Tag Archives: mommitment

When You Just Can’t Find a Single Thing You Do Right

This week, one of my blogger friends posed a question on her Facebook page. She was calling out to the moms in her community, asking them to speak positively about themselves. It was truly a wonderful opportunity for moms to brag on themselves for a bit, because that never happens. She basically said this: What’s one thing you do really well? I just want to hear you say something positive about yourself as a mom.

When I read it, I was giving the baby a bottle, putting him down for his nap. I had been scrolling through my Facebook feed, waiting for him to drop off into unconsciousness, so that I could lay him down. My bigs were already napping, and this was about to be my glorious hour or two of quiet freedom.

What’s one thing I do really well as a mom? Get them to nap at the same time so that I can have a moment of sanity. Oh wait, that’s really selfish. How about the fact that I’m great at getting a workout and a shower in every other day? Well, that still benefits me, not them.

All of a sudden, my mind is reeling and tears are coming to my eyes. Why can’t I think of a single thing I do well for my children? All I can think of are the basics. They’re clothed. They’re fed. They’re (relatively) clean. Well, that doesn’t make me a good mom… that’s the bare minimum. I can’t think of a single thing that I do as a mom that’s outstanding. I know so many other mothers who fall into that category. I’m often short-tempered and easily stressed out. Do those things count?

The more I think, the more I realize that as a mom, and as a woman (and a southern woman in particular), I’m trained to just try to be better. Not to recognize something I do well. I should be humble, hard-working, and put together. I shouldn’t be focused on what I do well – those things don’t need attention. The things that need attention are the things that need improvement. That’s where I should put my focus, right?

I agree with trying to be my best self. I agree with seeing that there may be things about myself that I can improve, change for the better. But I should be able to call to mind a thing or two that I do well. Feeding my children healthy food at almost every single meal and snack. Working out with and in front of them, so that they know being healthy is a priority. Spending lots of family time together, at home or out on the town. Reading to them most days and every night. THOSE are things I do well as a mom.

Here’s your encouragement for today. I read the comments on her question. It was lovely things like, “taking my kids to the park a few times a week” and “teaching my daughter sign language” and “listening to my children and taking their words to heart”. Those are truly wonderful things that moms are doing for their kids. Why don’t we give ourselves some slack? We’re doing a great job, moms. Love yourself a little. Give yourself a break. You’re a good mom. I know it.

Dear Lady Who Labeled Me…

I had a strange (read: annoying, frustrating and sad) thing happen to me yesterday.

I was out running errands with J, and I had a few things to do that shared a parking lot, so I popped him in the stroller, and went from store to store… to Starbucks. Obviously. After I’d ordered my venti decaf iced coffee (because… pregnant) we waited at the end of the counter for it to be finished. An older lady (probably about my grandmother’s age) said, “Oh look! You two match!” J was wearing a green shirt and I was wearing tie-dye that had some green in it. Okay, lady. She proceeded to say how cute “she was” (seriously? He’s wearing a green tee, baggy jeans, and huge sneakers. She?!) and I was like, “Yeah! He’s a cute, big guy!” to nicely emphasize that she wasn’t right about the “she” part. Next, the lady said something that began to really get to me…

“He’s just really happy to have a stay-at-home mom.”

Hold on there, lady.


It’s not that I’m not a SAHM. It’s not that I don’t like and appreciate that I’m a SAHM. It was 3:00pm, I was in my bum clothes (gym shorts and a big t-shirt), and I’m out at Starbucks with my son (aka obviously not at work). I guess it’s a fairly safe assumption that I don’t have a 9-to-5. It’s just that it frustrates me that you had to label me, without knowing me. You had to give me a label – even if you weren’t judging me. You were actually applauding me… I think. But let me tell you something. I’ve been a working mom, too. I’ve had a full-time job. I’m still working a part-time job. In fact, I had been at work that very morning, and was enjoying time with my son I had missed while I was gone. I don’t think I’m a better mom now that I was when I worked full time. I don’t think J loves me more now that I stay home with him more hours a week. But it was what she continued to say that baffled me even further.

“You know, I think it’s finally coming back into vogue now.”

What?! Are you implying that staying home with your children is something you do because it’s in style? Or that you don’t do it because it isn’t? AND thankyouverymuch I made a choice to be home with my kids… to quit my job, to put a halt in my career, to take a financial (and let’s be real, emotional and personal) leap of faith and stay home with my children. I wanted to try it, to be with them while they were little and needed me more than they might need me later. I wanted to help them learn and grow and see their precious little selves learn to walk and talk and potty train and see what happened when we added another sibling to their ranks. I DID NOT decide to “stay at home” (which, by the way, for me, doesn’t include that much staying at home) because I thought it was in style, popular, likeable, or more acceptable than what I was doing before.

Staying at home was (and is!) what I wanted, and my family was able to make it happen. I am grateful every day for that, even when I’m driven crazy by the lack of routine (or the drilling sameness of it) and I’m an unshowered, goldfish-eating, coffee-guzzling wreck. I don’t make choices for my family because of what other people will think or say. I also don’t judge what choices other people make for theirs. Every family has its own system that works, and its own choices that make it special. What my family does won’t necessarily work for everyone. What other families do won’t necessarily work for mine. But when I get labeled and targeted as a member of a group, and then given a reason to do it, such as “it’s in vogue” to do so, my feelings get hurt, my 26th-week hormones get a little… well… ragey… and I have to call my gal pal to vent about it so that I don’t let my crazy fly in the face of this old lady who shares her opinions a little too freely.

