More and more lately, I’m finding compliments aren’t the same anymore, the motherhood sisterhood doesn’t always feel as strong as it should, and everything just feels like a competition. Before I go further, I just want every single one of my friends to know that I truly don’t post photos of our craft projects, baking goodies, or personal stories because I want to feel better than you or like I’m some sort of superior “Supermom” one-upping your motherly skills, looking for a billion compliments gushing over my parenting style (however, I do appreciate the lovely comments). I post things about our lives to share experiences with you that make me and the boys happy, which I otherwise wouldn’t have the time or capability to do if it weren’t for social media. Some moms are strong in their career, some moms are perfectionists with maintaining their physique, and some moms, like myself, just like to make a ton of crafty things and share how fun it was to create that pirate ship craft and leave a mess behind which may not be cleaned up for days.
When a mother posts something that makes her child or herself happy, maybe they just need a nice, simple compliment. Just a, “YOU GO GIRL.” We judge and ridicule ourselves enough on a daily basis so, before you post a comment about how much better you recreated that silly craft project they did, consider just complimenting how great theirs turned out. Rather than complain about how “fake” it is that they only post happy things about their marriage or lifestyle, be happy for them, praise them for sharing their love with the outside world. Maybe next time a momma posts about how proud they are for their child’s genius stick figure having both eyeballs and the proper amount of ligaments, rejoice with them instead of fueling over how all children are geniuses but, yours could draw that stick figure ten times better.
I recently shared a blog post from When At Home the other day and it had tons of shares on fb just from my friends alone, and more comments than most pictures of mine get. I’m here to tell you all that I DO NOT want to compete with you, I DO NOT want to feel superior to you for the way you parent vs. the way I do, and I WILL NOT judge you for messy hair at the play ground, forgetting juice pouches on a hot day, or leaving your towel and sunscreen sitting on the kitchen counter before leaving to meet us at the splash pad. IT IS OKAY. I GET IT. Not every day is perfect, and not every woman or mother is either. BUT, I know we all try our damn hardest to be.
Many of you who commented or shared that amazing post from When At Home, all admittedly shared that you’re afraid of the judgement from other moms, even moms who were old friends from high school that you knew for years before entering into this sisterhood. I went through this, and sometimes, I am still there. I never prepped and pureed either of my babies’ food as infants, didn’t watch the appropriate timeline for when to give them juice, and up until recently, I still gave my kid sugary juice pouches on the regular, with a side of over processed cheese strings and a sack of gummy snacks. AND IT’S OKAY. Like I said, some parents are stronger in other avenues and there were times that I just needed a quick break and didn’t have time in between meltdowns to whip up a batch of perfectly healthy, oven baked cheese chips from non-dairy, vegetarian, organic cheese slices from the over-priced section of the refrigerator aisle.
We really need to stick together, support each other, and stop competing over mom cliques, birthday parties, and who makes the best homemade salsa. I mean really, my husband thinks my salsa is pretty damn good and that’s truly enough for me. And honestly, I don’t “over-the-top” decorate for my kids’ birthday parties to compete with you, I do it because it’s my strong suite and it’s simple: I JUST LOVE DOING IT.
I want to be friends with everyone, not just through the easy times that your child sits wonderfully behaved like the Queen of England in a pottery shop, not for status of the collection of mom friends I can gain, and not to ever make you all feel like I will exclude you from things that are important for our children to grow and have fun or even, just a time for us to take a breather all together in one place while our children destroy my home. You are all invited, always. My door is always open and I promise to never judge you or tear you down. I’m here to rise you up and hold your kid’s hand while you walk a few steps back after they’ve just bruised and battered you for not giving them a sip of that three day old juice under your seat that they miraculously saw with their laser vision from ten steps back. I can see when you need a break, I can see when you’re hurting and regretting every second of meeting us out for a public play date. I’ve been there, I’ve had those days, and YOU’RE NOT ALONE. I didn’t schedule that play date thinking it would be flawless, I knew going into it that we may need to swap mommy roles for a few minutes, take a break for a snack or use the potty, and maybe even leave early. DO NOT add me to your long list of stress during that moment because I’m FINE with your child screaming, sharing our snacks, and even giving a helping set of hands to tackle getting from one spot to the next. All I ask is that you promise to do the same for me and our fellow moms while your out and about having a good day. We’re all in this sisterhood together, and we may not all always be that great in the friendship department but, I can say, the more we all work together to build the bond and settle that judgement, the better we will all be.
Join me in taking a stand against the awkward looks between checkout aisles, debating whether or not to give a fellow mommy your number for a play date. Take a stand against limiting your circle and joining your friends as one unit with new friends and old. Take a stand against judgement and the debate on when to lend a hand, just to lean over and pick up that darn pacifier and wipe it yourself for a mommy juggling her diaper bag and baby in her overfull, always tired, aching arms.
Let’s raise these kids together and help a momma out. It’s so much easier with six hands than two. It takes a village.