As moms, we think we have to go it alone but we don’t. Seeking wisdom from other moms is a gift to us as well as the other mom.
I’ll be 53 years old next week. I have two grown and married children and one grandchild. It seems to me that by this age women surely must have their act together and be killing the whole mom and grandma thing.
But I hit a new challenge recently, and I spent some days asking myself, “What is your deal?” I was experiencing anxiety around Sundays, which have become our traditional family lunch days. All the kids come over, and I feed them lunch. Then we hang out.
Except I kept getting really stressed about feeding everyone because feeding a large group of people has always stressed me out. Then I was stressed about if everyone liked lunch and if everyone was having a good time. Every week, the kids left and I second-guessed everything I had said and done the entire day.
I wondered, Am I just weird or do other women feel this way?
Conversation About Stress
After church on Saturday night, I was sitting and chatting with two long-time friends who are my age and in similar seasons of life. One woman has a large family and many grandkids, and she hosts a Friday night dinner for them at her house every week.
“Can I ask you a question? Do you ever get stressed about feeding everyone on Fridays?” I asked.
“I used to,” she said. “For a while, I tried to make a different meal every Friday, but then I figured out that it’s best to just make tacos a lot. And hamburgers. The kids always rave about having hamburgers, and I always think, but all I’ve done is make hamburger patties.”
“I think maybe I’m worrying too much about making all of my kids happy all of the time about all of the things,” I said.
“Isn’t that what it means to be a mom?” my other friend chimed in. Both women nodded their heads in agreement.
“But I thought I would grow out of worrying about them like this,” I said.
“You don’t grow out of it,” they agreed, with serious faces.
Our Kids Are a Part of Us
The next day, one of these women sent me a link to a post that talked about the flow of blood from the baby to the mother when the baby is in the womb, and how some of that blood stays in the mother and imprints the baby into her body for years. “Maybe this is why we can’t stop worrying about our kids,” she said. “They’re literally part of us.”
I think she’s right.
The reason I’m sharing this experience with you is that I want to urge you to get help as a mom. Here are three pieces of advice for you:
Get involved in church
You need a church family. I was talking to a young mom at work the other day, and she told me that she had cut ties with some friends who were not living a good life. It was a good decision, but it left her in a lonely place. I told her she could find good friends in a church. The women I chose to talk to on Saturday night are God-fearing women, and their friendship has helped me walk through this parenting thing for decades. I can’t imagine how I would have been a mom all of these years, without the encouraging relationships of women in my church.
Turn around to the women in your church and ask questions. My biggest mistake as a younger mom was that I would struggle, struggle, struggle all by myself. It never occurred to me to just ask someone for wisdom. Turn around at church and say, “Do you ever struggle with this?” Do you know what keeps us from asking this question? It’s because we feel like we’re the only one who’s a hot mess and all of the other moms are floating about in complete success.
That is not true.
The other women in church have struggled through being a mom just like you have. As soon as you bravely ask for help, you’ll find out you are not the only mom who faces challenges. And please realize that when you ask another woman for council, it is a gift to her as well. It gives her the gift of sharing her stories with you and of feeling needed. You won’t be the only one who benefits from the conversation.
Take the advice you get
Consider and heed the wisdom you’re given from other women. The wisdom I gleaned, from talking to my friends the other night, is that it’s normal to want our kids to be happy. This is what it means to be a mom. I’m not weird. I also realized I need to make Sunday lunches way simpler. I might just alternate tacos and burgers each week. It wouldn’t make me a loser mom, just a smart one. I feel more relaxed just thinking about simplifying the Sunday menu.
So, there’s my mom advice to you today: go to church every week and invest in those relationships. Ask questions when you hit a challenge. Take the advice you get. Don’t try to be a mom all on your own, thinking you’re the only one who’s having a hard time. God has given us church family so that we have a source of encouragement.
With love from Montana,
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