By Jessica Sullivan
Hey Mama, in a world that is about to get real accustomed to putting a lot of scary masks on, let’s just be honest with each other for a few minutes.
Us moms? We tend to hide behind what we think we ought to be in a moment.
Got anxiety from crying or hearing your name being called too many times? Nope – put on the mask called ‘Cool, calm, collected.’
Feeling like a failure because your toddler said he doesn’t want to be around you for the first time? Nope – put on the mask called ‘Always successful mom.’
Feeling like the world is crumbling when your infant won’t follow all those routines/tips & tricks the professionals give? Nope – put on the mask called ‘Everything’s under control.’
The truth is… I could go on. Real motherhood gets hidden behind these masks because we don’t want the world to see how SPOOKY motherhood can truly be… or we don’t want them to see us for what we truly are….
A WORK IN PROGRESS!! (Come on… you didn’t think I was going to be harsh?)
God is so good in the way that he is SO patient with us. I am reminded of when my two oldest children started learning to walk. It was a PROCESS! Goodness… It took days and weeks to finally master this “simple” skill of walking. But, you know what my husband and I did? Well, let me start with what we didn’t do. We didn’t yell at them and say “COME ON! Get it together, you should be able to do this perfectly by now!” Or every time they fell down after each wobbly step, I didn’t scoff or make them feel like a failure; I encouraged them, picked them up, and said, “It’s okay, you’ve GOT this!!”
Be honest with those around you that you trust.
That is how the Lord is with us! He says… "Hey… this motherhood thing? It’s not stinkin’ easy! And with each new day (or step), you are learning." There is a HUGE learning curve with motherhood and unfortunately/fortunately, it is ALWAYS changing… so with each new stage of life that they hit… guess what? You have more learning to do. You can’t put the mask on of, “I’m a pro” or “This is easy” to cover up the real mom that is thinking… “For goodness sake – I feel like I am about to collapse under the pressure!” And we shouldn’t have to. So as the latter part of this year ramps up, reach out! There is likely a whole community of people that want to be there for you and join your village! Be honest with those around you that you trust. Holding in feelings of sadness or being overwhelmed will only mask (ha… see what I did there?) those emotions even further.
Let us be the first to say that we, as a church, are wanting to stand beside you and support you in any way we can…so again: Do NOT wear that silly mask (as Halloween approaches). Take it OFF and come as you are.
Do NOT wear that silly mask. Take it OFF and come as you are.
And for those of us that aren’t buried in the thick of motherhood, here’s a few pointers when wanting to be a source of rest or peace for mothers:
1) Ask SPECIFIC questions. Things like “How are you?” or “So, how you sleepin’ these days?” doesn’t urge us to answer honestly and we are likely wanting to get a few things off our chest! Here’s a couple replacements, “So… how are the toddlers behaviorally these days?” Or “Were the kids up at all last night? How many hour do you typically sleep?”
2) Don’t assume you know what a mom needs; for example, “I can come over so you can take a nap.” Maybe instead you could say, “Hey, what is restful for you? Want me to take baby for an hour so you could run to Target or go get a coffee and sit for a while?”
3) If you’re thinking about us – be diligent. We want to see you. We have a lot going on; more often than not, we aren’t ignoring you. Ask to come by again or to bring dinner again or ask those specific questions we mentioned earlier.
4) You can also just talk to us like a normal human being. Pretend for a minute what you would say to us pre-motherhood or even someone without kids. It’s not the only thing in our lives…. (even though some days it feels that way). We want to be remembered as just humans, too!
A little bit about Jess:
Hello! I am a working mom of three beautiful babies, Camden (3) and Adley (~2), and Grady(1 month)! My husband, while sometimes drives me to the brink, is the most faithful, present, and hardworking man I know! I am truly blessed.
I love Jesus, ice cream, and caffeine a WHOLE lot. I try to keep it as real as possible. I avoid sugarcoating when I write and use those things we try not to talk about as my inspiration because that's where I think us Mama's feel the most lonely - in those hush-hush places. Thanks for taking the time to read! If you hate it, I'm sorry you wasted 4 minutes of your life, but it is better than dealing with a poopy diaper... so, in that case, you're welcome.
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