Friday, April 23, 2010

I Might Be On A Mommy Soapbox

I kinda feel like every mommy should be on a soapbox.

I'm going to go out on a limb and share some of my heart. I have been praying through my own feelings on friendships lately- whats right and wrong, what boundaries should be set, and how to steer clear of the ones who don't have your best interest at heart.

I have grown weary of all the judging, clicks, competition, and gossip that can come along with a group of ladies. I feel like this year I have seen a lot of people lash out at each other in ways I've never seen - like on Social Networking sites. Please, don't try to prove something by putting it on the Internet. That is just so petty, not to mention hurtful.

I can no longer stomach the whole, "who's best friends with who, who has more money, nicer things, better cars, bigger homes, more kids, more time, less stress, more patience, a better figure..." Oh, the list could go on, right?

Second guessing myself is unfortunately something that comes very natural to me - especially when making decisions about these little loves that God has entrusted to us. So when I have to drag a crying child out of the store because we aren't buying an icee, I don't need a fellow mommy "friend" standing there questioning or judging if or how I discipline my children. I already question myself, my patience, and my parenting when I get to the car.

Let's go easy on each other and remember that every child & every situation is different. Not to mention it's really not any of your business.

Ahem.

I'm not going to play the "Keeping Up With the Jone's" game. You know why? Cause I can't keep up.

I am who I am, dealing with what I've been given, trying to be the mom God wants me to be, and we are making decisions that we feel are best for our family. I am offering as much as I can (which isn't much at times) to my girlfriends, and I'm trying my hardest to invest in the ladies that make my life richer. It's hard sometimes. My days of hanging out at the last minute, and chatting on the phone several times a day have waved goodbye. 5 kiddos consume most of my hours - and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Although, I would like to shower without all the banging on the door. You know, at some point.

Now don't get me wrong. I have been that person. I have done it, I have been there, and I have said that. Everyone has.

But I am just so convicted about it lately, and I wanted to share.

I love this piece from Jen Klein's article on the "Mommy Mafia":

"It starts with accepting ourselves and the choices we have made. We each make a set of choices based on our life, knowledge, resources, and the information before us. No two sets of circumstances are exactly the same either, even with the same family - and when you're making decisions for your family, the response of the local Mommy Mafia should be the last thing on your mind.

Once we get to personal acceptance, its a short hop to real support of one another as moms.Banish the Mommy Mafia and reject the Turf Wars. Be the best mom you can be, but accept your imperfections and just keep working at it. You'll likely find that you're more resilient, and have less need to lash out. - and that's just plain good parenting."

So why don't all of us moms and women uplift each other, include each other, and spend more time on our own lives instead of judging others? Let's try to stop the petty competition, and start asking ourselves about our own motives. Is that to much to ask?

There is nothing like a good girls day/night out filled with laughter and encouragement, you know, when you walk away feeling good and refreshed.

We need more of those times, don't we?

25 comments:

Kate @ Bliss and That said...

Ohhhh, Kate, I LOVE this! I love when you get up on that soapbox of yours! ;)

My husband and I have been making some decisions lately on homeschooling and having a homebirth with this baby (not to mention the decision to become a military family and move our family halfway across the country this year!), and already gotten some questioning, etc. Only WE know what's best for OUR family and OUR situation during this season in life. Can't everyone just accept that?

Thanks for another great "soapbox" moment!

tabby said...

If I saw you right now I would give you a high 5 and a hug and an AMEN! I have been dealing with similar issues lately and had to draw a few (major) boundary lines with a person that didn't agree with the way I did things.
I love it when you do your "mommy soap box" because I can ALWAYS relate.
The social networking sites have really started a lot of trouble which is why I have chosen to take myself off of fb. I have heard of people losing their jobs and dividing families and lets not forget the girls who were bullied so much on these sites that they committed suicide.. What direction is this world headed? Thank you for this post!

bass family said...

AMEN! PREACH IT SISTER!

Man I seriously wish we could hang out in real life. I am thinking through and feeling SO many of the same things right now. It's SO hard for me to let go of some friendships that constantly bring me down, but I've GOT to do it. I don't have the time or energy for any extra drama in my life (part of the reason that I, too, left FB). I constantly feel like a terrible mom... when really, if I'm honest, I think I'm doing alright. I shouldn't let other people's expectations (and my own!) smother me so much. We are currently making a series of VERY unpopular decisions as well... but I FIRMLY believe that God has given the responsibility for children to their PARENTS and no one else. I used to be SO judgmental... NO MORE! It is not my business what other people choose to do for their kids. And it is no one else's business what we choose to do for our kids.

I could keep going and going on this... but I won't. Thanks for sharing. I'm there with ya on the same soapbox, sister!

Celia Emmons said...

You go, girl. I could not agree more.

Joan said...

oh sister couldn't of said it better myself! I've been doing the same thing lately. It's so challenging. I question all my actions and feel bad after certain situations.. And I a bad mother for yelling? Loosing my temper.. I gather my thoughts later and always see how I could of reacted differently.. maybe I could of got a different reaction from them?! I wish parenting came with a handbook! I couldn't agree more with everything you said!

AMEN!

Heather said...

