I hopped on to Facebook yesterday, the day after St. Patrick’s Day, and found something of a mini-mommy war. There was an outcry for moms to tone down the holidays-probably in response to all of the pictures of green food and leprechaun visits from the day before.
The tone it down sentiment didn’t sit quite right with me. Partially because I grew up with a mom with a real gift for creating family memories-and it wasn’t about money and it wasn’t about commercialism and it wasn’t a result of mixed-up priorities.
But most of all, I think it felt funny because even after only 9 months of residence in mommy-land, I’m tired of the push and pull to pick sides and compare.
In the end, we’re all just loving our families in the best way we know how. And that’s something to celebrate.
Facebook-and all of its social media siblings-has given us the illusion that we know each other. But most of the time, we don’t.
Let me explain… Something you might not realize when you look through the ideas we post here is that they’re the accumulation of decades of being together. Confession: we didn’t even have a St. Patrick’s Day party this year.
But there’s something a little bit bigger that you probably don’t know about where many of these ideas came from and why.
Trisha-my sister, friend and one of the main writers here at Let’s Get Together-has been really sick-for a long time. Being that sick through teenage years and early twenties meant lots of loneliness. Social things were hard-she couldn’t eat what everyone ate. She couldn’t be awake when most kids her age were out doing things. Friends graduated and left-often unaware of her private battle.
And so mom did some thinking and things like the St. Patrick’s Day party were born. We could give her something to look forward to. Something where we could control the time and the food and just have a crazy-fun time together. With family. With people she felt safe with.
My point is this. We don’t know the stories behind the pictures we see or the sound bites we hear.
We don’t know if the mom who puts on a Pinterest-perfect birthday party is doing it because her baby boy who’s turning 7 is being bullied and she’s just looking for something-anything-to bring a little sunshine to a sad little heart.
Or maybe it’s just something she loves to do-and she’s good at it-and it’s a fun way for her to be creative and show her kids she loves them.
And let’s give a hallelujah to the mom who doesn’t do parties but who has an incredible gift for listening-really listening to her kids. And the adventurer mom who is brave enough to take her babies camping. And the mom who can whip out twenty different little-girl braids with perfect bows. The list is endless…
Our own histories, circumstances, motivations, and gifts-both seen and unseen-come together to make each us do this mom-thing differently.
And thank the high heavens we do things differently. Our kids are different. And I can’t tell you how many times and in how many ways I’ve been blessed by a woman whose talents are different than mine.
This mom thing is the messiest, sweetest, sleepiest, toughest, fill my heart to the brim-est job I’ve ever had.
It takes all of my heart. And I’m guessing it takes all of yours too.
There are enough attacks on this thing we love so much called motherhood. We don’t need to do it to each other.
I think we just might find out that life is much happier-figuratively speaking-as a cheerleader than a critic.
So. Whoever you are-wherever you are-cheers to you for loving those little (and not so little) ones. I’ll probably be calling you when I have a girl. I can’t even do my own hair.