I shared a video that came through my Facebook feed last month. It captured a group of mothers, lined up along what seemed to be a public market in a Middle Eastern city. They each had a bucket of water by their side and a baby on their lap. They washed and flipped, flipped and washed and pulled on the arms and legs of those sweet babies, making sure to not miss even the tiniest nook or cranny of flesh. The video was one of the most responded to pieces of content in our little community…ever. Women commented (I imagine with grins and chuckles) at how amazing it was to catch a glimpse of these mamas doing their thing. My caption: American mamas be like, “where’s the organic baby soap?!” We come from countless different backgrounds, cultures, and upbringings. On one side of the world we obsess over food and education while on the other, we simply focus on meeting the needs of our children, ignoring any possibility we might be doing it wrong.
Breast or Bottle. Cloth or disposable. Homeschool or public. Organic or not.
We feel such passion one way or the other. Simple preferences become life and relationship altering issues we wrap our identity around. Motherhood. The very thing that often divides us is that which gives us common ground. And yet, instead of coming together, members of a club so elite, so special only being a part of the miracle of life can gain us entrance…we tear each other down because of differences. We miss out on the unity that could accompany every real struggle due to insecurity and judgment.
Motherhood is not one size fits all.
As unique as our own souls and those we have the privilege to nurture, motherhood is and very well should be different for each and every one of us. We have come so far in celebrating the diversity of race and culture yet we still cannot accept each other for how we mother. As if acknowledging the accomplishments of a woman who does things differently is somehow admitting that we do it wrong. God created us each with a beautiful uniqueness that displays his splendor. The fact that we can raise our children (with his help, thank you Lord) in confidence of who he made us and what he’s called us to further honors his glory. Just as we pray our children will grow up believing they are one of a kind, known intimately and loved fiercely by their creator, we too must accept this truth and share it with the other mothers in our lives. That little video glimpse into life as a mom on the other side of the world gave me so much hope that someday we’ll come together in unity of spirit despite our differences in method. I watched those women with awe as they took care of their children in a manner so foreign to me yet so perfect for them. I want to get to the place where I look at the moms in my own community this way. I want to honor the way they mother with affirmation and support. As you celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, think about the beautiful women in your community of motherhood. Reach out to them with words of affirmation and support.
No matter how different or how similar we are in method, we can be unified in spirit as we serve together in the trenches of motherhood. Here are a few honoring words you can share with your mom friends through a phone call, text message or in a card.
Friend, just want to tell you how much I admire you as a mom. Thank you for all you’ve taught me about being a good mom. I’m so thankful to be doing this motherhood thing alongside you. You are such an example to me.
Thank you for sharing your life of motherhood.
I love the way you ______________. I am in awe as I watch you _____________.
You are an amazing mom and I am honored to watch you love and care for your children. Thank you for being a safe place for me to be honest about my struggles as a mom.
There is no other friend I would rather be within the trenches of motherhood.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
And while you are at it, take a few moments to give yourself some credit for what an incredible job you are doing as a mother. The moment we begin celebrating the other women in our lives, we too will feel the divine pleasure of God speaking words of truth over our hearts. Well done mama, well done. Happy Mother’s Day friends!