Recently I took my kids to a new fresh food market and they happen to like food so it was shaping up to be a fun day out. So of course when we passed a table where a lady was giving out samples of crackers and French cheese, they were all over it. I started the proceedings and then of course my kids followed. The cheese was great and seemed like good quality stuff.
However it became apparent that she was giving to us begrudgingly, like she really didn’t want to do it and was counting every penny. At first I thought it was just my hallucination but sure enough, she started making comments like ” Are you just going to try or are you here to buy?” (not a nice thing to ask any customer!)
She then went further and proceeded to try to force me to buy something that I didn’t really want, which I thought was totally out of line. She didn’t say it to me directly but to my kids – as in, “your mummy has to buy something now!” Well that was the first time I have experienced anything like it and it really took me aback.
At first I felt obligated to buy, almost as if by walking away we were doing something wrong, but then decided against it. I didn’t think it was right to be forced into anything I didn’t want to do or to reward bad service which is absolutely was. So we walked away empty handed.
The only thing we took home was a really yucky feeling (well at least I did) and poor memories to match, despite the quality foods on offer, the fancy decor and amazing presentation of all the produce. Needless to say, I won’t be going back again in a hurry.
Compare that to the next market trip we had at a different location where we were treated completely differently in the very same circumstances. The market was simple but plentiful and the man was giving out slices of peaches and mangoes with a big smile on his face and with good humour. He shouted “these mangoes are so sweet they are sweeter than my mother in law!” Everyone had a good laugh.
When we approached the stand, I cautiously warned the kids to only take one piece of fruit each, to which he responded, “they can have as much as they like.” Then he invited them to go and grab a whole peach from the display each! Wow what a difference it made and as a result we were all in good spirits and bought up half of the store that day because we felt so good. I came home still high from the experience, so I gave them a 5 star review for their generous customer service.
What has all of this got to do with labour and motherhood? Well it occurred to me that what really matters and what stays with us long term (and that means forever ~ as long as you live) is not just what happens or the pretty surroundings but how we are treated in the process. Talk to any mother about her birth experience and you will see the emotions (positive or negative) come right back as if it was yesterday, even if it was decades ago…
In the 9th insight of my book, we explore this very theme and how important it is to choose carefully who is on your support team. It really makes the world of difference and actually influences the outcomes of labour, as well as how you feel about it afterwards.
You can consider me on your support team or cheer squad – even if you are over on the other side of the world! On that note, if you are feeling troubled or alone and need to talk it out or simply want to reach out and share, please drop me a message here.
From the book: “What we do know is women who feel emotionally supported during labour have fewer complications, less pain, shorter labours and less chance of postnatal depression.”
Sounds good to me!! 🙂
May you be wrapped in loving support and your wishes respected throughout this amazingly life-changing experience.