I took a pledge. I made a commitment.
I am a part of a movement.
A mom-movement dedicated to kindness and non-judging of other moms..
known online as #Mommitment.
Since discovering the original article on Twitter a few months ago
(you can read that here: http://www.nextlifenokids.com/2015/01/tired-of-mom-wars-why-im-making.html) and making my own personal pledge, I have found that nothing and everything has changed.
The nothing is that my day-to-day life is exactly the same.
The everything is that I am much more aware and intentional about two things:
1. The judging or squashing of mommies into my pre-conceived ready-made boxes.
I have thrown those boxes out.
I have been doing my best to give other moms the same kind of love and acceptance that I desire.
This can be as simple as a smile in the grocery store directed at a mom whose 3-year old is flailing around on the aisle floor, instead of shaking my head in disappointment over her obvious lack of control over her strong-willed child…….
Or maybe the more complicated and annoying situations like I found myself in on Sunday. Stuck on a plane sitting directly in front of the one obnoxious, tired, toddler on board.
The high-pitched, banshee boy (who was also adorable btw)
kicked and poked the back of my seat for two plus hours.
He managed to whine and complain about his particular seat location, and needed to potty every time the seat-belt sign lit up.
I could hear his mom trying every trick and parenting technique (re-directing, singing songs, coloring, games, bribery, jokes, etc.) in the book. I heard the grinding of dad’s teeth through his disciplinary attempts.. (on Father’s Day).
As a mom, I could empathize with mom, and knew there was a strong possibility that she was feeling a little bit embarrassed and frustrated.
Instead of commenting under my breath, or complaining about how terrible he was or how much better his mother could have handled the situation(s) I played hide and seek with the kid. My goal was to distract. It worked for a few minutes.
Eventually, something else set him off all over again, but hopefully this mom could feel that at least one person on the plane that morning wasn’t judging her.
Sometimes that helps more than we realize.
2. I refuse to allow myself to shrink internally when it is obvious that I am being judged.
The moments that I can actually feel the stares of the eyes of those who are begrudgingly trying to do the math to figure out how old I must have been to have a 13 year old,
or those strangers who snarl when they see I am dragging around three young people with (gasp)
………no wedding ring on!?!?
(I have been having allergic reactions to my wedding ring)….
Or when I whip out my Enfamil in public to feed my hungry infant….
(I tried my best to breastfeed a starving boy with a lip tie for three long months)
There are always going to be those select few who seem to enjoy letting it be known that their disapproval is VERY important. We should absorb their negativity and allow it to saturate our beings.
I have realized that as with anything in my life, I have to be intentional if I want to get things done and keep that peace that I value so much in my world.
My relationship with the Lord has to be intentionally kept and taken care of in order to grow, my relationship with my husband and the quality of our marriage depends on intentionality, my reactions and interactions with my children, and especially my personal recovery. Its growth depends on me being mindful and intentional.
Same thing with this.
Yes it would certainly be like an added bonus to catch a smile instead of a floor to ceiling glare down..but I personally don’t have anything to prove to anyone.
It is not their job to know the ‘real’ story behind the surface.
This is about my personal peace. It is MINE.
and it is my job to keep it.
This #Mommitment thing has really helped me.
Not only have I been able to connect with a large group of diverse and equally loving mommies, I have learned to respect differences more.
I want other moms to feel confident in who they are and to feel like they have people in their corner who are different, but who understand.
I am committed to continuing being intentional in my interactions with other moms, and in brushing off the judgment of others.
If you want to learn more about this, check out this page:
All you have to do is ‘like’ it and you can be a part of this awesomeness.
(Quiet and discreetly if you choose!)