You tell me what you see as we catch up at a play date. You tell me you see a mom who has it all together. You tell me how I’m a super mom because of all the extras I am doing. What you see goes on, and like a good friend I accept your compliments with sincerity mixed in with some disbelief.
Dear friend if only you saw all the editing I do on my highlight reel. There is so much that you do not see that I have deleted out. You don’t see that most days this year I cried more then I ever smiled. You don’t see the feeling of failure when I discipline one of my children that didn’t really deserve it. You don’t see the arguments I have with my husband because I can’t acknowledge that I was wrong. You don’t see my face every morning when I wake up and even I jump at the reflection looking back. And you don’t see that almost every second of every day I am never happy with me.
Highlight reels are awesome for inspiration and to help us do better. They help motivate us to be more. So let me tell you what I see when I look at your highlight reel. I see a friend who captured the moments of her boys being boys in the mud with a love of life in their eyes. I see a family that travels to fun places together and have matching outfits to suit the occasion. I see silly selfies in the early morning. I see you trying to be healthy despite illness, busyness, and just plain exhaustion. I see you going on dates with your husband like you were teenagers again. I see you sacrificing only because you want it all but something has to give so you act selflessly to everyone even if it means you don’t get a needed break. Most of all I see you trying your absolute hardest in this broken world to make it a better place.
So do not put yourself down during times when you feel you are failing. Because I am seeing all the highlights of your success! You may not see them but I do. You are the reason I aspire to be more; to do better for myself, my husband, my children. Because, my dear friend, there will come a day in heaven when all we see are the highlights of this life, because just like you and me, the Father will have edited and deleted out all the failings. And I promise you there will be more to keep then to delete.
This has been a hard week, but you wouldn't know it. It's not like I take pictures of the bad parts. You know it is true because you don't either. I have been bombarded with tons of quick little inspirational thoughts that have gone nowhere. It is frustrating to want to write and struggle to find the words. I can feel it in me but can't seem to form what I am feeling into words. But, like I said, you wouldn't know that.
I saw this blog post from another mom this week. It was a gentle reminder to moms that stay home how much they are valued and to not forget it. I loved it, because that day that is exactly what I needed to hear. She even had a video with it going through her day. I went to leave a comment to tell her how I needed to hear that and my eye caught the first comment. It was criticizing the mom's post because she stayed home. I decided to scroll down to look for a more positive comment. Can I tell you that of the 20-30 comments I read, ONE, just one, thanked the mom. The rest were attacking this mom for being a stay at home mom. Not once did this mom mention working mothers. Not once did she shame them or make them feel less because they worked. Her soul purpose was to let other stay at home moms know they were not alone. And, maybe, to let any husband reading or watching it see that we don't just sit on our butts all day.
The reason this got to me was because we live in a society now where a mom (like me) can be afraid to open up about her life, but do it anyway, and then get put down for trying to build others up. Shame on us mothers for doing this to each other. Isn't there enough shaming in the world already? As mothers, and I don't care what kind of mom you are: stay at home, working, public school, homeschool, vaccines, no vaccines, breast feed, bottle feed, blond, brunet, red head; I don't care what kind of mom you are, we are in this parenting thing TOGETHER! When will we stop hurting each other and instead unite with each other. Just as in marriage or our families, it is the devil trying to divide this family. The family of mothers that we ALL are. All of us want what is best for our children, non of us wants to think we are missing the mark, all of us know in one way or the other we are failing our children; we don't reminding from one another, we need support.
As long as all of us see our children as the arrows they are and know it is our job to prepare them to be released into this world, we are doing it right. I just watched this movie called "Like Arrows", highly recommend it and yes it is a tear jerker. But the main theme of the movie is raising their children to be released into the world to bring as many to know Jesus as possible. If that is all of our desires then why can't we simply commend each other for different details we use to accomplish this goal?
You are all going to have mommy friends that simply can't or choose not to be the kind of mom you are. That NEEDS to be okay! They need to know that when you are together talking about their children and struggles they are having in your head you aren't secretly judging them. Tell me, has this been you before, "Well if you were doing ____________ like I do then maybe you wouldn't be having this problem."? Do I see some hands raising? Mothers I am begging you, be the kind of mom that unites. Be the kind of mom that puts petty differences aside and focuses on the main goal of parenting. Be the kind of mom you want your daughters to be or your sons to marry. You are a part of one of the largest infantries in the existence of mankind. Motherhood is the front line for our Savior's warriors, we must learn to fight together for the common cause; and stop badgering other mothers because they don't include every different type of motherhood when they open their hearts to say what is on their minds. We are in this fight together, so start fighting it together. Stop the devil from dividing the army of motherhood father apart.