The motivation behind writing this post came from my direct messages. I know that not all of my readers are Moms, but a lot of you are… and this is really a post written with you in mind. But, to those of you who are loyal readers (thank you) that are not mothers, this is equally as much for you. What I ask is that you fill in the “mom” with whatever you currently are: for example “student”, “employee”, “girlfriend” you get it.
Not all people are words of affirmation people and believe me, I know that– but, to this day, I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t like to be acknowledged for their efforts, especially when they truly do something with their entire heart. Being a mother has humbled me more than I ever knew possible. Being a mother has caused me to question literally almost every single thing that I thought to be true before being a mom. Being a Mom has grown me in all of the areas that I didn’t even know that I was lacking– and I still have a lot of growing to do. Being a Mom has grown my empathy gene ten fold (didn’t know that was possible either). Being a Mom has literally been the most beautiful adventure… and I know that I am just getting started.
Yet, being a Mom has had me face some challenging times. Examples? Okay, you got it: the whole second half of 2018 when I felt like I was making decisions every other day to advocate for what I knew to be true about my Luca vs. what others wanted me to believe. Some days I was strong and I knew that I was right and then other nights I cried myself to sleep and let fear sneak its way in. I’m not too good or too proud to admit my shortcomings, my fears, or when I fail; which is why I share myself so openly– because, as I always say: vulnerability is how we will change the world, vulnerability is how we will change the way we treat each other, vulnerability is the key. Also, the fact that I write a blog and share a lot about motherhood in no way means that I know more than anybody else out there who is doing their absolute best to raise kind and happy humans. I just choose to put my experiences into writing, and to share, openly. So, while we are at it, here’s another example of a time when motherhood was really freaking hard: when I think back on the first eight months of Lennon’s life a lot of what I remember is doctors offices, appointments, scans of her head, comparing numbers that varied by millimeters and feeling my entire self worth affected by whether the millimeters went up or down. I never try to put on a front that this whole thing is easy, because it isn’t. I struggle. I struggle just about everyday in one way or another, and to be honest, I know that’s okay, because I know that means that I am trying, I know that means that I am self evaluating instead of just walking around unaware of how I affect others… and although being vulnerable can hurt sometimes, it’s always worth it.
So, to hear “hey, you’re doing a really good job” or “it’s so obvious how much you love your family” or “I really admire the way you __________” pretty much makes it all okay. It doesn’t take anything to tell someone they’re doing a good job. It also doesn’t take anything away from you to acknowledge the strength, beauty, knowledge, ________ that you see in another. You never know how badly someone needs to hear that they’re doing a good job. You never know if that Mom cried herself to sleep the night before because she had to make a decision to stay home and raise her family instead of chasing a dream of her own, or watching her girlfriends travel, or _______________. You never know if that Mom wants to stay home to raise her babies, but she has to work to make the ends meet for her family. You never know if that girl who appears so effortless and confident has been doubting herself and spent the entire day coming up with excuses as to why she couldn’t make it– yet, here she is. I can promise you this; whether or not someone shares their struggles doesn’t mean that they aren’t struggling. We all have things; no matter our age, race, financial situation, marital status, weight, or geographical location. So, recognizing effort, beauty, talent, success, and ___________ in someone else doesn’t mean that we aren’t beautiful, talented, successful and ___________. Giving credit where credit is due could be the simple thing that gives that Mom motivation to make it through another monotonous day of diaper changing and ABC’s.
I am writing this post because I know just how badly I needed to read a message that graced my DM’s a few mornings back. I shared it on my stories, but if you missed it, here it is: “You have really smart children. (this person didn’t know that I spent the entire second half of 2018 almost* believing something that was said to me that is the complete opposite). Believe me, I have been around a lot of children in my lifetime. Your two are brilliant. And I see your intentional wisdom with Leni & Luca. (this person also doesn’t know that I have been beating myself up about spending more time writing and planning than I have down on the floor building blocks this last week). That’s just one more thing that I love about you. So many parents have children and then think they are an intrusion in their lives.(this person didn’t know that I was struggling with the fact that I just finished planning a vacation for just R and I and not the babies). You incorporate your babies into your wonderful world of love.”
All I can say is this: when you see beauty, speak it. When you see intention, speak it. When you see effort, speak it. You never know how badly someone else needs those words.
from one mama to another, you got this. xo, G