Can I just be honest for a moment?
There have been times where I have been the worst mom-shamer of them all.
Like, seriously. I have said things, either out loud or in my head, to people and about people that make me sick to my stomach now. I am so ashamed of the way that I have treated others and I know that realistically, I will probably do it again.
All this and I have even had the conversation against mom-shaming with many people. I have spoken against judging each other as mothers on many occasions, and yet I have found myself pointing fingers and aiming blame.
And all for what? Motherhood is already hard enough.
I had a very humbling moment recently that exposed the condition of my heart and had me on my knees. After having my second baby last September, I became an avid breastfeeder. With my first son I was pretty apathetic about the whole thing, but this time I was determined to “do it right” and was adamant that formula would never touch my baby’s lips. And then in February, I ended up having an appendectomy and the anesthesia dried my milk up almost completely.
Since then, I have been able to nurse my little one, but with supplementation and help as it has been a huge struggle. It will be good for a while and then hard again. A lot of times, I really just want to give up.
And then just last week, I sat in the nursery holding my screaming, frustrated, hungry baby, with nothing in my body to give him, and I sobbed.
And all of a sudden, that still small voice.
“Am I still good, even if you can’t nurse your baby?”
“Am I still GOD, in control, if you have to give your baby a bottle?”
“Do you see? Do you see now how prideful you have been? Let it go, give it all to me, and walk on.”
Oh. Oh wow. Okay Lord, I hear you now.
Each of us has something that our pride holds onto. And when our pride gets the better of us, the “us versus them” issues rear their ugly heads and suddenly, we are in a war zone. Breastfeeding versus formula feeding, working mom versus stay-at-home mom, epidural versus natural birth, bed sharing versus sleeping apart, screen time versus no screen time, and on and on until we can’t even see straight.
And all of a sudden, my eyes were opened and I saw around me all these moms, holding their babies and crying in their nurseries over breastfeeding or colic or working or staying home or sleep schedules or what-have-you, the list goes on. All around me, I am seeing mothers who are just struggling through life, just like me, and I just want to wrap each of them up in a hug and tell them that they are not alone. That we are all in this messy, crazy, hard, and beautiful stage called motherhood together.
And let me tell you this:
We are so much more effective as mothers, and as women, if we stand united instead of divided.
I don’t want to participate in the judgment anymore. I don’t want to be the shaming voice, whether others can hear it or not. I know that I won’t be perfect at it. I will fail. In fact, I already have. But I see things differently now. All I see is moms, who adore their children, and are just terrified that they aren’t going to measure up.
So I’m choosing to walk out of shaming and into grace. I’m going to choose to turn my view from seeing all the things I don’t agree with to the momma who is, in so many ways, just like me.
Who’s with me?