need constant reassurance and praise whilst others quietly face the challenges of their situation. We all have moments of being ‘squeaky wheels’ when we need acknowledgement and an emotional release.
‘Squeaky wheels’ can be annoying but I prefer them over the smug people who live in a bubble of perfection.
Sometimes when you least expect it, you meet an inspirational person. These are the people who everyday conduct their challenging lives without any fanfare. After you finish speaking to these people, you mentally assess your own life and get a healthy lesson in perspective. For a while you don’t sweat the little dramas and you feel emotionally energised. I admit this doesn’t last for ever but it’s healthy to have your life put into perspective.
It’s important to appreciate all the positives in your life no matter how big or small.
Recently I was at the park pushing my youngest on the swing. It was busy and chaotic as it was during the school holidays. Their was one little girl causing havoc and it was obvious that her mother was in for a challenging park visit. Most parents when they see a child having a tantrum just thank god that it isn’t their child, which was exactly my reaction to the scene. After a bit the little girl and mother came to the swing next to ours. It was obvious from the little girls speech and mannerism that she had some developmental issues. Her mother and I joked and exchanged stories about our kids public tantrums. After politely chatting for about 15 minutes she started to reveal more about her daughters medical and developmental history. The little girl was causing havoc because she had been stuck in her home for two weeks to keep her healthy for a heart operation. Cabin fever and the freedom to run about had caused her to be very overwhelmed in the park. Our conversation was very natural and comfortable so I was able to ask fairly personal questions about her condition and how they cope as a family.
This mother displayed resilience, kindness and not a hint of self-pity.
To cut a long story short, this little girl had a sever developmental condition as well as heart and eye conditions. She was only 4 years old and already had 3 open heart surgeries, 2 eye surgeries and 4 catheter procedures. She was getting ready for her 5th catheter procedure. My heart was breaking as this mother told her story but what stuck me was how matter-fact and strong she was when she spoke. Individually she had to give up a career which she loved to be a full-time carer to her daughter and her husband had to take on a second job in the evenings to help pay the bills. Throughout the whole conversation she emitted a very positive vibe and their wasn’t a hint of self-pity. She only revealed her personal story because I asked otherwise she would have just quietly continued to fulfill her duties like any other mother in the park.
‘My daughter was given to us because we have the love to give her and she is a gift’.
At the end of our time together we both wished each other the best of luck and departed. No phone numbers or emails were exchanged as it was a chance meeting and destined to only be ‘a moment’. I left thankful for my life and vowed not to complain about my boredom as a homemaker. This lady said something that has always stuck with me: ‘My daughter was given to us because we have the love to give her and she is a gift’. Sometimes in the chaos I forget that my kids are gifts and it took a very strong mother in a difficult situation to enlighten me.