All Things Mom Life
Happy almost Mother’s Day to all you mamas out there! If you haven’t done so already check out my motherhood posts from years past about being a single mama and the raw stuff from when my divorce was fresh. I pray if you’re in that season my words will resonate with you and bring you through what may be a difficult day.
The difficult days and years will pass, friends. I know they are long and I know you feel like it’s all a bad dream. I’ve been there and it’s awful. However, there’s life on the other side. Sharing my story this past weekend at the Mothergood conference was so empowering. I sometimes forget just how faithful God has been until I am speaking on stages saying the words out loud, telling of where I’ve been. This time around I talked about how everything I’ve gone through has made me the mama I am today. My divorce taught me so much about who I am as a mother and how I want to raise my babies.
During my separation and divorce, I experienced so much unwarranted judgment. This brought out a level of empathy that I still hold tight today. I have forever ditched the judgey side eyes because I know how it feels to receive them. I assume that the mama in Target with tired eyes and a melting down toddler is doing the best she can with where she’s at. We don’t know what people’s lives look like behind the scenes and our judgment on how this mom disciplines or that mom co-sleeps needs to stop.
I’ve talked about this next topic before and it’s a real important one. Pain and our babies. So often we want to shelter our kids from pain, but pain demands to be felt. For us, we put a real positive spin on our blended family. However, there are still times our daughter will voice sadness over the fact that mommy and daddy aren’t married. Or that her family is not how it was when she was a baby. And, you know what? When she voices these feelings, I let her feel them. I let her sit with them. I tell her that she feels like divorce is sad because divorce IS sad. I want her to trust in her own intuition. I want her to learn to cope with sadness and disappointment because they are part of our human experience. Sweeping her feelings under the rug in hopes of protecting her from pain doesn’t do her one ounce of good.
The other thing I touched on at the conference was that village life! I know the “it takes a village” motto is overplayed, but, it really is SO TRUE. Let other people help you raise your kids! For us, we are a blended family, so sharing in the parenting of my daughter is not a choice. For you, it may be that a nanny or grandmother or godparent helps in the parenting because you work full-time. That’s okay. It’s ALL okay. Letting like-minded adults help teach, guide, and parent your babies is a good thing! It takes a group of collective people to raise these little humans well. I am not the only one who can teach my kids this or show them how to do that. This is a truth we must accept as mothers because the alternative is too much pressure and simply not realistic. Letting other people in to help will not replace your role. If you’re believing that lie, remind yourself that you and your baby were made for each other. Your role is an irreplaceable one. And, repeat!
The last thing that’s been on my heart as I’ve been talking about Mother’s Day and sharing in the parenting is the role that “bonus parents” play. My daughter’s stepmom does all. the. mom. things. She makes her lunches, takes her on special dates, loves her like her own, she knows the school spirit days and when the project is due, she listens attentively, and she cares deeply. I’ve never been a step-parent and if I’m honest with myself, I can’t even imagine how HARD it must get at times. All sides of motherhood deserve to be celebrated.
Wherever you fall on this motherhood spectrum, I hope you feel real loved on Sunday! My prayers are with you and your mama heart.