Wednesday, September 24, 2014

To All of the Amazing Moms That I Know.

I know so many amazing moms.

I know a mom who finished her degree while her husband was in grad school and did her student teaching while she was super pregnant and always seemed to still hold everything together with grace and capability and also fed me dinner a lot.

I know a mom who moved hundred of miles away after a divorce and immediately got a job and enrolled in full-time school. She continues to be hard-working, beautiful and an uncommonly loving mother.

I know a mom who has 4 children 3 and under and a husband who is deployed. She blogs about her life with humor and candor and is a constant reminder to me not that difficult situations happen, but that difficult situations happen and they can be tackled.

I know moms who sing and act and astound with their talent. I know moms who go to school. I know moms who teach. I know moms who teach at home. I know moms who are well-put together. I know moms who are just effortlessly cool. I know moms who are just effortlessly happy. I know moms who excel at living healthy lifestyles. I know moms who work and love it. I know moms who work and ache to be with their kids. I know moms who fall somewhere in between. I know moms who are single and amazing. I know moms who are not single, but due to circumstances, seem to do it all, regardless. I know moms who can peaches and would do better than most in the event of a zombie apocalypse. I know moms who do graphic design. I know moms who do interior design. I know moms who are engineers. I know moms who run successful businesses. I know moms who run successful blogs. I know moms who are amazingly crafty and I know moms who are able to transfer ability that into making money. I know moms who are just writers, deep in their bones. I know moms who are practically world-class chefs. I know moms who are able to keep beautiful homes clean. I know moms who are great at service. I know moms who just care more than the average person. I know moms who are amazing advocates for their children with disabilities. I know moms who have suffered through infertility and loss with remarkable grace. I know moms who I would file under the "might literally be saving the world" file.

In each and every of the above sentences, there are the faces of real women that I actually know. They're a varied group of people with different ages, backgrounds and beliefs, The only common denominators that they all share is that they are mothers and that they would never ever categorize themselves as an amazing mom.

I, of course, am a mother, and I, of course, would never categorize myself as an amazing mom. Some days I worriedly ask myself, "Am I doing a good job? and on the other days, I worriedly tell myself, "I am not doing a good job." I'll be the first to admit that most of my days fall into the second category.

I guess there is another common denominator between all of us, one that we really don't like to admit. How many of us, when we're having the days when we're convinced that we're horrible mothers, think of about other mothers? I do. When my kids misbehave, I think about _____, whose children are well-behaved and mild-mannered. When I realize that my kids have had fast food twice in the last two days (Oh, yeah, that was TODAY), I think about _______, who always cooks healthy meals. When I despair about my own hopes and aspirations, I think about ______, who is a mother and still seems to live her dreams. As I've already made clear, I am surrounded by many amazing moms, and as a mom who thought she might have bedbugs and then realized that, oh yeah, I just ate some cookies in bed, it's easy to negatively compare myself.

And that is so, so ridiculous.

If you're like me, you get all your great life lessons from Mean Girls. If you're not like me, you might not have seen the clip below. It's my favorite part of the movie.

If you're like me, you also almost never ever watch video clips that are posted, so I'll summarize. "Calling someone fat doesn't make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn't make you any smarter." It's not always an easy lesson to learn, but I think the inverse lesson is even harder.

I know so many amazing moms, moms who are beautiful, accomplished, and kind, Sometimes I feel like I am none of those things. But recognizing that another mom is beautiful doesn't make me sprout warts. Recognizing that someone else is accomplished doesn't make me ignorant. And recognizing another mother's kindness certainly doesn't make me unkind.

I submit that the good things we see in other people are, well, good.

_______ runs a successful cooking blog. Isn't that amazing? Maybe I will try one of her recipes. ______ works in international relations, Maybe she add some context to my understanding of current events. _______  sews beautifully, Maybe she can help teach me how to hem the kids' Halloween costumes (that I did not, and will never ever, make and would have fit them if they'd only have the decency to be normal-sized kids). _______ can tell the difference between bed bugs and cookie crumbs. Maybe I can call her if a similar situation arises. (Spoiler- that last one is ME! I'm amazing!)

You might read this blog about amazing women and feel like you don't make the cut. You do. Trust me, there is someone out there who has seen you and thought that you are amazing. There is someone out there who has thought, "If only I were more like -insert your name-." Actually, it was probably me. (Because I think I've made it clear that if there's anything that I am amazing at, it's creeping on other girls and thinking about their worth. You can go to your local courthouse to get a restraining order,)

But if even if that isn't true; if nobody is telling you what you are worth and if you can't think of a single thing that makes you noteworthy, that still doesn't change this simple truth: giving your time to love, raise, and nurture another human being is hard. The next time you find yourself covered in feces, and yelling things like, "Fake-sleeping doesn't earn you an Oreo!' please remember that.

This is hard and you are still doing it and that's pretty amazing.

Physically incapable of not adding pictures of my family. This is the kids as they made up cheers for the guys repaving the parking lot yesterday. "Go! Make it rocky! Make it smooth!"

1 comment:

Audrey said...

There really are so many amazing moms out there. Since teaching a Relief Society lesson earlier this month, I've been mulling over the idea that recognizing the good in others doesn't make us less. As I read your post, it hit home that recognizing others strengths in the right ways, as you touch on here, can actually make us stronger. Thanks for helping me round out that thought and doing it with a Mean Girls quote.