Let’s Be Real: Choosing to be genuine, supportive & uplifting in our relationships.
A topic that seems to be coming up a lot within different groups of my friends is how hard it is to find friends, especially other moms, that we can be real with.
You know, those women who we can genuinely be ourselves with, pour our heart out to, and not feel intimidated, looked down upon, or judged by.
There’s nothing worse than admitting your shortcomings, your failures, your frustration with your kids, and having the other mom say or imply, “Well, I have never had those problems.”
I was talking to a friend about this the other day. We’ll call my friend Sally.
Sally has 2 kids, and a very involved husband. Her neighbor, who we’ll call Jane, has 3 kids, and her husband works out of town, sometimes for weeks at a time.
One day, about 3 months ago, Sally was having a really rough day with the kids. They wouldn’t take their naps. They were whiny and temperamental. She wasn’t feeling great, which just made their actions grate on her nerves a bit more than usual.
Jane happened to call, and asked how Sally was doing. Well, Sally told her. She said, “I’m done. I’m at my wits end with the kids, and I don’t know how to make it through the rest of the day. I honestly don’t understand how you can deal with 3 little ones with your husband gone so much! How do you do it?”
Sally was looking for understanding; for a compassionate word; for some advice, or even just a listening ear. Instead, Jane replied, “Oh, I just love being a mom. My kids are so good, I guess I don’t ever feel like you do.”
In that moment, not only did Jane close the door on what could have been a moment where these two moms could deepen their relationship, but she left Sally feeling like a screw-up mom… like she didn’t love her kids enough!
Several weeks ago, Jane brought up that phone call to Sally again, and said how she was feeling extremely desperate at that point in time, like she couldn’t go on. This left Sally feeling confused and frustrated.
Why, when given the perfect opportunity to share their struggles, would Jane have instead belittled Sally?
I’ve dealt with similar circumstances, and walked away wondering why there has to be a competition between mothers, instead of support?
One of my goals, as a wife, mom, friend, person, is to be genuine. I may say things that are a bit unorthodox sometimes, but I will be honest with you. Motherhood, and parenting in general, is hard.
I want to support and uplift other moms, to come alongside them and help them bear their burdens.
I want to be for others what I hope others will be for me. A bit of the Golden Rule in mothering, I guess. I challenge each of you to consider your words when you speak to other moms (and to everyone you encounter, really). Is what you’re saying uplifting? Is it supportive? Will it help that other person get through their rough times, or will it exacerbate their problems?
I hope that you will join me in trying to be a better friend, and choose to be genuine in your relationships.
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