Motherhood is not an easy undertaking. Long days can turn into long nights. The to-do list never seems to get done. Many times there are no thank-you’s for the things we do. Mommy wars, internet trolls, and even our own voice can condemn us for not being enough or too much (fill in the blank). Mother’s Day can easily leave us disappointed and weary in a myriad of ways. So I invite you to come and sit with a warm drink, a fuzzy blanket, and some dear friends.
For those of us who feel broken down and weary, I want to offer us some encouragement.
You are not alone.
I hear the words ring in my ears, my internal voice spouting them out in frustration: “Am I the only one that _____?” Let me answer you (and me): no. You are not alone in your struggles and frustrations. You are not alone in your questions. You’ve got a sisterhood of moms around you that have similar questions. You have moms who have been there before and empathize with your struggles. We are here for you, to love you and encourage you. You might even have new moms around you that need to know the struggle is real. I’ve had text conversations sometimes late at night with friends who were also up feeding babies, taking care of sick kids, or just trying to unwind from a crazy day. Those text conversations were just the solidarity I needed to know that I was in the same boat with someone else.
Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable.
Find your safe people. The ones you can wear pj’s around and ugly cry with. Embrace vulnerability with them, even if it’s scary at first. Some of the sweetest friendships and conversations I’ve ever had have been with other ladies who aren’t afraid to let their cracks and their broken spaces show around me. Invite someone into your house and into your life, even if your house is a wreck and you’re unable to find something to smile about. Your vulnerability gives space for your friends to let down their hair with you, to cry with you, and maybe to crack a few inappropriate jokes with you just so you both can find something to smile at in the middle of hard things.
Don’t listen to the haters.
You can’t please everyone all the time. Love your family well and make the hard decisions knowing that there will be plenty of people that disagree with you. Also know though, that you have sisters cheering you on. We probably won’t agree on everything, but we can seek to live in community over competition with one another. Let’s cheer one another on in motherhood and in making the hard decisions.
Sometimes that hater is me. I can be my own worst critic. I analyze conversations over and over in my head, rehashing conflict. To myself and those who are like me: Let’s all let it go. This Mother’s Day, take time to be grateful for the lessons learned from mistakes made and celebrate a new day full of new decisions and new moments.
Encourage one another this Mother’s Day.
How can we encourage each other as we do this motherhood thing together? Coffee dates. Text messages letting someone know you’re thinking about them. Ladies’ nights out. Old fashioned snail mail. Watch another mom’s kids for a bit. We want to thrive as moms, so let’s thrive together. Find ways to encourage the other ladies in your life. Thank the women in your life who have taught you. Mother’s Day can be a celebration of all the women that have helped us become who we are today.
Happy Mother’s Day! What are some of the ways that other moms have encouraged you in the past?
Originally published May 2016.