This morning a post popped into my news feed called 10 Types of Moms that Suck. A few more friends shared it, and it kept begging me to click, so I took a peak. Not surprisingly, I immediately identified myself as #2 – the “I buy and make everything organic Mom.” Personally, I respond more frequently to, “Crazy Hippie Mom,” but that is a topic for another day. You see, the truth is, I am all 10 of those Moms. The more I read, the more I realized that my critical inner voice has accused me of all those stereotypes. All of a sudden, it didn’t seem like I was reading another woman’s finger pointing. Instead, I was hearing my own monologue.
What I want to talk about is dialogue. I have been talking with myself for 29 years, and I have finally realized the startling impact and strength those words have on my life. Not only do the words that wake me in the morning create a map of my day, but they are filling my children with an inner voice. It is my biggest challenge to foster an inner voice of courage, spirit, willfulness, and kindness in spite of anything that may have shaped my own inner voice to the contrary. Trust me, I get jokes. I understand that posts like these are funny and they make me laugh, too. The problem for me was that I never stopped laughing in childhood. I didn’t spend time deeply understanding my emotions and the complexities around me enough to find a space where I fit in.
I know I am not the only Mom struggling right now. Up until six months ago, my own words fit into a chorus of those around me. “It’s so hard to make friends now that I’m a Mom.” “My kids are making me crazy.” “Have you tried (XYZ) to solve (every childhood problem ever.)” All the negativity crushed me. I fell into a deep solitude and began grasping at every straw in search of any lifeline to pull me out of the slump. At first, the solutions were so abundant that I almost gave up before even attempting to make the climb. How could I chose just one shining star for my aspiration? So much was missing in my life and I wanted to have it all.
When I shut my computer, dove into the written word of healers, and reached out to join a thoughtful community I found that life is truly filled with joy. There are so many amazing Mothers in this world that I am privileged to know. By taking the time and space to observe families in their element, I have given my own family an opportunity to shine. We are courageous, adventurous, and we march to a beat of our own, but I truly believe that we have many more similarities with others than differences. It is that very belief that propels me into new friendships and understandings each day.
Time has slowed and life is really beautiful right now. It is not perfect. It is abundantly messy, wet, cold, sluggish, ragged, and clumsy. I have grown to love all those aspects. Today I am offering myself forgiveness, love and compassion for a job well done. I know that the end of the Mom War starts with me. It starts with my personal acceptance of this role. With a little luck and gratitude, I’ll be able to start it all over tomorrow with the same smile that fueled me through this day. No matter what, I know that deep within I am feeling the love. Tonight as I laid in a sandwich between two easily breathing, sheepily dreaming toddlers, I heard myself say, “Good job, Mama.” And for the first time, I believed it.