because I think something needs to be said.

Have you noticed a new'ish trend going around lately, with articles about Motherhood?
I thought it was kind of nice at first. We moms need to get some public appreciation and its nice to have positive articles written for us, that serve the purpose of encouraging us in our journey of motherhood. Some of the articles do just that. But one underline theme I've noticed in a lot {not all} these articles is a "put down, build up" theme.

Let me explain.

This is something Jason and I teach our kids, especially as they're getting older and becoming more competitive in nature. "You don't need to put others down to build yourself up." I don't need to slam Rachel in order to pay Ethan a compliment. Even if Rachel is better at whatever Ethan just did.
Ethan is very good at sharing. He delights in seeing the person he's with happy and loves to make sure things are fair and square. He will give up a toy, cookie, position in line, etc... if it helps someone else have a good time. Rachel isn't always this way. She can be, but its something she has to work at a bit more. So when I see her give up something she was once clinging to, I like to praise her {I do Ethan as well, but I make a concentrated effort to encourage Rachel in this since she struggles}. In the process of encouraging Rachel, I don't suddenly put Ethan or Kara down. I don't act like their more natural inclination to share is actually a put-on or something fake they're doing to make her look bad.

The trend I see in a lot of these article is "you're a good Mom - quit trying to be like the woman next to you - she's probably totally fake and lying to herself anyway." 
I think the message that should be going around is, do your very best, love your children and don't sit around comparing yourself to the moms around you. Learn from women you can learn from and raise your family in the ways God is leading you.
 I've seen a few of those articles and those are the ones that encourage me the most. The ones that point me to Christ and His mercy and grace. Not the ones that leave me feeling judgmental and more self righteous. Those are traits I'm doing battle with everyday - the last thing I need is someone telling me I'm justified in feeling those things.

Do you struggle with impatience? Don't put down the patient Mom - learn from her!
Do you struggle with consistency? Don't put down the Mom who has more grace in that area - learn from her!
Do you struggle with laziness? Don't put down the hard working, motivated Mom - learn from her!
Do you wish your house could be more organized and/or cleaner? Learn from women who's homes you enjoy being in.
Do you feel like you need to be in better shape, but struggle to figure out the time and ways in which you can juggle those things? Don't put down the Mom who's figured it out - ask her to help you!
Do you feel like your days are completely disorganized and leave you in a jumbled mess?
Don't put down Moms who are less stressed and seem to have-it-together -- ask them what things they do to keep their day/time on track!
Do you have less kids than the woman next to you? That's nice.
Do you have more kids than the woman next to you? Great.
Do you home school? Cool.
Do you send your kids to school? awesome.
Do we really need to sit around making comparisons and trying to one-up each other? NO. 

You get my point I'm sure.

I just feel like so many articles going around really aren't helpful. I finish reading some of them and realize they're all about helping us make excuses for things we should probably stop doing, or things we should probably start doing.
I don't know why all the sudden talk about who's being {or not being} the perfect, super Mom, but its definitely going around. Its getting down right annoying actually. We should probably stop because I imagine it annoys the men folk too.

Struggling, feeling defeated, or just realizing changes need to be made?
Pray about it
search scripture and see what God has to say about it
get advice and gain wisdom from women you can learn from
work on being content because chances are, you're just really hard on yourself.

7 {comments}:

W and J said...

Preach it, Sister!! Last paragraph= GOLD!


Stef said...

thanks Jess. Decided to step out of the closet of my many opinions for just a moment or two ;-)

I miss you too and hope to call you SOON!

Nicola said...

Great post Stef. I've notice this as an underlining theme in a lot of areas, not just in motherhood. I find it really wearisome.

Liz said...

I totally agree!

Erin said...

Yes, please!
Be ye gentle to yourself & to your neighbor, right!?

Tara said...


The Abe Green Family said...

This is a great post! Thanks for the reminders :)


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