Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Encourage One Another

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up..." 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV

This verse has never been more important it seems when it comes to being a mom.  I just can't comprehend these so called mommy wars, and I don't know why it has become so prevalent to tear down different kinds of parenting.  I read an article yesterday, and this woman said it best:

I don’t much care if you breastfed your kid until they started kindergarten, or if you fed them formula from day one. I don’t really care if you turned your infant car-seat forward-facing prior to age 2, or if you homeschool, or if you send your kids to daycare while you go to work. Do you cosleep? Did you circumcise your son? I DON’T CARE.  Do you babywear? Push your kid around in a stroller? Use a leash for your kid at Disneyland?  Whatever.  Good for you.  

All of these petty wars about the choices of capable, loving mothers is just a lot of white noise to me, Quite honestly, I’m often astonished at the non-essential parenting issues I see moms getting their panties in a wad about. 

With that being said, there is just something about a nice, encouraging word from another mom that can make all this junk disappear in my mind.  On Mother's Day, I received a facebook inbox message from a sweet girl I go to church with:

Hi Chrissy! I was in the 4/5s today and after the lesson, we split up the boys and girls into two classrooms. I take the girls and my husband takes the boys. Well I LOVE getting to spend that 10-15 minutes with the girls before parents come. Well I try to remind myself constantly that I am raising a future mother and to make sure I am doing what I need to do. So it was fun on this Mother's Day, to look at this room of "future mothers" . (Crazy to think about!) Well I just wanted to tell you how sweet your Sarah is. She is like a little mother helping the other kids and is so so sweet and helpful. From one mom to another, just wanted to tell you you are doing a great job, she is a sweetheart! . Happy Mother's Day!

Do you know what this did for my spirit as a mom?  Do you know how much it made me cry? :) Of course you do if you're a mom.  We want nothing more than to hear our children are being good kids.  We want someone to tell us that we're doing something right.  It's just so darn hard in this world of constant bickering about what makes me MOM ENOUGH. 

Do you know what makes me mom enough?

- I've changed diapers for 7 1/2 years now.

- I've bawled and endured pain as I pumped for 5 days in a hospital room so that I could still nurse my baby girl.  Not because I think it's somehow superior to breastfeed, but because that's what I wanted for my girl, especially when we could tell how formula was messing with her tummy.

- I've stayed up nights catching puke as one child is sick the first night...then another child is sick the next night...then another child is sick the next night...

- I've taught ABC's, 123's, colors, shapes, words, animal sounds.  I've played with Legos when I didn't really want to or gone on a princess adventure when I didn't feel good.

- I've potty trained...at times for way too long.

- I've disciplined and heard tears and done my best to explain why the discipline was happening...even when it's really hard to watch them cry.

- I've seen disappointment that I can't take away.  I've held a sad child in tears.

- I've comforted a very hurt child while they had to be in the ER.

- I've felt pride as my child has accomplished much, received such things as student of the month or straight A's...because I know we work hard to teach our kids and encourage academics.

- I've felt excited as my child scored a basket or learned how to write their name.

- I've done an extra load of laundry when I wasn't planning on it because my 1st grader wanted to wear a certain shirt the next day.

The list could go on and on as I'm sure your list would, too.  I say all of that because I know I am doing the best I can, and I know you're doing the best you can.  And I am going to be more mindful of other mothers and I want to encourage them.  If someone's child was polite to me, I should tell their mom!  It is so wonderful to hear (or read) an encouraging word like the one I received on Mother's Day.  We all need that so badly.

Be happy for moms when their baby claps their hands for the first time or their child scores a goal or gets 1st place in the spelling bee.  Tell them how wonderful it is.

We're all in this together.


Nel said...

What a great post! And I so agree with you :o)

I hope Miss Leah is nursing again great for you...

Cindy said...

Such a great post! I can't get over these "mommy wars"! It's absolutely ridiculous! What happened to encouraging each other and simply doing the best you can for YOUR family? Why is that not enough now? No one else is married to my husband, has my kids, has my schedule, has my house, my responsibilities, etc etc etc, so why should I have to do things just like everyone else? We are all so different in so many ways, that what is right for you may not be right for me. Why is it so hard for women to accept this? The Bible says that we are FOOLS for comparing ourselves! (2 corinthians 10:12) I totally agree with you, and agree that you're doing a great job :) Keep it up!

Karen Greenberg said...

Great post! You are right, we are all in this world together. Why bother fighting about who does it the "right" way? In the end's all about raising healthy, happy, productive members of society. What a great message you got from your church friend. Encouragement really does go a long way.

Anonymous said...

Great post! It's like a marriage in a way, if we would just realize that we're on the same team, then we would stop fighting against each other.

Kelley said...

I whole heartedly agree with your disdain for mother's judging other mothers... there is a fine line between discussing a subject to solidify one's own opinion and thinking less of another loving mother for making a different call when it comes to caring for her children. I'm not sure that it's all just women being catty though. I think some of it stems from insecurity. It's defending our choices to ourselves as much as to anyone else sometimes. After all, I believe we all want to be understood and validated. So I try not to judge those who are involved in the so-called "mommy wars" either. It's when we think less of the person (not the action) that we fail so profoundly, and I for one have definitely been guilty of that a time or two. Thanks for the thought-provoking post!

I hope you're continuing to feel better and more like your whole self. It's almost SUMMER VACATION! :-)

Bethany Haid said...

You know, I think I have a hard time NOT caring what other people do for their kids and I think its because I care SO much what I do for my kids.

Like a close friend came over today and her son who is Daniel's age was in a pretty unsafe car seat - installed wrong, child in the seat improperly, not age appropriate, etc. I have thought off and on all night about how he will fare if they are in an accident. His four year old sister would also not survive a bad wreck in the car seat she's in. Its not in my power of control, but I just feel like she should know better! She should not play with such an easy thing to remedy!

That's just an example.
Sometimes I think, do they just not know about X or have confidence in their abilities? What if that would be an encouraging thing to tell them about?
And would it be seen as judgey and unwelcome? Because if I didn't judge it as something I valued, then I probably wouldn't even care what she did in the first place.

When personal choices are on the line, you do feel the need to defend yourself sometimes. Even to yourself, as Kelley said.

I am really interested in Meagan's comment. I honestly never felt I was on the "same team" as other mothers, that they were on a different team because they are the team captain, and I am my team's captain. I do connect with her marriage analogy, though.

Bethany Haid said...

Thanks for taking off that word verification thing. I hate commenting on blogs that have them!!!!!!!!!!

Post a Comment