I’ve been a mom a long time. I’d like to think my mom skin is thick and that most of the debatable things of motherhood cannot penetrate into my heart and identity. But there are still those moments when I step back and I’m like really? We have to point out that issue? Why are we not seeing the big picture?
For example, yesterday I shared this photo (see below) of my eight and ten year old’s closet. I shared it out of a place of vulnerability, but really I shared it so that we all could have that collective breath of normal. Yes normal, because we live in a world of filters and Instagram perfection and if we think that closets don’t get clothes dumped out ever unless we have our acts perfect well, then motherhood can be a bit suffocating.
I really believe that sharing some real life mom moments makes us stronger.
It truly was meant as an example of freedom, of breath, of friendship. Kind of like I was saying seriously moms, here I was frustrated about this and I’m going to show you my real so that we can all be a bit more of the village versus competing.
Great. Who wants to compete? I need friends and sometimes I like to feel normal.
But then there were some comments. Which I will dub minutia motherhood judging comments cloaked under advice. Yes, that because while they may seem constructive they are really jabs at real. For example:
That kids has too many clothes.
My kids are never allowed to destroy things.
Your boys should help you clean.
Too many parents don’t give consequences and as a result the parents do everything.
So let me just say this: all of those comments, comments that we all deal with, distract from the message. I sat at my computer and tried to think what is the good in this? Where is the building up? Where are these comments the village? Because I also think we ALL NEED to pause before we react. You know, the whole the outside doesn’t dictate the inside kind of thing. But I also realized that we need as a group of women to decide to not judge.
The point of the article was about unity.
I can answer each of the minutia motherhood comments, but it would be defensive. Like yes, I know they have too many clothes. I don’t allow my kids to destroy anything, but this was just real life and they will have consequences. Where did I say my boys don’t help me clean?
And all that does is create a dialogue that does not build us up. And it makes me both frustrated inside and questioning of my motherhood ability. Which is what make us develop that thick motherhood skin. But why? Why do we have to prep ourselves for criticism when we share our real?
What if we decided before we respond to stop judging moms with minutia messages. Motherhood is crazy crazy hard. And if we are vulnerable about the hard places and are met with criticism, well, chances are we won’t be as vulnerable. So instead of sharing real or helping each other out we are quiet and hoping no one will point out our flaws.
Listen, I know my flaws. Like I wake up every single morning and am reminded. I know where I stumble and where I’m great. And that closet, well, yes, I get it. But I also KNOW that closet is so many of our stories. Our stories have to have moments of the clothes dumped out on the floor because those are the moments where we learn and figure things out – both in clothes management but also in heart management.
That is real nitty gritty motherhood.
We can’t hide it out of fear of the critics. We need to be strong and united and to lift each other up. You know, if I wanted advice on closet management for eight and ten year old boys I would have asked for that. I didn’t. I shared my real in hopes that it would bless you in your journey and you too would be okay with sharing your real.
So I’m imploring of you to love, not judge. To give, not criticize. To pause, not react.
Us moms need a village, not schooling.
ps. here’s the link to what I wrote about that closet -> unedited motherhood
I just wanted to let you know you made at least one mom feel normal with your post. Thank you for creating a village of acceptance and understanding.
Thank you so much for sharing your real. I need that more than anything in this journey.
Thank you, Jill