There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one. -Jill Churchill
I find it very difficult to hold my tongue… There are things that stray across my path, and I just spew. This is why I avoid politics at all costs. It gives me nothing, but bitterness that rots deep down in my soul, and I say things I shouldn’t, to people who don’t really care about what I have to say, because they are deep in their own thoughts about it all. It creates tension, that shouldn’t be there.
But, I have come across an issue, that I am honestly, just tired of. One that several people have talked about, and that more people need to let sink in.
This issue is about how Mother’s treat each other. This is not just an issue of the Stay-At-Home Moms vs. the Working Moms and who has it more difficult, but this also reaches the Single Moms vs. Married Moms. What about the Single Dads out there? Each of us parents struggle, people point fingers and say, “Because you stay at home and are married, you have no idea how difficult it is for ME!!” Or, just because I have four children, and you have one, doesn’t make it less difficult for you! It just may mean that I’m slightly crazier than you!! But heck, I’ve always been a bit on the nutty side.
This is not a parenting competition people! These are little lives that we are training up to the best of our abilities.
We need to recognize it, and then, we need to build into each other and raise each other up.
Let’s walk hand in hand and support each other, instead of saying, “Well, we all KNOW how much harder I have it than YOU, because…”
My Mom was a single Mom for the first six years of my life. I lived in teeny apartments, and stayed with sitters, when my Mom couldn’t take me with her. I remember being in college classes with her, because she had no other options. She worked at daycares and Nursery Schools, so I could be taken care of. I grew up pretty quickly, because she was a “baby” raising a baby, and that’s just what you do, when you only have each other to rely on.
She met a man, and go remarried.
My Step-Dad came from a Single-Parent home. His Mom was the sole provider for him and his sister since he was 14 years old, and not ONLY took care of them, but made a college “youth hostel” for kids who needed a home. She provided a home for my Mom and I when we had none… That’s how my parents met, through this amazingly wonderful woman.
Neither one of them would say that what I am doing, as a married mother of four, is less difficult than what they went through. They would never put themselves up on a pedestal and say, “You just have NO IDEA what it’s like…” For one, I do know what it’s like. I know what it is like through a child’s eyes. I know the deep struggle and desires. I saw them first hand.
But, I also know the struggle of being a parent.
My husband lost his job last August. I’ll tell you, before then, I was a little of a worrier (that is an understatement for those that truly know me). Before that time, we agreed that we were going to homeschool. When the bottom dropped out, I floundered. I thank Jesus that I have faith, because if I didn’t, I think I would have sunken into a deeper depression than I did. He decided to go back to school full-time and take odd jobs here and there. I may not have been a single Mom, but there were sure days I felt like I had no one else to lean on. The financial struggles we’ve had recently, have been pretty harrowing, yet, I’ve been less worried, because I want to show my kids that you can get through tough times, with a smile on your face. I knew two women who did that very thing.
Parenting is hard with two people, from two backgrounds, with two distinct ways of thinking, and two (or more) sets of grandparents to contend with. Parenting is hard when you go at it alone. Parenting is hard when you don’t have a break, and you ARE the parent 24/7. Parenting is hard when you can’t pee alone. Parenting is hard when you work all day, and only have a few hours to see your kids at night. Parenting is hard when you work at home, and you have to coordinate time for your business and your family. Parenting is hard, people. Why do we feel the need to say one is harder than the other?
I have only ever gotten to go away with my husband once, for a weekend. We never had a honeymoon. We had to save money for our baby… That’s what parents do. We sacrifice and we strive to do what is best for our children, no matter the outcome, and what it does to ourselves.
We are parents, and we love our littles a little bit more, with every heartbeat.
Because we are parents, let’s lift each other up. Let’s build each other up. Let’s tell each other what amazingly wonderful men and women we are, for holding onto the little lives and watching them flourish and grow, instead of holding each other at arms length and condemning each other because of what we think the other persons life is like.
Let us encourage one another, because parenting is a struggle, and the best thing we can do is cling to each other on our journey of life, and hope that all our kids turn out just fine…