Mother’s Day has come and gone, and you’re left feeling– How do you feel? My hope is that you felt appreciated, loved, thanked and pampered!
But let’s be real, it wasn’t your birthday, it wasn’t Valentine’s Day or your anniversary… you know, the things you’ve probably celebrated more than this celebration of motherhood.
Why is this day so important? Well you, along with every other mom, similar or vastly different from you, need to know this little holiday is for YOU. You carried, birthed, adopted, took in a life or many, and you are raising the next generation that will help mold our world. That’s kind of a BIG deal.
So, in the spirit of continuing to celebrate YOU, I wanted to share how much we Mothers need each other.
In the world of Mothers, there tends to be a lot of comparing, staring, advising, mom shaming – even with just a glance, and I think we all need a little boost! Guess what? As I write this, I’m surrounded by a messy house, I really need a shower, and I’m afraid to look at the dishes. I know, it seems like I need to get my priorities straight, but here’s the thing, my family and well, you, are my priority. Yes, you’re my priority. Your concerns, your worries, your need for an uplifting word and some good juju. If I can’t think about you, encourage you and appreciate your perspective on parenting, I don’t feel like I’m being a really great member of the community and I’m just not sure I can “mom” the best way I know how because (let’s be real) I need it from you most days too.
Why do I think about you? I don’t even know you. We probably have nothing in common. I’m sure you have it all together. You’re probably very patient with your child/children. You have nice hair, a clean home with dishes neatly in their spots, wearing wrinkle-free clothes, and not one glimpse of a bag under your well-rested eyes!
Or so, I think. But does it really matter? We all like to think we know each other, don’t we? We make quick judgments and assume someone else has it better. What does better really mean? They successfully breastfeed while you quietly nourish your babe with formula? They use fancy cloth diapers while you save up all the coupons and take any cheap diaper you can get your hands on? They buy the organic crackers while you snatch up whatever is on sale? Their kids go to private school and try every activity while you stick to the standard public school and think playing with neighbors is a fine activity? Well let me tell you, all of the above is just fine and one is not at all “better” than the other. We put ourselves down and compare much too often, thinking that nobody understands our struggles and what this parenting thing is all about!
Nobody gets it. Except for each mom at the park, each mother you pass, each gal you get a glimpse of as she sweetly snuggles her baby or embarrassingly hushes her screaming child.
Call me crazy, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say we’re all on the same ship. A ship that set sail when we found out we were going to be mothers. We bought the tickets, jumped on board and carried a lot of baggage. Baggage like big feelings, heavy emotions, desires, expectations… things that everyone else had with them too and still do.
The problem we all have is admitting how alike we are. Admitting we have the same destination. Admitting we struggle, admitting you don’t have it all together, admitting we are not always perfect, crafty or clean. Every mom needs to know something. We all feel this way at some point. Even that mom dressed to the T who happily passed you by with her sleeping baby. She struggles. Even the mom who seems to know how to balance schedules, work and life. She doesn’t always figure it out. We all need a good old boost! Ignore the impression you get from the picture perfect mama or visibly stressed mama. They are facing many unique issues, but need love and encouragement just the same.
Another way to look at it… if moms from all walks of life were stranded on an island with their children, the commonality they would all share is the fact that they are mothers. The unexpected challenges that are tied to motherhood, only other mothers can understand. We’re in this together and need each other to survive, regardless of finances, status, privilege, power or strength. Because if any of that changes, we still need one another.
So, continue your ‘momming,’ but remember, you’re not alone, and I dare you to step out of your world and remind other Moms that they’re not alone. Encourage a struggling mother and tell her that she is amazing. Compliment that lovely, calm mom and remind her that she is doing a great job. Because what we don’t see, we don’t know. We have no idea what’s going on, what happens inside her when her child is out of control or gets sick. We don’t know how hard those ‘hard’ days are for her. What we do know, is how it all feels for us and how wonderful even just a little boost can be.