One of the best things about having kids is realizing you need to get your own emotional ducks in a row in order to bring your best to the table and model healthy behavior, in my opinion. In that spirit, I've let a lot of old baggage go away this year -- especially relationships that just don't cut it anymore. It's liberating -- and it's created room for me to seek out like-minded people at this time in my life when I don't have energy (or desire) to try to convince anyone of anything! :) Girl power!

Tiffany said...

I couldn't agree more. I have had to make the same choices about people in my life. I will not let those type of people bring me down, one main reason I do not spend very much time on FB anymore. I'm tired of the competition and drama a lot of those "so-called" friends create. We should have friends that support us and that we can lean on not try to tear us down. It's a hard thing to be a parent, let alone some one who is your "friend" drag you down.
Amen girl.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Miss said...

Amen Sista!! like I have said a 1000 times...WE NEED TO BE FRIENDS!!

come live next to me, I have no interest in any kind of conversation other than that which builds up!

love ya!

The Sneaky Mommy said...

Perfectly put! In twenty years, I most likely won't have the same close friends, but I will have the same children. The investment into my precious gifts' lives is not only earthly but eternal. When I operate according to the Gospel with my children and their (dis)obedience in light of the cross, it quiets the judgers quickly. Only God can direct your parenting and give you strength! Keep going! I think the five beautiful smiles at your house prove you are doing exactly what God wants you to do!

Elizabeth said...

Kate this post is fantastic and some of the best words I have read lately :
"Let's go easy on each other and remember that every child & every situation is different. Not to mention it's not really any of your business."
I did a small post on my friends Neit and Tam that are just so excepting and supportive... It was hard to put into words how much that type of friendship means. I hope you are surrounding yourself with gals who "get it".
Thanks for sharing your views on this subject.

Membership Required said...

amen!

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

So wishing I could just come "hang out" with you. You are my kind of friend ... the kind I would love a regular coffee / play date with. :)

LOVE your soapboxes!!! Keep ranting!!!

The pain this past year, from the judgement of fellow believers has been absolutely unbelievable and unbearable. NO ONE can tell me what they would have done, had they walked through my adoption crisis, unless they have actually walked through it. NO ONE! I know no one who has walked in my shoes ... and it's been a VERY lonely journey.

I don't wish my crisis on anyone. But, I sure could use some friends that would love me despite the fact that they may not agree with the most difficult decision my husband and I ever had to make. I don't care if you agree with our decision or not ... don't I deserve the unconditional love of a friend? That ... has been very hard for me to find this year.

I TREASURE my Bloggy Friends ... the ones that know about my crisis, and still want to be my friend.

I am not perfect. I have made mistakes. But ... aren't their any girlfriends out there that could love me despite my imperfections???

Sorry ... looks like I jumped up on your soapbox with you.

Hugs!

Laurel :)

Susie B. Homemaker said...

Well said... I couldn't agree more!

jenny said...

Could not have been more wonderfully put, Kate! You know I share the same thoughts on friendships and could hop right up on that soapbox with ya! Why girls (sadly often, Christian girls) give into the sins of competition, exclusion, pettiness, etc. is beyond me and I'm sure a grief to the Lord. May all of our friendships seek to edify and ultimately, bring HIM glory in the way we support and love one another....no matter what is going on in one another's lives. Thanks for sharing....thankful for you, friend!

Much Love,
Jenny

Stacey @ Tree, Root, and Twig said...

Is there room on your soapbox for two? No matter, I should probably build my own anyway, since I feel everything you've said here. Unfortunately, my response has been to become a bit of a recluse - some days I wish I had more "girlfriends," but I know my limits right now, and I'm having to save my emotional energy for my own 5 kids. I'm also beginning to understand that quality trumps quantity, and trying to focus on the most meaningful relationships, too.

Jessica said...

I love everything about this post!! Your honesty is encouraging and refreshing!! You are such a blessing

peapodsquadmom said...

amen, amen and amen! here we go with yet ANOTHER reason why we need to live close enough to be real-life friends. i've had to "prune" my friendship tree here lately, too. the toxic relationships had to go. life is short. i'd rather spend it with people who are authentic.

love you, dear! you're doing a fabulous job with those beautiful girls.

Jenn said...

AMEN! Thanks for bearing your heart. I gave up trying to keep up with everyone else, too. It just brings me down.

Amber said...

YES, seriously. Very tired of it myself. I have this incredibly important mission as wife and mom, and I certainly don't need anyone taking my focus off of that! Very well put.

melissa said...

Love this! So tired of everyone "JONESING"!

Lenae said...

Amen! LLove this.

Robyn said...

Written perfectly! Love it!

susan said...

me too me too!!!!!...... I'm SO tired of trying to 'keep up'. I can't anymore either. Six children {with these wee small twins + my teenagers} are making my head and life spin.

I just don't have time for a drink on the deck or a coffee or a long chat about your crisis late into the evening hours.......... I wish I did but my dear sweet noisy, crying, rowdy, superhero, falling over, breaking fake bones, snotty nosed, tear stained children need me right now.

They don't want you all too soon so even though sometimes I curse under my breath, I will still leave you sitting there sipping your cocktail you bring over to my house, right on dinner time, so that I can tend to my loves. All of them.

The Mummy Mafia needs to get over itself :)

Good one Kate :):)

susan said...

I hope it's clear that when I say "you"... I'm not talking about you Kate :):) just clarifying :):):):):):)

Megan said...

Amen Kate! You might want to pitch a tent on that soapbox of yours.
Wise words, true words.