I’ve just spent the weekend immersed in inspiring talks from an online conference for moms and what struck me most as a common theme was the need to support and encourage each other. A kind of professional solidarity, but without the competitive spirit. More like a sisterhood of moms.
In order to live this, we need to set aside our performance anxiety and quit comparing ourselves to other moms. It is not a competition.
How much grief we could spare ourselves and others if we let this need to measure up go. If we instead tried to really believe that we are enough for our kids, and that’s all that matters. They are a gift, and they were given to us for a reason, because of all the women in the history of the world, only we are meant to be their mother.
In other words, we don’t have to earn the right to their love. We should, of course, do all in our power to love them, but knowing that our brokenness is simply part of being human, and that they weren’t meant to be raised by angels. Angels wouldn’t know how to teach them to be human: to struggle, to make mistakes, to sacrifice, to forgive.
If we could quit trying to outperform ourselves and others, we could be more open to responding to other moms as friends, as sisters who share a common life. We could stop being afraid to be vulnerable with each other. And in this atmosphere of support, of friendship, even of encouraging mentorship, we could grow…far more than in a place of isolation, comparison and fear.
So I challenge you all to take a moment to reflect on how you support the other mothers in your life right now. Do you call them just to check in? Do you do little kind deeds for them just to make them smile? Do you make time to listen when they need a heart-to-heart? And above all, are you brave enough to be vulnerable with them, thereby giving them the freedom to be authentic with you as well?
This is what friendship is, and this is what all moms, and in fact all people, need. It think when it comes down to it we all share the common goal of making the world a better place for our children, and a better place because of our children. How about supporting each other in it? If we do, we can bring each other such joy!
Mothers of the world, unite!