“So encourage each other and build each other up,
just as you are already doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11
This has been on my mind a lot lately. Mother's trying to one-up one another. Mother's trying to prove that they should be the winner of the World's Best Mother award. Rather than encouraging one another, we prove to tear each other down and it needs to stop.
A few weeks ago I was with Gabe in his Sunday School classroom. The teachers that day were also parents of children in the room and Gabe was enjoying playing with them. If I'm being honest, Gabe has completely missed playing with other children since we moved to Houston and I enjoyed seeing him share and laugh at other kids. As we (the mothers) were talking I asked if anybody got together for play groups during the week. The answer was no, that most of the mom's there worked. And it wasn't the answer that through me, it was the looks and the tone. I was immediately put in my place as being the stay-at-home-mom.
Yesterday, I saw the reverse happen. Two mother's were talking in the waiting room of Gabe's therapy office (I was, ahem, just overhearing). I see them sitting together every Wednesday so I assumed they were friends. But today I saw otherwise. Mother 1 asked if Mother 2 and her daughter would want to go out to lunch after therapy next week. Mother 2 responded that she couldn't on Wednesday's but would be able to on weekends because she has to go to work after her daughters therapy appointment. Mother 1 then proceeded to look aghast and exclaim "you work." I'll admit at that my head did turn in the direction of their conversation. Because her tone... it was so condescending. I wanted to get up and give Mother 2 a hug and tell her that she shouldn't be made to feel bad because she works.
I didn't. Eavesdropping and then an awkward hug would have definitely labeled me a weirdo. But oh, it just grated on my nerves how one mom would judge another. You know judging the mom who leaves work to take her child to therapy and then goes back to work afterwards... that's a mom that's putting the theraputic needs of her child above her own. My goodness! It's crazy.
“Don’t use foul or abusive language.
Let everything you say be good and helpful,
so that your words will be an encouragement
to those who hear them.”
I'll be completely honest with you, I love being a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom). I don't know how I would be able to leave Gabe in the care of anyone else for 40 hours a week and thankfully me staying at home with our children was the plan for us. And while it hasn't always been easy to make it work, it has been worth it. For us.
In my circle of friends, I have friends that are SAHMs like me, friends that work outside of the home full-time and part-time, friends that go to school full-time and part-timeand even friends that work at home (WAHMs). For each of us, it is what works for us. For some of us, it's not what we'd prefer to be doing, but it's what works for us presently. And while I can't imagine working outside the home, I have friends that can't imagine not working. While I may not always understand the reasons people choose to work (again, I'm being honest), I respect their decision to do what's best for their family.
This is my plea, my call for action... rather than judging one another for a decision that isn't the same as yours... instead of tearing each other down for doing something differently than the someone else... let's build one another up. Encourage each other. Be there for each other. Motherhood is hard. It is the loveliest thing in the world but it is hard. And tiring. And sometimes lonely. And sometimes discouraging.
So mothers let's stand together and unite against these so called "mommy wars" and be of encouragement and joy to one another. As Paul wrote in Roman's "Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification" (Romans 14:19)
And now I will step off my soap box.