Dedicated and Inspired by the lovely Mamas I met this past weekend at a #momsmeet #wowinfluencers event. You are all beautiful souls who are rocking your own Mama version of normal.
You know what one of the hardest parts of being a Mom is? Judgement.
You know one of the things Moms need the least? Judgement.
You know what Moms don’t get a lot of? Encouragement and Support.
You know what one of the things Moms need most? Encouragement and Support.
Being a Mama is hard work. Both my dad and husband have said countless times that when they go to their full time job, they are relaxing. Their wives are the ones working. Now don’t get me wrong, my husband (and my dad) are not to be thought of as “unappreciated” here. If it wasn’t for my dad being such a hard worker and determined provider, my Mama wouldn’t have been able to stay at home and raise us kids. For Elih, if he didn’t go to work every day so willing and work as hard as he does to provide for us, I wouldn’t be taking care of our home and Bev. The point I’m trying to make is that being a Mom is a full time job.
Mama’s don’t get sick days. We are constantly working in customer service with people who may or may not be behaving in a decent manner. Technically we don’t get lunch breaks because our lunches are usually spent keeping our customers happy. We are not just Management. . . We are also the Janitor, Head of Human Resources, Supervisor, Referee, Cook, Nurse, Laundry Lady, Receptionist, Teacher, Accountant, Buyer, Legal, Actor, Therapist, and almost any other position you can think of.
So yeah. . . We have a lot on our plate. . .
I hope I don’t sound like I am complaining because I’m not. Being a Stay-At-Home-Mama is the best job I have ever had. Did I expect I would enjoy it this much? Honestly, no! But if you could have read my mind last night while I was on my hands and knees picking up food from off the ground that Bev had accidentally dropped on my clean floor, you would have heard “I love being a Mama.”
But we all have our bad days. Or hours. Or minutes. With a job like ours it’s easy to get flustered and overwhelmed. This is why it’s so important to have support.
As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, the main thing we are given as Mamas is judgement.
“Why did you pick THAT name for your son? It’s weird. . .”
“You aren’t nursing? Breast is best! You don’t love your baby like you should.”
“Quiet your kid! This is a grocery store! Not a daycare!”
“Your daughter isn’t crawling yet? And she’s ten months old? What are you doing wrong?”
“Still holding that baby weight, eh?”
“You use disposable diapers and not cloth? Do you hate your child?”
“You use cloth diapers and not disposable? Do you hate your child?”
“You’re a Stay-At-Home-Mama? You should contribute more to your family. . .”
“You have a career outside of the home? You should contribute more to your family. . .”
And the list goes on. . .
I can’t count the amount of times I got nasty judgemental looks from people of all ages while mixing up a bottle of formula for Bev when she was a little babe. Did they know that medically I was unable to nurse? Are they aware of the hell I went through before being told by medical professionals that I needed to exclusively formula feed? No. All they saw was something abnormal to their normal. A young Mama who didn’t love her baby enough to give her that “liquid gold”. How selfish. . .
Not once did I ever have a single person come up to me and tell me I was an awesome Mama because I was taking the time to feed my little person.
We’ve all experienced this in different ways. You name the judgement, we’ve probably received it. And it’s heartbreaking. The last thing we need while changing our baby’s diaper in the public washroom with our other kids misbehaving – which we didn’t instruct them to do – is judgement. It doesn’t help the situation. Nor does it make us feel any better emotionally.
It’s amazing how one small sentence of encouragement can change our whole mindset.
I have seen this “public washroom” scenario multiple times. And while this rockstar Mama is doing her best, I see her notice teenagers and old women give her negative stares. Maybe these by-standers don’t think their rude facial expression will have an affect on the Mama – but it does. If they would just take a step back and really look at the situation, they would see that their immaturity actually hurts. And every time I see this I do the same thing. . . I approach that hardworking Mom and say “You’re rocking it, Mama!“. It’s a short sentence. But you wouldn’t believe the positive affect it has! That small bit of encouragement either lights up or gives relief to that Mama’s face and mind. One comment and it’s enough to overpower all the negativity. It is truly amazing how the smallest bit of support or word of encouragement could change a Mothers day – for the better!
This past weekend at the #momsmeet event I was surrounded by other hard-working Mamas. Some of us were full time SAHM, some of us were SAHM and also in university, and some of us had careers outside of the home. Some of us gave our kids “old school” names and some of us gave our kids “new and trendy” names. Some of us are married, some of us aren’t. Some of us have a partner who works a classic 8-4 job, some of us have a partner who works weird hours, and some of us have a partner who works nights. Some of us buy only organic food, and some of us buy whatever is cheapest. Some of us nurse(d) and some of us formula fed.
You know what was absolutely amazing?! NONE OF US JUDGED EACHOTHER!
We all thought that all of our individual normals were normal! All of us understood that just because something worked or didn’t work for us, that doesn’t mean that it would be the same for everyone. And if it wasn’t the same that didn’t make it wrong.
There we all were, sharing differences, and S U P P O R T I N G one another. It was beautiful. Inspiring. Empowering. Encouraging.
This is what we need to be. Mamas supporting other Mamas. We can all relate to the hardness of the job. Above that, we can all relate to the joys of it. All of us need encouragement and even reassurance that we are doing this job well. Who better to tell us than other Mamas? Or even close friends who can appreciate what we do on a daily basis for our kids! If we as a community put in the same amount of effort to encourage and support Mamas that we put into judging them, I know there would be an obvious positive change in nearly every Mother you see.
I had to learn to ignore the nasty judgements I received when formula feeding Beverly in public. I had to remind myself constantly that I wasn’t a bad mother because of it. What I was doing was feeding my daughter. I was taking care of her in the best way she needed. How much easier and light-burdened my first year as a Mama would have been if instead of rude looks I received positive encouragement for taking care of my baby!
We need to stop judging other Mamas for having different normals than us. Their normals aren’t wrong. Neither are ours! They are just different.
When did having different normals justify judgement? Never.
Be the person who encourages that Mama who is clearly flustered from her crazy kids. Defend the Mom your friends are making rude comments about because she hasn’t done her hair or makeup and is still wearing sweatpants. Make a Mothers day by telling her she is amazing for working so hard. Or be the friend who sends a text to your Mom-friend and let her know she is doing a killer job of raising crazy kids!
Give out support to Mamas as if it was a never ending bouquet of flowers.
You know what’s sweet? There is no requirement to be a Mama in order to encourage a Mama. No matter who you are, you can support us! That support is what we will remember at the end of the day.
Thank you to the women who have supported and encouraged me in my Mama life. Your words and comments never go unnoticed or unappreciated. They help me brush all the negative comments and judgements off my shoulders. I couldn’t be more grateful.