Anyway, sorry for the rant, but I apparently needed to vent some more. Situations like this, and feelings like hers (and like mine that resulted) are the reason that I signed this petition and made a #mommitment to end the judgement surrounding being a mother. Every single mama should do her best, and not be judged for it. Every single mama should feel supported and loved, and not labeled or lumped into a category for her choices.

everyday mom link up

My People.

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!

Village. Tribe. Support system. Club. Group of friends. My people.

No matter what you call them, it’s always so nice to have them.

A  group of people, in similar situations as you (for me, other parents), who are supportive, loving, relatable, and understanding. They aren’t judgmental, degrading, overcritical, or negative. They listen. They help. They care. They give advice when asked. They let you vent without judging. They respect your parenting choices. They love you for you. They love your kids for themselves. And you do the same for them.

These people are as inexorable to your survival as your coffee in the morning and your washing machine in the… all day every day. Their encouragement, interest in your life and feelings, and concern for you can help you get through the worst of days, even if you’ve already cleaned up several spills (of all sorts of liquids), survived multiple tantrums, and have silvery smears of snot all over your shirt. Having someone you can vent to, cry to, talk to, ask questions of, and plead for sanity from… or at least have a little confirmation that you’re not totally losing it.

Whatever your situation, your status, your goings on day in and day out, it’s likely that sometimes you need a pick-me-up, a funny story about how your colleague (read: mom friend) had the same thing happen to them yesterday. If you’re a working mom who’s dealing with childcare woes, a stay-at-home mom who’s dealing with scraped knees and stubbed toes, or a part-time working mom who’s going nuts trying to figure out the schedule of working time vs. naps and play dates, you’re probably, in a moment of frustration, shooting a text to your pals, sharing the latest thing you’ve been dealing with, or informing them about the most recent baffling news about a sale you missed out on.

But you’re also sharing your successes. You’re sharing about those moments you couldn’t love your kids more, the moments your spouse swept you off your feet again, and the moment the mountain of laundry (almost) disappeared. You’re cheering on your friends when they tell you about the whole day their toddler spent in big boy underwear, the fact that they didn’t forget to put on the trash on the right evening, and the promotion they just got at work. You’re praying for each other about struggles and praising Jesus for the victories, big and small. Having a few people who can totally get you, love you through your mess and in spite of your crazy can save your day.

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If you’re interested in learning more about moms supporting moms, and changing the course of the mom wars, check out #mommitment on Facebook, Twitter, and the blogosphere, or read about it from Julie at Next Life, NO Kids. #mommitment moms are committed to spreading the love and support, and ending negativity towards each other. Here’s the link to sign the petition and join the movement!

I’m Making a Mommitment.

Lately I’ve realized that my social media newsfeeds are overtaken by things about parenting. Blogs giving me suggestions, companies trying to sell me their products, friends posting questions, opinions, and pictures of or related to their kids… I’m totally inundated by “mom stuff”.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of these articles, products and opinions contain labels about a parent’s style. How the mom delivers her baby. How she nourishes her baby. How the parents help their babies sleep. How the parents plan to transport, potty train, educate, and discipline their offspring. There are a thousand ways to rear a child, and no one has any business telling other people they’re doing it wrong, or to try to force their way on someone else. We’re all doing the best we can. This video is a great one along those lines, I think:

I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about helping mothers (especially expectant mothers and new mothers) feel celebrated and loved. Well, this is part of that. Melissa at One Mother to Another (she’s the best!) brought a movement to my attention. It’s a #mommitment for us to all make to each other, to support mothers, one and all. Whatever our similarities or differences, to set them aside and support each other’s efforts to be the best parents we can, in the best way we know how.

My #mommitment to you:

I pledge to accept you as you are, no matter your situation, choices, or style. I promise to support you, in any way I can, no matter whether we made the same choices for our little ones, or if we couldn’t be more different. I vow to be in your corner, defend you, stand alongside you, laugh with you, cry for you, be happy for you, or mourn with you. I will listen to you respectfully, and respond with kindness. I will share my opinion with grace and understanding. I will not judge you, condemn you, or scoff at you. I will not label you or assume things about you by the choices you have made. I will celebrate your special journey as a mother.

I will do these things because we are bound by an invisible tie. We know some things about each other without being told. We have similarities that cannot be chosen – they are inherent. We are mothers, and we should stand together. I know that sometimes, I will need these things from you, too. I have often asked questions, needed advice, and just plain needed to vent. We all need each other, and building barriers because of styles and “labels” doesn’t help any mother, or any child. 

So there it is. A commitment to you, fellow moms, to be supportive, loving, kind and helpful. To NOT be judging, belittling, unkind, or harsh. I’m passionate about ending the mom wars, and spreading the love and support to all moms. Hear me? Every. Single. One.

mommitment

If you’re interested in reading about the mom behind the movement, visit Julie’s page Next Life No Kids and read about her journey, and her movement. You can also find her and the mom movement on Facebook and Twitter. Join us, and make your mommitment to end mom wars with compassion and support.

everyday mom link up