Tag Archives: support

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.

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

Loving on All the Mamas

I was excited to attend a baby shower over the weekend for a friend who is due with her first baby in June. There were a total of 6 of us (out of maybe 17 or 18) at the shower that were pregnant. Even knowing that a shower is typically a lot of gals around the same age, I felt like that was a lot! But it was SO fun to see gals in every stage of life – and several stages of pregnancy – getting together to celebrate my friend and her new little life she’s expecting. 
I think one of the most important things we can do is celebrate pregnant women. Celebrate women in general, obviously, but there are so many unique ways that you can celebrate and bless women who are expecting. Whether or not they have supportive families, if they got pregnant on the first try, or tried for years, new lives are worth celebrating. As a mother of soon-to-be three, I believe that feeling celebrated for every single one of my pregnancies was really special for me. It wasn’t necessarily a shower or gift or party that made me feel special – it was friends’ and family members’ reactions to our announcement, and meaningful things they said (and are continuing to say) throughout.

Women need encouragement. Expecting mamas and new mamas often need it even more. They need to know that they are made for what they’re doing, that they will figure out the best way to raise that little one. Does that mean it’ll always be easy and come naturally? No. But it does mean that we should encourage all mothers in their journey.

I saw something recently about how a mother who had experienced a long journey with infertility and finally was blessed with children through IVF felt the need to defend her children against someone who said her children were “synthetic”. Who on this earth has the right to say that to anyone? To suggest that babies, children, humans are anything but God-given and made of DNA and cells and souls just like “the rest of us” is the most awful thing you could say. So many mothers today are faced with insecurities and fears, not to mention the ever-growing plethora of choices about every single thing to do/be/get for your baby… why would one then start attacking the babies themselves, saying terrible things about how or when or why they were brought into the world?!

So this is where I feel a call to be encouraging, supportive and just plain loving to mothers of all experience levels, all walks of life, and all kinds and numbers of babies. Whatever the reason you become a mother, you should still be celebrated, supported and encouraged. If you know a mama, or a woman who is expecting, do something nice for them. Say a kind word, pop a note in the mail, or pick up their coffee. If you’re close to them, get them a gift, throw them a shower (or sprinkle!) or pray with/for them. I guarantee you, each of them needs a little love, a little encouragement, or just to be seen, known, and loved.

It can be hard… pregnancy, waiting for an adoption to go through, enduring fertility treatments, having little ones, or struggling with teens. All of those things can be hard on a woman, and I know that sometimes a little encouragement can go a long way. That nice thing you do for the mom? It’ll benefit the child, too.

everyday mom link up