Mother’s Day is this weekend and I’ve been thinking about writing this for too long now, so this forces a deadline on me. I am not a mom yet, but I hope to be soon and I wanted to write this while I’m still an outsider looking in.
I realize that your time is limited, so I promise not to take up too much of it. I also realize that you’re likely reading this while parked in the school pick up line, procrastinating folding laundry while the kids are all in school, or those ever long but needed bathroom breaks (what was my mom doing in there for soooooo long?) so I’ll get to the point.
I just wanted to let you know that as an outsider, I think you all are remarkable and I have some encouragement for you!
I often think that my friends think I’m just being kind when I say what I just said, but I’m honestly shocked at how incredible you all are!! You not only made a human, but carried them for 9 months, and then (oh my goodness) you birthed them or had major surgery to have said human(s). Now you’re doing the 24/7 always on the clock job of mothering!!
Seriously, hats off to you…I’m in a standing ovation applauding you over here, as this is no small thing. Stephen and I love kids and we want to be parents, but we don’t by any means think it’s a walk in the park.
We see your struggles and we salute you! There’s so much competition these days and parents already have plenty to deal with without adding Pinterest perfect parties into the mix!
We always say, if your kids are alive, you’re alive and you’re not negligent, abusive, or dealing with substance abuse, you’re doing a good job!
(We often say this in a light-hearted way to encourage our friends, but even if you fit the struggles I just mentioned, there is help out there for you and it’s not too late to become a better parent :) )
I realize for you it might not always seem like you’re amazing, so here’s a few of my encouragements I hope you can carry into Mother’s Day;
1. Stop the comparison trap
She stopped breastfeeding her baby when they were 6 months old and your child was old enough to ask you to stop.
She never allows screen time and you carry three types of portable charging stations to keep all of your devices powered.
She went back to work after a month and you’d never consider leaving your little one.
These are all choices and shouldn’t be reasons to be ashamed or to shame others.
Yes there are overall wise steps one can take and doctor’s advice that can best help your baby and growing children, but at the end of the day you’re presented with millions of choices and you have to do what works best for your family and what you’re willing to accept responsibility for.
There is research I’ve seen that says that young moms today are more stressed today than in their parent’s generation. It’s no wonder when social media seems to fuel this mommy comparison trap. I now have several friends apologizing for posting two pictures instead of one about their kid’s birthday or other cute things.
When did this become a thing?
I can’t speak for others, but I for one am not a Instagram or Facebook police who goes around counting posts to see how many times you’ve posted in the last day or two… “ain’t nobody got time for that” ok?
I just scroll, read, and like posts (I’m currently overusing the Facebook reactions—help!) and I love pictures of you being a mommy and your cute kiddos! Since we travel all of the time we mostly keep updated with people on social media and it helps me know more of what’s going on in your lives and how to pray for you.
So mommas, if you want to post 1,000 pictures of your children everyday, do it! As I mentioned before, you carried them, brought them into this world and are their full-time caretaker, so don’t apologize.
Remember if someone else has a problem with you “overgramming” then they can unfollow you ;-) This leads me to #2.
2. Stop apologizing to me.
Yes, your child interrupted me while I was speaking and asked you a question. It’s ok, I’m 29 and they’re 4, one of us has had more time to understand social interactions. I know they’re learning and you’re doing a great job teaching them.
Yes you just gave an entire Starbucks cookie to feed to your tiny child, but I realize you just changed a diaper blow out after walking out of the door and you forgot to grab a healthier snack. If you don’t feed them something, you’ll have to leave all together while they have a melt down that makes you lock yourself in the bathroom. By all means, get their blood sugar up ;-)
No, I don’t think you’re a bad mom for wanting to talk to me and giving your kids 5 back to back Shaun the Sheep episodes (can I just say how much Stephen and I adore Shaun?!?) so we can talk for an hour.
I know what a crazy season of life looks like without kids, so I have grace for what you’re dealing with by adding kids into such a season. You have to make do with the season you’re in, which leads me to #3.
3.Stop cleaning up for me.
You are not doing me any service by putting on a fake representation of how motherhood will be. I know that you want things to be ideal for us to hang out or for people to visit your home and I appreciate that.
If by some random chance your home is always 100% tidy, your kids never interrupt you while you’re talking and food always stays neatly on a table verses finding sticky syrup everywhere, then continue in that way. However, if things are sometimes messy and out-of-place and you’re on your 4th cup of coffee at 2pm, don’t hide that either.
That’s real and that is the rawness and beauty of motherhood. I want to glimpse into that. I also want to spend time with you and I don’t mind distractions.
Motherhood is hard work and you’re a beast at your job, don’t make it look effortless–show off your skills! Some of your days are full of dipper blowouts, everyone including you are in tears, and you go walk aimlessly through Target when your husband comes home just to gain some sanity.
I know because I’ve been there to experience some of these and remember my sweet mom very graciously raising two brothers and myself.
All of that is ok. You’re doing something incredible and absolutely precious. Treasure that. Let me in and outsiders like me who love you and support you. If you are going through challenges, ask for prayer or for help. You’re not expected to do this alone and even outsiders or not –yet mommies can help by being friends and praying for you.
I’m not asking you to clean up the smashed and crusty bananas from your couch cushions or even brush your teeth for me (drink that coffee girl!). I want you to be a great wife (to the mommas who are married), a fabulous momma, and with what you can be, a loving friend who shares her life with others.
You don’t need to be perfect for me or anyone, just be you!
You’re doing great mommas and I’m cheering you on!
Also—can some of you remind me of this in upcoming years please??