Happy Mother’s Day!!!
I was honored to be asked to speak at a Mother’s Day Brunch yesterday at my church. I am sure they asked me because for the last year I was one of the co-coordinators for our MOPS group, but I also like to think its because of my EVPHO title, which let them know I take this whole Mommy gig seriously.
More than likely, my church family simple knows I am obsessed with being a mom, and prone to talk to any stranger on the street who will listen about the joys of motherhood. I’ve convinced more than a few friends than having two kids close together is soooo easy and wonderful. They know who they are, and you’re welcome.
My obsession with Motherhood has involved countless hours reading mommy blogs, babycenter articles, parenting books as well as watching every episode of The Cosby show multiple times. I am not sure that any of this qualifies me as an expert, but I had plenty of ideas to inspire a Mother’s Day talk. So let’s begin by watching this video …
At first, you watch this and think, “Ugh, this is the worst of what motherhood can be,” which is lonely and judgmental. It began with the lone mother, arriving at the park. Full of new mommy fears – wanting to do what is best for her child, that she loves more than anything.
Quickly we see that the different parenting styles lead to division and hostility, rather than empathy and friendship. The one group they left out, in my opinion, is the Grandparent group – they should have had a gaggle of grandmas watching from the sidelines shaking their heads.
Of course the point of this video is that we are all parents. We are all mothers. And we all want what is best for our children at the end of the day, right? RIGHT! If we could all approach motherhood as a sisterhood, a uniting factor that brings us together, we would find abundant blessings in our relationships with other moms.
We have so much to learn from each other. Because the reality is, whether you are a working mom or a stay at home mom; a mom with young children or an experienced mom with grown children – Motherhood is not something we can do on instinct alone. It’s just not. Mom’s need other moms.
Moms need other moms to mentor them, and mom’s need other moms to support them and help them as they go on the journey.
Raising children is an incredibly complex, demanding job. Mother’s instinct is amazing – and I certainly believe in that gut feeling that so often props me to act on my child’s behalf. But instinct alone does not give us all the tools, guidance and support that we need to navigate the daily grab bag of random issues you will face as a mom. There is no major in college, no HomeEc course and no amount of time spent reading parenting books that can give you all the answers you will need.
And while I dearly love our pediatrician, and he is a wealth of knowledge, Doctors often help diagnose a child’s needs, but it is up to us as moms to figure out how to tackle those needs on a daily, sometimes hourly basis – and for that, we must rely on the sisterhood of motherhood.
Just ask any parent with a special needs child, or a brand new momma struggling to breastfeed. They turn to other moms for advice, or even just encouragement that their struggles are normal and really they are doing just fine.
We need other moms to mentor us and teach us, and we need other mom’s to support us and see us through the scary, exhausting and ridiculous moments of motherhood that only other mother’s will understand.
In this day and age, many women feel they need to be a Super Mom – juggling kids, cooking, cleaning, a job, being a perfect wife – and they think they should be able to do all of this on their own. I would counter that nothing could be farther from the truth. Moms need other moms, and we need them now more than ever.
Women have always rallied around each other to help with childrearing – in many cultures throughout history a new mom was afforded a great deal of help in those difficult postpartum months. Mothers, sisters, neighbors, aunts move in and help cook, clean and care for older children and their husbands.
In fact life in general has almost always been more communal than what it is today, with extend families living closely and integrated into each other daily lives. I have often joked that I would love to go back to the days of tribal living or set up some kind of mommy Co-op where neighbors rotate nights cooking, we all supervise the children running around the neighborhood and feel as much an obligation to care for their children as we do our own.
But today… what do we have? Today we have world where if a young child is playing outside on their own in front yard while you are inside cooking dinner, you might have a nosey neighbor come knock on your door and scold you about letting your kids playing outside alone. That neighbor, too many like them, make mothers and parents feel like it is solely our responsibility to care for our children, 24/7, and that they bare no responsibility at all.
The reason Hillary Clinton had to reemphasize the “It takes a village” mentality is because sadly, in America today we have gotten far, far away from that. We live in our own little McMansions. Our own little fiefdoms. That support network from days gone by has long since fallen apart.
So over my next two or three posts, I’m going to continue this discussion of why Moms need other Moms. These are important relationships that play essential roles in our own experience and success as mothers, and I hope you’ll keep reading and share your thoughts!