First and foremost...Happy Mother's Day to all the mama's out there! What a beautiful world you make it! I wanted to write this post because I have felt for a while that motherhood is under attack. Yes...mothers are attacking other mothers. I cringe at the thought that a woman can do this to another woman. I sigh thinking that even as adults we can't leave behind the childish games of school years behind, and raise each other up. I am sick over the sadness moms feel when the media and other people (including woman) tell them they do not measure up. Really? Have we walked a mile in their shoes? Do we understand the mountains they hurdle each day? And even if we do, who are we to say our way is better...our ideas are the correct ones...the studies we follow are fact, when they are just trying to be a good mama.
When I was a new mom I read book after book telling me all I needed to know. Then I lived my life. I Can honestly say, I use very little I found in a book or magazine. Some days I make it through on only prayer. Me pleading with God to let me be the mother He made me to be. To confess I have fallen into one trap and another of trying to be the perfect mom. I have put on the fake front around the girls and said "oh no my kids never do that." To cry out for grace because some days I am not the mom even I know I should be. And then one of the kiddos comes up to me, strokes my arm and says "I love you, mama." And I am convinced this is the perfect job for me.
The sad thing is we do this to ourselves so often. We need to know what we experience is normal, other moms go through it too. Sadly though I have seen that we are not honest with each other. We rate each other on invisible, impossible scales. And then we begin to rate ourselves on these same scales. We are not perfect, and will never be able to gain perfection. In fact, we should not even want our children to grow with the false idea that this is possible. We should want our children and those around us to see the mistakes, the confession, and the risk of moving forward and trying to do better.
I have said this before, but I really feel blessed by the women who are in my life. And I am sure when I rattle off this list, you will have friends who jump to your own mind. I have friends who are a mom to one child and friends who are a mom to multiple children. Friends who are sports families, and friends who love to travel. Friends who nurse and friends who do not. Friends who send kids to school, friends who home school, and friends who un-school. I have friends who eat organic and raw, and friends who love to eat out. I have friends who live on farms and those who live in the city. I have friends who are single moms, friends who are adoptive parents, and friends who are mamas in their hearts but have not found their baby yet. Friends who work full time, those who work from home, and those who are stay at home moms. I friends who are missionaries in another country, and those who are missionaries right in their own home because illness makes it to hard for them to leave.
Every woman I thought of as I wrote this has a heart for God, a deep love for their children, and a respect for themselves. These are the women I aspire to be like. To grow in maturity towards. These are the role models I want set before my daughter, to inspire her as she grows. Many of these women have seen me sick, needing a shower, my house in shambles, and yet they still love me. Friends like these do not tear you down for your ideas, raise an eyebrow in your direction, or speak poorly of you to others. Women like this lift others up by a card, kind word, small gift, meal, or a simple prayer. I encourage all mother's to help stop this attack on our sisters. No women should feel alone, wondering if she is meeting some standard set by some random person. Every woman should feel loved knowing they were created in the image of their creator, and their sisters want to support them. We should hold our tongues when we know the words we say will hurt or sadden. We are not going to walk the same paths as the women we meet. Why should we? We are created different, unique. This is a beautiful thing that should be embraced! And just as we are all different so are our children. Their needs vary and God knew this when He gave you your child. Your child needs you! Needs your ideas, your standards, your love! Happy Mother's Day dear sisters, where ever you may be! I pray that each day you embrace who God made you to be, fully unique and fully beautiful!