A few weeks ago, my family and I went to the fair. At one point during our day, we decided we would attempt some stroller naps with our kids. My husband was pushing the stroller around while I stopped at a few booths. Apparently our kids were fighting naps (what else is new?!) so my husband was making quite a few laps around the area and replacing a couple of pacifier rejections.
After a successful mission, we started cruising around the rest of the arena when an older lady approached us. She started raving about my husband and what a wonderful dad he was. Apparently she was watching him push the girls around and couldn’t believe what an awesome dad he was. My husband said thank you and we kind of chuckled to ourselves, but deep down a part of me wondered: If the roles were reversed and I had been pushing the stroller, would the lady have been so quick to praise me?
Now before I go any further, I just want to preface what I’m about to say with two quick notes.
1. My husband IS a wonderful dad and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t feel blessed by him in my life.
2. This is not a dad bashing post! I do feel as a whole moms are judged much harsher than dads are, but that’s a different issue for another day.
The purpose of this post is simply to encourage us moms to support each other in our journey through motherhood. I think we can all agree that motherhood is the toughest job we will ever have, but if we CAN all agree on that, then why aren’t we being more supportive of each other? After our fair incident, I started really thinking about how we can spread the mom love around.
I started wondering what I could do to get this movement going and I came up with 3 simple steps:
1. Tell another mom she is doing a great job. You guys, I am going to be really honest right here. This one is hard for me. Words of affirmation are just not my thing and I start to get sweaty palms when I think about telling the mom bravely pushing her kids through Target that she is a great mom. I wonder if some of you feel the same way. I don’t know what I am so afraid of, but I know when someone compliments me it makes my whole day. Let’s throw off our own comfort for a moment and take the risk of complimenting another mom! And if someone comes up to you looking a little like a deer in the headlights, mumbling something about being a great mom, please just say thank you and go about your day.
2. Offer help and accept help. I know most days I can barely keep my own head above water, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have occasional opportunities to bless another mom. If you are on a solo grocery store trip (paradise!), and you see a mom with all her kids in tow, offer to give her a hand. If you know a mom in your life is struggling in her journey through motherhood, send her a card or drop by some chocolate. For some reason, moms in general struggle with asking for help. Sometimes you will have to really open your eyes to notice a mom that could use an extra hand. And please if you are that mom, accept help! Having help doesn’t make you a bad mom, it makes you an even better mom.
3. Keep judgments to yourself. This is where the dads get us, right here. We need to STOP judging other moms! I can’t imagine my husband sitting around and telling his friend that he can’t believe his daughter still uses a pacifier or still wakes up at night. I can’t imagine my husband doing that, but I do that! We do that! Why? I will be the first to admit I am an imperfect mom. I mess up daily and I don’t have it altogether. Sometimes I don’t give enough grace to myself or to other moms. I think the best way to stop judging other moms, is to stop being so hard on ourselves! If we can eliminate some of our own insecurities, we will stop noticing other mom’s imperfections.
I hope these ideas will inspire you to start spreading the mom love. I would like to be the first to start this whole movement off by saying I think YOU are an awesome mom. I may not know you personally, but if you are taking the time to read this post, then I just know you are a loving, encouraging and wonderful mom. Secondly, I want to say I am sorry. I’m sorry for judging other moms and I am sorry if you ever felt judged by me. I know we all love our kids and want the very best for them and that is all that matters at the end of the day. I challenge you to try at least one of these ideas this week. I will be putting myself to the test too. Let’s go spread the mom love!