There's nothing like motherhood to make you feel incredibly empowered one day, and then so very vulnerable and fragile the next.
Most days, we are Superwoman-Mama-Awesome and feel like we can do it all. We're all puffed up with confidence and calm. Bring it on.
And other days, it's just so, so much—too much—and all we want to do is turtle, stay home, avoid any one. more. thing. that might reinforce that we aren't doing it right. That we aren't doing enough. That we aren't enough.
The point is, we have all been on both sides of the front door. We know how it feels. And we know when we see a mama struggling.
We see it in her eyes… a furtive glance in attempt to break in, or lock out.
We see it in her face… a grimace instead of a quick smile, a furrowed brow instead of anticipation.
We see it in her posture… a little bent, a little rounded, hunching in attempt to protect a raw heart.
Sometimes, we even see it in her hair. (You know what I mean.)
So when we see a fellow mama in that place, we need to remember to step up, step in, step out of our comfort zone… and be that mom.
For the mom who is feeling like she's not enough…
Be that mom who offers an encouraging word, letting her know you see her and she is doing just fine.
For the mom who is needing comfort from a hard day or difficult parenting situation…
Be that mom who stands up for another mom, extends a hand, a gentle word, a knowing smile, assuring her she is not alone.
For the mom who is new, shy or lonely and seeking friends…
Be that mom who makes the phone call, walks across the room or parking lot and extends a smile and a welcome, expanding her friend group to make room for one more.
For the mom who is struggling to figure it all out…
Be that mom who drops off a meal with a new recipe, a new tip, a new resource to check out, giving her hope and a break.
When being a mom takes most of what we've got, some days it is just harder to dig deeper and find that resolve to embrace the unexpected or unfamiliar.
Anything can throw us off balance and into that murky swamp of stress, anxiety and uncertainty—a new home, a new hood, a new school, a new situation.
Sometimes, it's just because we're new. Everyone else has their mom-group already. We're faced with breaking into what is already established, already comfortable. It's daunting. They are laughing all together and sharing the warmth that comes with familiarity. They are there for each other. We aren't "in," and that feels awkward. And lonely.
Other times, it's just because we are so, so tired. We've been up too many nights in a row at the mercy of a virus that has set upon each family member, one by one, saving the final knock out punch for us. And we're left on the ropes and trying our best to get back in the ring. Or, self-care has taken a back seat in the mom-van of life for far too long, and our gas tank is empty.
All of us have had our share of both kinds of days—we know the satisfaction and empowerment of feeling like we are in our lane, and on the days that don't feel so good, we all know what it feels like to have to carry on. We're in need of support, we need to be noticed, we need someone to throw us a line.
We've all been there. So, be that mom.
Be a role model, not only for your kids, but for the other moms in the parking lot as well. Be that mom who takes the time, makes the effort and has the courage to do the right thing, even when it is hard. What we give is sure to return to us tenfold.
Be easy on each other, and make it easy for each other. Because it's rarely easy, what we are doing.
We all watch each other, so let's all help each other too.