This morning I shook my head as I read the articles popping up on my FB news feed about the battle between Republican candidate and presumptive presidential GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann Romney and tv pundit and Democratic strategist, Hillary Rosen. Women were quickly taking sides. (Though, honestly, all I saw was one side. I know, I don’t have a very diverse group of friends. But I like it that way. That’s why they’re my friends. But I digress…)
A lot of moms who work at home got greatly offended at Hillary’s comment she made last night on CNN that stated because Ann Romney chose to be a stay-at-home mom, she’d “never worked a day in her life.” I could understand. Some of the hardest working women I know don’t necessarily have a name plate in an office somewhere. But they have the word “Mom” drawn all over pictures hanging on their fridge. And they’ll tell you, they work hard.
It was a poor choice of words for Hillary. And she has since apologized for them. But she’s not the first to compare women to each other.
We compare ourselves to others and others to ourselves just as much.
You only have to look at FB or Twitter to see what I mean. Sometimes it’s subtle – sometimes it’s not. But we’re comparing. We’re pointing out our differences. Constantly. In the articles we post, the word-photos we tag, the statuses and the tweets we write. Except it’s not just about working moms and stay-at-home moms (isn’t that really so 1980s?). Now it’s breast feeding or not breast feeding, all natural foods or um, not-natural foods, home-schooling or not home-schooling. I once mentioned online some frustrations I was having with my son’s school and instantly I had 3 home school moms comment how they didn’t have those problems because they home school. Good for them, but not exactly helpful to me. I would never tell a home school mom who’s stressing over which curriculum to choose for their kids – “oh, wow, see I don’t have to worry about that because my kid’s teacher does that for me.”
I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of women over the last six or so years, in person and online. And let me tell you – we are all different! Some of us are VERY different. But I am amazed by our differences as well as our similarities. And that’s what I really want to talk about in this post. Because as different as most of us moms are from one another, there are a few things we all share.
1. We love our kids.
Sure, some of us may have the patience of gnats when it comes to our kids (or they might say they have kids who have the attention spans of gnats, thereby the lack of patience on their part), but most of us love our kids. We’d do anything for our kids. And that is one thing we share as moms. Whether we work outside the home or we work at home – we love our kids. We do what we need to do for our kids. And that’s all that really should matter.
2. We want to be good moms.
I don’t think any of us start out as moms saying “I’d like to be the worst mom I can be.” We want to be good moms. Maybe we want to be just like our moms. Or, maybe for some of us, we want to be better than our moms. But we want to make a difference with our kids. We want to help them and support them and see that they have a great life, a great start to life, and a great chance to be whatever it is they’re supposed to be. So let’s support each other instead of tearing one another down. Let’s recognize we all have different callings. We have different approaches. But we all share the one thing in common. We’re moms… and we’d really like to be good moms. So let’s encourage each other. And give each other high-fives when we do something great (not slights or the occasional one-up comment like “oh, your child is walking at 12 months? My child started walking at 8 months and a month later she’s now reading Harry Potter books!”) , and hugs when we’ve messed up (not more salt for our wounds). ‘Cause chances are, we’re going to do both. Many, many times.
3. We’re looking for help.
As moms, we recognize that we need help! Why else do you think all of these mom blogs are popular? Why else do you think “pinning” is now the new “posting”? Why else are recipe and meal planning websites are all the rage, as well as money-saving blogs that teach us how to spend 25 cents and feed a family of four for a week? (I exaggerate… but barely.) We want help. We want to show love to our kids and we want to be good moms. And for those of us who have a relationship with God, He’s the one we turn to for our daily help – or at least we should be. I pray for myself as a mom often – but how often do I pray for the other moms I know? Probably not as often as I need to.
When you look at the big picture of how this world is moving and what’s at stake – arguing over who is working harder really is pointless. Because we’re all working hard.
So let the politicians point their fingers and try to make their points – political and otherwise. But don’t let them drag you into the fray. Instead, support each other. Love on each other. Be kind to each other.
As moms, we can all use some of that.
“Strength and honor are her clothing,
and she can laugh at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom
and loving instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the activities of her household
and is never idle.
28 Her sons rise up and call her blessed.
Her husband also praises her… (Proverbs 31:25-28)