I started keeping a diary when I was in second grade. Less than ideal circumstances lead me to have years of orthodontic work as a child, and it just so happened that I had to sleep in headgear that year. The headgear was so painful that I often couldn’t sleep. Instead, I would read and write into the middle of the night. That same year I read The Diary of Anne Frank, and she inspired me to start my own. Writing has been an outlet for me ever since then.
I once read in a history book that Abraham Lincoln used to write letters. Whenever he was upset or needed clarity he would write a letter to whatever or whoever upset him. He never sent them.
I would say that is often how I feel inspired to write. Something inspires me or ignites a fire within me, the creative words start to flow and I often times can’t rewrite/recreate an inspired piece if I tried. This is one of those pieces.
I want to show Lilly strength. I want to be an example of love and compassion.
A few months ago, I was sitting with a group of moms. You could say that I was the least familiar with the women I was with, and they had all been friends for quite some time. It had taken enough courage for me to walk into that type of group setting as is, and here I was sitting there, not saying a word, but already knowing it wasn’t my scene.
Opinions were flying:
“I don’t believe in letting children use iPads”
“This preschool is way better because they have more of a Christian background” (I was sending Lilly to the “other” preschool)
“I think it’s better to have your kids close in age”
“I don’t think it’s fair to post pictures of your children on social media before they have a say”
Were my personal opinions different than theirs? Absolutely. But never would I have ever stated so, or have gone out of my way to bring another mom down because of her different parenting style.
Motherhood is hard. Every day I find myself on my hands and knees cleaning up a mess; questioning how I am doing at this parenting thing. Every day I wake up wanting nothing more than what is in the best interest of my child. Every day I scratch my to-do list to give her extra love and attention, to find myself up in the wee hours of the night catching up on what I decided to push aside to spend time with her instead. Yes, I may parent differently than the next mother. Yes, my kid uses an iPad. Heck, my kid has her own iPad. But does that make me a bad mom? Does that somehow put me in the “mom not to include, and talk about” category?
I have never been someone who spends time thinking about what another person is doing wrong (I mean unless it’s really wrong). I see another mom and know she is doing the best she can, just like I am. My heart has a soft spot for her. I give her extra grace. Why don’t other moms do the same? Don’t we have it hard enough between cleaning up the chaos and then chasing after it? Shouldn’t we give each other a break?
It’s so easy to make a quick judgment on “who someone is”. It is so easy to define them after a short conversation and dismiss them. Each person has their own opinions, their own differences, their own ways of accomplishing things. Does that make them wrong? No, that is what makes them special. Can’t we love those special qualities in others? Can’t we open ourselves up to other ways of living? Doesn’t that expand our hearts and bring a new sense of appreciation to those around us?
It does for me.
In light of everything that has been going on in the world, there is one thing that I know for sure. This world desperately needs to be shown love. It needs an example of kindness and compassion. That starts with me, and with you. It starts with exampling love and compassion to our families, and that starts by loving and uplifting the women who run those families.
Instead of focusing on the bad in others, let’s start focusing on their goodness. Let’s start looking at them, and remembering that they are walking through life just like we are, and have their own struggles, and most definitely need to be uplifted and understood! Most people don’t need opinions. Most need someone to talk to, someone who understands, even if they come from different backgrounds, or have different stories to tell.
Here’s to appreciating strong mothers. Here’s to raising even stronger children. May the next generation know love and acceptance.
Happy Tuesday Pretties!