An Open Letter To The Well-Meaning Boundary-Crossers - BY Erica Cote for MotherHustle
“When I’m not ready to process any further and I just need to sit still right where I am, can I trust you to let me be and that you’ll still be there when I need a hand up out of the muck?”

An open letter from me to you, my friend.

The peanut gallery always chimes in.

Sometimes we’re good with the feedback, opinions and directives. Others, we’d rather they just take a long walk off a short pier. But, either way, they’re still there. And when there’s a noisy chorus inside your head already with things pinging off all the walls, it can get crowded in there to the point of frustration.

Or worse…anxiety…resentment…anger. We both know it well.

When you’re a mother you get used to the mom shaming and constant opinion giving from everyone about everything. And when you run a business there’s always someone that has feedback on how you can do it better, or easier, or faster.

And you learn quickly that you have to take almost all of it with a grain of salt and retain the pieces that resonate with you. Otherwise, you’d spend way too much time being someone else’s version of you.
And we know how this feels inside and out. Here lies the problem.

There’s always someone that wants you to be the best version of you based on their opinions.

They know what your problems are. They know how to fix you. They know how to make it all better. How you can live more fully and be happier. Which would all be fine if I was you.

If I wanted my marriage to be yours… If I wanted to run the business you dreamed of that’s a great fit for you… If I wanted to raise my kids to be the person you always hoped you’d be… If I wanted to grow up and be the best version of you…

But I don’t want any of these things.

And my friend, I know you mean well when you tell me these things and you’re coming from a place of help and support. But your biases and judgments are rearing their heads. And I do understand, it would be virtually impossible to truly be my friend and not try to help me evolve. To see my struggles and not throw me a life preserver.

But sometimes, just sometimes, it’s just heavier than something I’m interested in carrying — than I can even begin to carry in that moment.

So when these feelings try to consume me, can you love me enough to let me be a little kid who’s stuck in my ways and unavailable to listen?

When I’m not ready to process any further and I just need to sit still right where I am, can I trust you to let me be and that you’ll still be there when I need a hand up out of the muck?

Can you love me enough to respect when I don’t want or need any more feedback or tactics?

Can you let me close my fence for a while and go inside my house alone?

I promise I’ll be back. I love you and I absolutely need you. But right now, I just need white space to just float for a minute. I’ll be back in full-blown technicolor soon.

MotherHustle Panelist Erica Cote is an entrepreneur, coach, consultant, writer, and speaker who helps people connect through conversations that challenging female business leaders to be the change they want to see. By voting with their dollars, supporting other female owned or oriented businesses, and hiring from a place of support across racial and cultural lines, change happens. When she’s not coaching and supporting her clients, you can find her writing poetry or cuddled up with her two little ones.You can find her at Erica Courdae and Silver Immersion, LLC.




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