Over the past week I’ve read several articles that, well, to put it bluntly judged other moms. One was about a mom in the airport who placed her baby on the ground and someone thought it their right to take a picture of her and to decide she was “not a good mom.” And the other was an open letter to parents who let their kids play on iPads in restaurants.
Motherhood, parenthood, it’s hard. Like, we all know it, but it’s unbelievably challenging.
It’s much harder than it was 21 years ago when my oldest was a baby. I had Family Fun Magazine back then trying to convince me to make a cute checkerboard cake. There wasn’t Pinterest or Facebook or Snapchat or Instagram of Live video potentially out there to document every slip up that I made. Because, let’s just set the record straight – I messed up. Wait. I still do.
But I don’t need, and neither do any of us, the constant pressure of scrutiny and judging.
We all have flaws. All of us.
We need to have our friends, others see the good, the times of trying, not the flaws.
Trust me, I know all of the flaws. I need my friends to see the GOOD.
You see, that, to me is what’s the issue with those articles. It’s a different tactic to write an article about tips to engage family conversation while out versus deciding that the parents who let their kids play on iPads are, from what I gathered, inherently not good parents. And maybe, maybe it wasn’t even meant to judge, but I think so many of us moms are raw with all we’re told to do or what we didn’t do that we need words of grace.
The filter of grace is missing. The filter of seeing GOOD.
You need grace. And goodness, I need grace. The mom in the airport, at preschool, at college drop-off, at the restaurant with the iPads. Grace first, always.
No one knows the story of another individual sitting next to them. No one knows what kind of day they had. No one knows if sitting with iPads out to eat was a reward. And you know what?
The story doesn’t matter.
Because we LOVE, we don’t JUDGE.
I wonder about the village that we need as moms.
Here’s the truth – I don’t think we’ve lost it. I think, instead, that there are those with voices so loud that they make us think the village is gone. But it’s up to you and to me to decide to be the village. The moms who love and step in and don’t decide to critique another human, another mom, in the journey. Instead, we are given the opportunity to love, to give, to care.
Life is too short.
Motherhood flies by. I never made that checkerboard cake. I tried. I never was the perfect parent. My kids play their devices in the restaurants sometimes. I make mistakes. But in it all I try.
To all of you, that’s what I celebrate. Not judging, but trying.
You have a cool place in this digital world – you can choose to be the person who sees the greater good.
And then the voices of the village of motherhood will outweigh the critics.
I need friends. I need you all. I can’t mother alone. Well, I could, but friend, I’m stronger with friends.
Be the village.
links to the articles