Mommin’ ain’t easy.
Anybody feel me? Not only is it not easy.. it’s downright difficult sometimes. Exhausting. Overwhelming. Rewarding beyond your wildest imagination.. but still, it’s hard.
You know what makes it even harder? Other moms making you feel as if you don’t have it hard enough. Other moms making you feel like you don’t even know what hard is.
I recently made one of my first Instagram posts (@lifeofanordinarymom) about how there’s not enough time in the day.. especially for mamas. I have a feeling there were a lot of other women out there who were judging me. You wanna know why? Because I only have one kid. Because my kid isn’t even in school or activities yet. Because I only work 3 days a week. Because I have a husband who helps me. Because I couldn’t possibly know what it feels like to be busy and to not have enough hours in the day.
I could almost feel some of the eye rolls after I made the post. In fact as soon as I created my Insta-blog and announced that I was going to be blogging about motherhood, I imagine a lot of people thought to themselves “Seriously? She has one kid and she’s gonna blog about being a mom?”
And if the people judging me aren’t moms? Then I get it, I really do. Before I was a mom, I judged. I would see a toddler throwing a temper tantrum in a store and think, “I would never let my kid act like that in public. She needs to get a handle on her kid.” (Let’s all laugh together 😆) I’d like to go back to my pre-mom self and kick her in her pre-childbirth vagina.
But motherhood humbles you. Actually, it downright puts you in your place. It’s a giant, flashing, daily reminder that you are soooo far from perfect.
So to the people judging me who are moms? Please do better. Whether you are a mom who works 80 hours a week or a mom who has 6 kids or a mom who is doing the whole gig without help.. you are no better than me. You might be more experienced or more organized or emotionally stronger, but you’re not better. Remember that you were once where I am in the timeline of motherhood. It doesn’t make me any less of a mom.
We are all freaking amazing. Carrying another life inside your body and being responsible for a whole other human? It’s seriously impressive. In the words of Luke Bryan, “Most mamas oughta qualify for sainthood.” We need to support each other rather than bring each other down.
Let me ask you if you’ve ever said or heard any of these words:
“My baby never slept for more than an hour at a time. You have no idea how lucky you are to get 4 hours straight.”
“You think terrible twos are bad? Just wait till they turn three.”
“Taking one kid to the grocery store was a piece of cake. Try adding 2 more to the mix.”
“Just wait.. having another baby is gonna turn your whole world upside down.”
Any of these sound familiar? Maybe you’ve said them before. And maybe in the moment you were genuinely annoyed that a mom was complaining she only got a few hours of sleep, when you never got more than an hour. Maybe you really thought threes were the worst and you were trying to prepare someone. Maybe you read an Instagram post by a mom with one kid about not having enough hours in the day, and you laughed because you have 4 kids and she has no idea what that’s like.
We’re human. If you’ve said any of these things to me personally? I forgive you. (Unless you’re not genuinely sorry – and in that case you can hand over your crown, remove the stick from your ass and kindly leave my blog 🙂) If I’ve ever said something similar to you? Pleeease forgive me. Because if you’ve ever been the person on the receiving end of these comments? Let me tell you – they aren’t helping. These kind of comments – they are making moms more frustrated. They are making us feel like failures. They are making us scared to death.
That mom who only got a few hours of sleep is exhausted beyond words. The mom in the throes of the terrible twos is feeling at her wit’s end. The mom grocery shopping with a toddler is trying so hard not to cry. And that pregnant mom is absolutely terrified of how her world is about to change. Those negative comments? Those one-uppers? They are not helping.
My whole point of this blog post: Let’s do better. Let’s remember when we were in that mom’s shoes and how hard it felt at the time. Don’t judge. Be supportive. Remember that you never know what is going on in someone’s head, or in their home life. Remember how tough every single stage of motherhood is.
“I remember those long nights when mine were little. Hang in there – I promise they will sleep eventually! You’re doing great.”
“Terrible twos were so challenging! I know what you’re going through. Here are some tips on what helped me get through..”
“Ah the dreaded grocery store trip. Have you heard of Kroger ClickList? It’s a life-saver, mama!”
“Adding another baby to your family may seem scary, but I promise your heart will never feel so full. You got this!”
See how much more positive and constructive these words are? This is what moms need to hear. Just think what a difference you might make in someone’s day (or mental health, for that matter) by changing your perspective and giving words of encouragement.
Moms – we’ve GOT to stick together. We’ve GOT to get each other through. Nobody understands motherhood quite like a fellow mom – the beautiful, heart-warming, how’d-I-get-so-lucky moments.. and the terrible, messy, what-have-I-got-myself-into moments.
So don’t smirk at a mom who “has no idea.” Remember that you were once knee-deep in sleep deprivation and arm-deep in baby poop (literally). Remember that your toddler once screamed at the top of his lungs in the middle of a crowded restaurant. Remember that your 8 year old once ran away from home or that your teenager once told you she hated you. And then ask yourself what you wish you would’ve been told in those moments. What words might’ve made it a little more bearable. What kind of encouragement you needed.
Support one another. Stick together. Be kind.
Mommin’ ain’t easy, y’all. Let’s make it a little easier.