We are ALL Moms – Choosing To Encourage, Not Judge Other Moms

We are ALL Moms - Let's Choose To Encourage, Not Judge Other Moms | thisgratefulmama.com

Why does it seem like moms are offended by each other on a regular basis?

Some stay at home moms are offended by other stay at home moms.

Some stay at home moms are offended by working moms.

Some working moms are offended by other working moms.

Some working moms are offended by stay at home moms.

Those stay at home mom and working mom labels make everything such a mouthful.

Good grief. Why is everyone so offended? Aren’t we all just moms?

Before I offend anyone – I don’t mean we’re ‘just’ moms. All of us are more – friends, daughters, aunts, professionals, volunteers, teachers, wives, athletes and more. But fundamentally, if those characteristics do not fully define us, why are we so quick to define ourselves by our activity of staying home or working outside the home?

Why are we so concerned about what we and others do all day? Whether we work at home, or away from home, part-time, full-time, or not at all, we are ALL full-time moms. Each of us became moms when we first loved our children. For some, it happened while babies were still in our womb. For others, it happened when they first began to seek out adoption, possibly while their child was in the womb of someone else.

It is our heart that defines us as a mom. Not what we do.

When our son was born, I worked outside the home. When our daugter was born, I stopped working outside the home. My days look different now, but I’m still the same amount of mom.

Once a mom, ALWAYS a mom – regardless of the other ways you spend your time.

Why are we so concerned with who feels blessed to be home and who complains about it? Why do we presume working or stay at home moms want to be home, or that they do not? Or that it was an easy choice? Why do we presume a working mom wants to work when some have to work to provide? Why presume anything?

Are we all so insecure in our own mom-role that we need to tear others down in theirs?

Quit judging! We were not put here on this planet to judge other moms. 

Now, I know some women can be judging, unkind, catty, careless with words or unaware of their impact, but we all need to grow some thicker skin. The word ‘offended’ is defined as resentful or annoyed, typically as a result of a perceived insult. Much of what we are offended by may have been unintentional and petty because we’re all just a little bit too sensitive.

Who cares if so-and-so is happy or unhappy in their situation-that-you-want? Their situation is NOT yours and theirs is much more complicated than you perceive it to be. And, although they may sound ungrateful, they might just be having a really bad day. Don’t we all have bad days?

Let’s focus on trying to be content in our own situation instead of the one we don’t have. The grass isn’t always greener, and sometimes it’s brown, crispy and a fire-hazard.

Who are we to call other moms ungrateful? If we’re offended by their lack of gratitude, we’re probably ungrateful in our OWN situation.

We are all women. Mothers. There should be comradery in these noble things.

It is time to start encouraging each other and to spend our time lifting each other up instead of tearing each other down. Encourage the career-minded mom and cheer her on in her endeavors. Encourage the mom who stays home because she feels called to do so.

And please, we need to go out of our way to encourage the moms working or at home whose circumstance determined their days – they have set aside their preference and are doing what needs to be done for their family. We should cheer them on wholeheartedly.

It is time to extend grace when someone else’s words strike a nerve in our own life. It is time to leave our gossiping, angry blog-posting and social media slandering ways and to instead have empathy for each woman and her struggles. It is time to point each other towards hope and joy and to check our jealousy at the door.

We are ALL moms – that should be enough to be a community who supports each other in such an important endeavor.

Will you join me?

 

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11 ThisGratefulMama Confessions

1. I covet one-on-one time with each child

In the morning, I run in to our daughter’s room, change her diaper and whisk her back to my room before she can make a ruckus. I cherish those morning snuggles.  Sometimes if our son is awake, I do it anyway. In the afternoon our son takes a ‘rest’ while our daughter sleeps. We sneak our time alone in the afternoon. These moments are sweet, restoring, and special.

2. I will do almost anything to hear our children laugh

A child’s laugh is like crack and I’m an addict. I will do anything to get just one more laugh – act silly, tickle them until they pee, you name it. I love the way their laughs make me laugh. Every. Single. Time.

3. Thunder isn’t fun anymore

I love loud thunder that startles and falling asleep to the sound of pouring rain. The problem is, there is little sleep in our house if there is any indication of thunder. Our son has struggled with fear of storms since we got 2-3 inch hail a couple of years ago (understandable – it sounded like the sky was falling).  I can not sleep on his twin waterproof mattress with him so he ends up on a make-shift bed on our floor.

4. Date nights are much different

Before kids, date night had a much different meaning…a special event, a nice dinner, and getting all dressed up. Now, a date is quality time spent with my husband, in ANY location, at ANY time. Dates require a little more creativity and either require a baby-sitter or scheduling around the kids. Many of our dates have changed from nighttime activities to coffee and lunch dates. Sometimes worshipping in church, holding hands while the kids are in Sunday School feels like our little Sunday morning ‘date’. Or, after kids are in bed, a candle-lit dinner, Netflix movie night or game of Scrabble. I’m just happy to have time with my hubby, no matter the circumstance.

5. Pinterest is seriously distracting

I. Cant. Stop. Seriously, follow me, you’ll see.

6. Changing diapers is easier than potty training

Diapers are gross. Our son is pretty much done potty training except for the occasional nighttime accident. I am NOT ready to start with our daughter although I think she could do it. I’m just not ready to return to tear-inducing potty reminders, waking up in the night to take a trip to the potty, or to have to pull over for an emergency bathroom break. SOME days I wish we could stay in diapers forever – accidents are even grosser than diapers.

