Community, Not Competition
Sitting in the office of my OBGYN for a whole hour while doing my glucose test revealed an ugly truth about women that I’m almost embarrassed to talk about!
Women are so many great things, literally built to accomplish things no other could ever do
( um, hello, childbirth)!
But many of us sadly have a flaw that I can’t seem to understand. We have a difficult time accepting each other for who they are and we find it completely too easy to judge one another based on differences- different stages in life, different beliefs, different choices....
I had this thought as I sat there in the waiting area, enjoying my one hour of silent reading as the timer ticked.
You know how you can feel someone staring at you? I had that feeling, and looked up to find another woman eyeing me. I gave her a polite smile and got back to my reading, but something kept coming to mind. I could have started up a conversation with her. Maybe I missed my chance to have a meaningful encounter with a fellow mom. I glanced around the room and noticed something spectacular. Every person sitting in the same waiting room as me had two visible things in common- we were all women, and we all clearly had a wonderful ability that God has graced us with- we were all pregnant, and even though it looked like we were all in different stages, each one of us would undergo a possibly traumatic, physical hardship in the months to come in order to bring a complete miracle into this world.
So I began wondering why judgment is one of our main actions and not encouragement or happiness for each other or how about simple kindness?
In my small group of mom friends, I find it reassuring that we are all very different, with different lifestyles, different ages of children, with different experiences to bring to the table of our friendship. I love hearing about and learning from their current and past situations, but I have been blessed with a non-judgmental group where I’m completely comfortable being the woman and mother God graced me to be! It’s when I step outside that group do I experience this ugly nonsense. Thats exactly what it is- nonsense! I have mentioned to my husband that even at the playground I mainly stick to myself because I find it hard to integrate into different mommy personality types because It feels more like a competition rather than a potential connection where encouragement and support could be the main focus. Now don’t get me wrong! I have met some amazing women while at the playground, but as I began to think about the ones that stood out to me most, it’s their kind and patient demeanor towards, not only their children, but towards the fellow moms that made me engage in conversation with them.
Shortly after the hubs and I found out were we were pregnant with number two, I met a mom at the playground. She had two children who looked very close in age. We were all at the swing set, so I asked her how old her children were. That one question sparked an entire conversation that led to me being utterly encouraged. She told of how hard it is at first to have two children in your care that are so close in age, but how amazing it is to witness them growing together. She mentioned that just like life had to adjust when she had the first, life will adjust when another one is added to the mix. She ended by saying something along the lines of when your strength and energy have run out, God just seems to give you more to keep you going!
How quickly my doubts of being of a mom of two small children left! At that time my husband and I were the only ones that knew another one would be added to our mix (and I didn’t even mention it to the other mom), but her feeling confident in her own motherhood, her kindness towards me, and her lack of judgement brought me to a new level of feeling like I can do this! That’s how we should treat each other! Our goal should be leaving those around us feeling better than when we first encountered them.
This simple truth shows me that we have something special to offer each other. A helping hand in motherhood goes a long way! Sometimes that helping hand doesn’t need to be physical, but the spiritual and emotional uplifting of each other is exactly what God calls us to do!
“No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear.”
Ephesians 4:29 CSB
I have been judged based on my mommy choices in the past, and it doesn’t feel too good. I have also unfortunately been one to quickly draw a judgment based on another mom’s choices. Sometimes we unintentionally do it; not meaning to give that look at the woman in the grocery store whose child is having the biggest melt down.
( It’s that silent judgment that’s the worst, and, unfortunately, women are very good at the silent thing!!)
The fact that our first reaction, even though unintentional, is often judgment shows we have something to work on, ladies!
We must not forget-
Women are strong because we are created in God’s image, for a special purpose, yet women are delicate because we are created in God’s image, for a special purpose.
One of my favorite momming books is written by this incredible woman (Gloria Furman)! In the beginning of her book, she describes the community in which her and her family reside as they are missionaries in another country. She explains that it’s normal and culturally acceptable for the women to come together to HELP each other in nothing else but momming!! It’s normal! It's acceptable! Not forced, not out of the ordinary, but normal! How amazing!! Wouldn't it be easier if we had the same mindset?
Author- Marianne L. Johnson
This is a blog about my journey and adventure of being a mom. Let's be honest! Motherhood is nothing but an adventure. Some days you roll with the punches while other days unfold to be little specks of perfection. With whatever kind of day I get presented with, I always find God's glory, grace and blessings.