I tweeze my eyebrows in the driver’s seat of my mini van, carry 2T panties in my purse that fly out at the most inopportune times and am fueled by Jesus, nap times and coffee. If you are a mama too, these things may not sound so strange. I have probably done everything I ever said I wouldn’t do with my children and have become THAT mom who does THAT thing that I once scoffed at. All because I am simply doing the best that I can. And I’m more than ok with that. Am I in good company?
Being a mom is the most challenging and simultaneously rewarding thing I’ll ever have the honor to do. But I certainly have to be reminded of that daily- sometimes moment by moment even. I now understand the phrase, ‘It takes a village,’ because without the village loneliness creeps in and light gets choked out. I know what it’s like to feel like you’re sinking and wonder if you are doing things ‘right’. To be so exhausted you ask where your toddler is while she’s sitting on your hip…yes that has really happened. But there is SO much grace y’all! And more importantly, I know what it’s like to persevere, overcome and not just survive, but THRIVE! Community is key!
Chances are whatever mom life thing you’re struggling with and think no one will ever understand, there’s a handful of women all feeling the same way waiting for someone to speak up. And not only to speak up, but to lift up. We’ve got to lift each other up!! We need to be cheering each other on with hugs and smiles, not tearing one another down in judgement and criticism. Who cares if your baby eats from a bottle or the breast if their tummy is full? No shoes, mismatched socks, coffee stained tee, forgot to brush my teeth- whatever fill in the blank comparison game is garbage. If we truly understood the filter of love our children looked at us through, we would stop caring about what other people thought about how we run our tribe.
When you see a mama in the store with screaming kids, smile and tell her she’s doing a great job and you know how she feels. I don’t know about you but I can be too great at faking it. All smiles on the outside but really on the verge of tears. We have no idea how far a small act of kindness goes. Maybe your smile will be the only one that person receives all day- or even all week. I realize that more people long for community than have one. I also believe that we are all designed to be engaged in healthy relationships with other like minded people. Sometimes we let our own fears and insecurities suffocate that life giving desire. But here’s the fun thing- no one is exactly like you. You have something to offer that no one else does or ever will in your own unique way. That’s an incredible opportunity!! Maybe I need to hear a song I’ve heard sung a hundred times but with your unique sound to receive renewed joy. Or maybe if I look at my circumstance through your lens of perspective, freedom will come from something I’ve been held captive of. Not only are you important, you have something valuable to offer that someone is waiting for- children and adults alike. I understand things can be easier said than done. Friendship and community take courage because it takes being vulnerable. But it’s SO worth it.
Let’s be vulnerable together on this journey of motherhood and see what unexpected treasures sift to the surface in our friendships. Start small by inviting another mama and her kids to a play date and before you know it, you may have a lifelong friend with whom you spend hours at Chick-Fil-A chatting and drinking iced coffee while your kiddos go crazy together at the indoor playground. I’m cheering you on Mama!! Let’s build a community together that we long to be a part of and invite others in!