7. I admire working moms

I worked outside the home when our son was a baby. Getting out the door on time and getting all the proper supplies to daycare with a child was NOT easy. Leaving a crying child in the arms of a caregiver and going to work wasn’t easy either. Working all day, running errands, picking up a child and trying to get dinner on the table so we didn’t starve was HARD! And the laundry…putting laundry in after work and remembering to move it to the dryer…is the reason we had a monster laundry pile to get through every weekend. If you are a working mom, YOU. ARE. AMAZING. You are a great mom and I salute you!

8. My house will never be as clean as I want

While I clean something different every day, I simply don’t have time to clean it all at once. This means the whole house is never really clean at the same time. Especially the floors. Our kids may eat off of them, but it’s not a good idea! Between the sandbox, crumbs, and tiny pieces of cut paper from our son’s crafts, our floors are dirty immediately after I mop, and potentially smeared with water, drool, or applesauce. The 10 second rule does not apply here – throw that away!

9. I still feel like I don’t have enough time

When working full-time, I was sure my morning time with the Lord, working out, and house cleaning would be easier when I could stay at home. Truth is, these kids keep me busy and I find the same time struggle as when I worked. Making these things priority takes effort and discipline I didn’t expect! I can get up early or my kids can play while I sit and pray, read or workout – I just have to be disciplined to do it!

10. I rely more on the Lord

Parenting is a humbling experience. It reveals my shortcomings in the mirrored responses and behavior of our children. I need grace, peace, patience, and wisdom more than I ever have. For them. For me. I am so grateful that the Lord is faithful to supply all we need. I rely on him daily (sometimes minute-by-minute) to supply what I lack and so desperately need in parenting and life. Without Him…this would be a true disaster. But WITH Him, I can do ALL things and trust that His mercies are new every morning, even when I fail.

11. This is the best job that ever was

Hands down, being a wife and mom is the best job I’ve ever had. I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Even if in demand all day long, I wouldn’t have it any other way. These kids make my day, every day. I am grateful for my husband’s hard work and dedication to make it possible for me to be here. No matter what happens during the day, I’d rather be paid in giggles than any other currency the world has to offer.

11 ThisGratefulMama Confessions | thisgratefulmama.com

 

A Salute to Working Moms

A Salute To Working Moms | thisgratefulmama.com

I could write an entire post (or a book?) on the joys, stresses, and challenges of being a stay-at-home mom. But today, I am writing about working moms. Moms who manage a household, parent their children and love their family, all while effectively doing a full-time job out of the home.

Let me also pause here to note that having my husband travel 3+ days a week for much of this year has given me new perspective on single parents. Of you, I. AM. IN. AWE.

I worked full-time for 2.5 years after my son was born. I transitioned to staying home when my daughter was born, over a year ago. I’m glad I was able to experience both. A day on each ‘job’ may be different, but both job has value, meaning, and sincere EFFORT put into them by hard-working and amazing moms.

Regardless of their ‘day job’, women in BOTH roles LOVE their kids and are dedicated and beloved mothers and wives.

A Salute To Working Moms | thisgratefulmama.com

 

Here are 5 Reasons I Admire Working Moms:

1. Punctuality

Getting my 2 kids up in the morning, fed, dressed, bags packed and in the car, ON TIME is not easy. If it has to be by 7:00 or 8:00 am, as many of you do for work, it is plain old HARD. How you get your children (and their STUFF) ready, then off to daycare or school, and ALSO get yourself ready and to work is an amazing feat.

2. Flexibility

You hear a noise at 5 am and find your child coughing and feverish. Your planned schedule or maybe that big meeting is blown to bits. When things don’t go as planned, working moms adapt. You MASTER scheduling. You quickly find alternate care and make every effort to meet obligations at home AND at work.  I know most moms do not have the LUXURY of working from home in a pinch like I did, so you selflessly use precious and well-earned vacation time to watch your kids.

3. Super Mom

Working a full day, and doing the job WELL takes a lot out of you. THEN, working moms quickly transition during what I consider to be the most chaotic period of the day. The kids are hungry, getting tired, have homework, and can be cranky. They are full of energy and stories of their day. A moment of quiet is not going to happen, and the parent is both cook and referee.  You worked all day, but you willingly help with their homework, spend quality time together, and have time to make it to their sporting events. You know that quality parenting isn’t about the number of hours spent together, but rather HOW those hours are spent. You are a blessing to your kids, and being selfish with the time you have outside of work isn’t your style.

4. Keeping House

Building off of #3, you feed your family healthy meals despite having very little time to do so. You spend your evenings and weekends making sure laundry and grocery shopping get done. You clean your house, keep your lawn looking pristine, and you are an amazing wife, mom, friend, and MORE. So much to do, so little time. All that you accomplish defies the rules of time.

5. Sleep deprivation has nothing on you

My son hardly slept the for the first 15 months of his life. I was a walking zombie.  I was exhausted ALL the time and my job really required me to be on time and to focus. When my son fell asleep at 5 am, I had to GET UP and get ready. Going back to sleep was not an option. Staying home, we can sleep until we wake up. The opportunity for me to take a nap is not frequent, but it is a real POSSIBILITY. Working moms do not get naps. You give your job your full attention. You do sometimes highly complex and demanding jobs WELL, despite sporadic (or consistent) sleep deprivation.

Working moms, while these are 5 reasons I admire you, trust me, there are more. I hope this encourages you today.

A Salute To Working Moms | thisgratefulmama.com