Up until recently, I felt like I was doing an OK job as a mom. Not great, but at least OK. As a stay-at-home-mom to an almost 3 year old and a 5 month old boy, I do my best to keep our world spinning and venture out the house for some fun learning activities a few times a week (mostly to keep us all from going stir crazy).
During one of these events, however, I was stopped in my tracks by just one comment made to me by an older mom (and the leader of the activity, no less). I won’t go into specifics, but her judgemental tone regarding my excited son nearly sucked the life out of me. Never before had I experienced direct mom-shaming like that, never before had I felt like such a failure, and never before had I felt absolute sorrow for my child wondering if the rest of the room viewed him in the way she apparently did.
My initial instinct, upon leaving that unfortunate encounter, was to cry and vow to never return. But then I began to wonder, how many times have other moms been made to feel this way? How many times has someone torn down another mom instead of building her up? Aren’t we all on the same team? Shouldn’t we want each other to succeed whether we’re a seasoned mom or a new mom just starting out? Well I for one, am done! I’m done letting someone’s passing judgement affect me and, if I’m being brutally honest, I’m done silently passing judgement myself. Let’s all ban together and build each other up… after all, shouldn’t we strive to just be kind to each other?
Here’s what I propose: Let’s started a Kind-Mom revolution! Let’s look for little ways, even in the midst of our own crazy child-rearing lives, to truly encourage and build each other up. It doesn’t have to be anything truly radical. Even just a knowing-smile to another mom goes a very long way. Want some ideas? Here’s a little list I’ve come up with in my head of ways to be encouraging to moms. If you have some great ideas too, leave them in the comments below!
- It’s that simple! See another mom at the grocery store? Smile at her!
- Take that smile a step further: if she’s struggling with her kids and her cart, offer to help! Maybe she’s trying to grab something off the shelf or unload a few items onto the belt, give her a hand if you can.
- Open doors… literally! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve struggled to open the door while pushing a bus-sized double stroller while others just stare or walk past me. If you help her get the door, maybe once she gets through, she’ll continue to hold it for you and your crew too!
- Say hello! Seriously… just say HI! You don’t have to have a whole conversation (because, kids.) BUT just saying “Hi” can truly make someone’s day & make them feel less alone!
- Give a blessing – I’ve made it a habit to carry little $5-$10 gift cards in my purse with a simple encouraging note attached. When I see a mom with her kids who is just having “one of those days” like we’ve all had, I subtly pass her the note with the card attached & go about my day. This idea goes a little beyond the norm, but you could really rock someone’s world and turn their day around!
You want to know another secret before I go? These little ideas truly could be done for anyone, and I think if we ALL tried to be just a little bit kinder to one another instead of playing the shame-game, the world just might be a better place.