Raising kids is no easy job. As much as I used to think it was not easy to be a kid, I’ve realized that it is even harder being a mom!
I love being a mom and supporting my kids! But there are some days that are just plain hard, and I need lots of extra support to make it through the day.
A couple a weeks ago, I had one of those days…Let me preface this story with a disclaimer: this was not one of my finer moments, but if it can help another mom, then I’ll tell it.
It was early, I was tired and cranky, the kids were wild and running amuck, we were trying to get out of the house to go to our friday Co-Op, and suddenly there was not enough coffee to struggle ratio…and I collapsed.
Not physically of course; my kids would have brought me back to life with their fighting anyway.
What I mean is, I collapsed emotionally. All my patience and strength, all my motivation to be a good and loving mom went straight out of my head!
Between the fighting and sniping at each other, and the “accidental” sibling shoving, and another kid finding only one of his 2 shoes, and me trying to gather all the supplies to teach class -knowing I should have prepared better the night before- and my 2 year old screaming about wanting a cracker in the middle of all of this…it was total chaos!
The end result was that I yelled, loudly, for everyone to get in the car RIGHT NOW!
They did, and as we drove, I realized that 2 kids didn’t have a coat, and I hadn’t eaten a thing for breakfast except the cracker that my 2 year old screamed for then left on the ground in the kitchen! I told you, not my finer moment.
As we drove I was so upset that I angrily rattled off things to my kids like, “what is wrong with this family,” and “why can’t you guys get along?” and my kids were literally silent (because they were afraid of me by this point in the morning). After I was done being angry at them, I started becoming angry at myself, and that is when the negative self talk began…
“You are such a terrible mother”…
“I can’t believe you yelled at your kids like that”…
“I’m sure other moms lose their patience with their kids, but not like that. Not that badly”…
“When your kids grow up and get away from you, they won’t look back”…
Writing this now, all these thoughts seems really dramatic, really dark, really sad. But this is really what I allowed to come into my head during my drive.
Pulling up to our destination, I somehow gathered myself together enough to put a half smile on my face and made sure my mascara wasn’t running down my cheeks, giving away my internal struggle.
Once again the voice…“Look at all those happy people in there. I bet no other mom here has been this rotten to her kids, has been this stressed out by her kids to think all these negative things, you are probably the only one.”
It’s no wonder that by the time I opened the door and ushered my kids inside, I had just about broken my own spirit.
This is the point where the tears started falling, and falling.
In a room full of running and laughing kids, moms chatting and smiling, I was bawling.
This is the amazing part- The point of this whole story: this is what supporting another mom looks like…
From across the room, a friend took one look at my face and -probably stopping her conversation mid sentence- immediately came over to me and asked if I was OK.
I wasn’t but I couldn’t really get coherent words out past all the sobbing. I was a sad scene. I did everything I could to try to not cry in front of all those people, and yet there I was, killing it!
But my sweet friend didn’t care about my sobbing and probably snotting. She simply hugged me anyway.
Then she prayed with me and told me that I was a good mom, and that she had bad days too. As she prayed and talked, another mom joined in, and I suddenly realized that I had been fighting myself all this time to hide my struggle from other people, when I should have been asking for help.
That prayer was so healing.
Turns out, God sent me these women who completely understood what I was feeling because they had been there themselves with their own kids
In the end, all my fears of being a bad mom who yells at her kids, and embarrassment over blubbering in front of everyone didn’t even phase these women. They only saw that another mom was hurting, and needed help.
If I am being honest, probably any one of my friends would have done this for me!
This my friends, is what all moms should be to other moms!
We should be calling and checking on another mom, asking how her day was, offering sincere help when we are able and praying for her. We should tell her she is a great mom! Tell her she is loved! Tell her she is beautiful! Tell her that you love her shoes! Pick anything that is awesome about her and tell her!
I have a friend who texts me almost everyday, simply to ask how my day was. Sometimes my answer is short, and sometimes I really need to talk and so does she. Either, way it’s a simple way to show that you care. I have learned to cherish those simple reach outs. They represent support, and love.
We need to get much better at getting over our own insecurities and reaching out to other moms! A single positive comment has the power to lift another mom out of her own negative self talk and that is HUGE!
Instead of assuming that she will be OK, or that she doesn’t need our help, we should rush to her like she is the most important person in the room, and support her!
Being surrounded by love and understanding is a beautiful thing. In fact, It’s a really, really important thing! This kind of support will literally change her whole day!
That is what it means to support other moms.
As for you, dear mom who is hurting, and struggling with motherhood…
You are a good mom, and you love your kids. You won’t ever be perfect, but that really doesn’t matter at all!
In those hard times, ask for support, text a prayer request, or call a friend and talk about what is troubling your heart.
I had every intention that morning of trudging through all the negative stuff in my own head alone. I was strong, and I was sure that no one wanted to be bothered by my problems anyway. I am so glad that I was stopped dead in my tracks by another mom who cared.
If you assume no one else will want to help you or be there for you, you are taking away a beautiful opportunity for connection and to make another mom feel needed. You are taking away the chance at friendship, and you are turning your back on your own support system.
Connection, support, and friendship is something none of us can be good moms without