Something I see and hear more and more lately is women tearing other women down.
Moms being made to feel guilty for working.
Moms being made to feel guilty for not working.
Moms being made to feel guilty because they went and got coffee just for them.
Moms being made to feel guilty because they had a rough day with their children.
The impossible, implausible standards need to stop. It’s not healthy. Not kind. And there is no one size fits all when it comes to time management, working, parenting, and balance. There’s just not.
With social media, we have an opportunity, more so than during any other time in history, to really make a positive impact, not just on those within our own home and family, but in the lives of strangers. And if you’re a Christian, that last part should hit home because we’re called to love one another. Not just those related or those who look like us. And not just those who agree with us and like us.
We’re also called to treat others as we’d like to be treated. Not how we are being treated, but how we’d like to be treated. It’s called common courtesy. Respect.
Parenting is Hard
Recently, I heard a friend of mine vent about how she’d had a tough day parenting her girls. It happens to the best of us. I’m not surprised. I don’t think less of her. In fact, I probably respect her more for being real, being human.
But one of the replies to that comment was along the lines of, “Well, I don’t have children, but I wish I did, so because you do, you should be grateful for them every second of every day because you don’t recognize what you have.”
Maybe it’s just me, seeing that comment through my own mommy filter that comes with its baggage of having survived single mommy hood, and me having been within relationship after relationship where my taking any sort of me time was seen as selfish, and where if I wasn’t happy and enjoying every minute of motherhood then I was made to feel something was wrong with me. But to be clear, enjoying every moment of motherhood? That’s fairly impossible. Not enjoying changing poopy diapers and cleaning up a million messes doesn’t make you a bad mom. It just makes you normal.
Mother Hood Should be a Sister Hood
As a fellow mom, I recognize that I can have a hard day where my kids didn’t listen, or they misbehaved, or just everyone was in a mood for whatever reason and all our plans went to poo, and, believe it or not, it has no bearing on whether or not I’m grateful for my kids, happy they’re alive, or that I love them.
All of the above is still true, even on the tough days.
I love my kids more than any other group of tiny humans on the planet, and nothing can change that. Not even the very worst of days. But. If I’m to be real. If I’m being honest.
Then I may occasionally make reference to the fact that life is not 24/7 rainbows and sunshine. Some days are really tough, and it’s just life.
Don’t put down a fellow mom, a fellow person, or another human being for just expressing they’d had a rough day. I’d be more worried if all their days were as shiny and pretty as we all hope to make them appear via FakeBook. That’s not life. That’s a bad Hollywood movie.
We have such power in our words, written or face to face or otherwise. There is power.
The power to inspire, the power to lift up someone. Or.
The power to crush them. Tear them down.
So choose the former. Takes the same amount of time.
Social Media and Faking It
I was scrolling through social media again just recently and came across yet another friend talking about her day, but in a very different way.
She loves being a mom. I know she works her tail off to have achieved what she has within her work from home business. And I know she’s a great mom to her two boys. On top of that, she’s also active in our church.
Add to that the fact that I know how on target she is when it comes to a budget. She’s not one with a flair for the most expensive. She’s one for the more practical.
And, I’ve also seen how hard it is for her to take time just for her.
She puts her God, and often her family, first.
So when I saw that she posted recently about going out for coffee and getting a massage, I was like, go her!
I’m proud of her for taking time for her.
Don’t Be Misery
Misery loves company. And bitterness is something I believe we all struggle with at times.
If when you read about my friend taking time for herself, if your first thought reading that she was finally taking a time out for her didn’t make you happy for her? Then perhaps you need to look at your own life and heart. Are you taking time out for you? Are you a priority in your own life? We often project onto others what we dislike about or are lacking in ourselves.
Taking time out for you is healthy. It’s for you, obviously, but it’s also for your family, and those around you, in an indirect way.
Because you see, you can’t pour into others when you yourself have an empty cup.
Fill Your Own Cup First
When I say fill your cup first, the story about a plane going down comes to mind. Picture it.
The plane is going down, the oxygen masks fall from the ceiling, and you’ve got a choice to make.
Do you put the mask on you first… or your child?
And, if you answered your child… you’re wrong.
If you pass out from lack of oxygen, you’re no good to anyone.
You have to first put the mask on yourself. Then your child.
But I can attest to being a mom and putting myself, well, last.
I love God. I love my family. But it comes back to, I have to make myself a priority.
Build Others Up- Don’t Tear Them Down
Going back to my friend that was out for coffee and a massage?
The coffee? She was out with a friend (and potential client) but really, the out with a friend part- again, that’s just healthy. Have a meet up with a friend, or several friends. Do it.
And the massage? It was for medical reasons. But even if it wasn’t, it shouldn’t have to be.
While I am the first person to say, hey, be purposeful, be intentional, be productive, I also value health- mental, physical, and spiritual.
And again, perhaps I viewed the above comments as judgy because of the filter in which I view life. In which case, let me also say this.
Instead of saying something along the lines, “Wow, I don’t know how you make time for coffee when you’re supposed to be a stay at home mom. I can’t find the time!” Say instead, ” Wow, I love your time management skills. Perhaps you could give me some pointers?” Or “I’m so proud of you for taking time for you, girl. I know how hard you work, and you deserve it!”
See? How easy is that. Just give a social media high five. Make their day. Don’t use your two seconds of typing to guilt them about taking some vital “me” time for them, because believe me. We moms get that everywhere and from too many already. Don’t add to it.
So moral of the story: Take time for you and use social media to build each other up.