So I was working and one of the surveys I did asked me what I would do if I was trying to stand out from the crowd. Hmmmm…normally I can do the surveys without much “deep” thinking. But this one made me stop and think. What would I do? Honestly?
The first thing that came to mind was that I would try harder to not talk bad about my husband. Not that I bash him. But if someone makes a complaint about their husband, I find myself way too often (even one time is too often, for me when I stop and think about it!) trying to think of something my husband did that bothered me, just so I can contribute to the conversation. WHAT? Why? This is so not cool!
Then there’s the whole motherhood aspect. Mommies just naturally complain about being a mom sometimes. And I get that. Especially in the beginning. When sleep is NOWHERE to be found. If you’re breastfeeding, (in the beginning) your nipples have been replaced by some weird form of ripped-to-shreds-paper, but this paper has feeling. And this feeling can only be described as a whole lot of cuss words strung together followed by maybe a few foot stomps and a bunch of twisted facial expressions. While your loving husband looks at you like you’ve lost it and might even think (but prayerfully DOES NOT voice out loud) that there’s no way it’s as bad as you’re saying and acting. Little does he know, you’re actually downplaying the pain and agony.
But let’s go past the newborn stage. Because, seriously, all mommies (first time or not) get a free pass for mental exhaustion in the newborn stage. They can be frustrated and lose their patience and no one had better say a word. For crying out loud – you’re getting approximately -4 hours of sleep a day! So you’re excused from this whole post. Feel free to sit back and point your exhausted, tired fingers at all the other mommies and wives. Wait, first, grab a pint of ice cream, cookies, chips or whatever you’re craving and eat to your heart’s content while you read this! You need your energy, mama, for when the little one(s) wake(s) up! 🙂
Anyway, this was supposed to be about how to improve our attitudes towards our roles as mommies and wives. How can we stop bashing our husbands (even when it’s just little things we say about them) and stop bad-mouthing our children and/or time spent mothering? Now, I know, most of us don’t go around saying “my kid(s) is/are the worst!” BUT think about what you are saying when you gather with other mommies and you guys “compare”. Do you sit around and roll your eyes about your children? There’s nothing wrong with venting, I suppose, to just have someone say “I get that, I’m there with you!”. I’m talking when you sit there and you talk negatively about it all. When there is no joking in the atmosphere, no shared laughter to show that “this too will pass”. I know that life is hard. I know that sometimes marriage is a struggle. I know men aren’t perfect. I know children aren’t either.
Guess what? WOMEN AREN’T PERFECT EITHER. GASP! What? We’re kind of hard to live with. We’re moody and bratty at times. We roll our eyes and tilt our head. We cross our arms. We can give the cold shoulder and silent treatment like it’s our JOB. Yet, our husbands love us. With a passion. Sometimes we don’t think they do, but they do.
So let’s step back. Before we spout off about our husbands, let’s think before speaking. I’m not saying you can’t agree when a woman asks if your husband leaves his dirty socks on the floor. You can (woman also like to know that they’re not alone), just try to do it in a positive or funny light. Maybe instead of “YES! And it’s soooo annoying. I get so mad at him!”, try saying “He does. You’d think by now he’d have figured out where the hamper is, but…..” and laugh to turn the tone of the conversation. I have no problem with women chatting and sharing stories when we’re doing it with love. It’s when I hear the stories shared and it sounds like everyone is trying to one-up the other about who has the worst husband. Or who has the worst life as a wife. Let’s share, but do so in love! As if our husbands are sitting there (and we actually care that they’re listening, lol!).
Then there’s our children. I know that they test us. They REALLY do. Especially when they learn how to talk back. My son is almost 2.5 years old, but boy does he talk. He’s started throwing temper tantrums. This is all newer and not fun, as a mommy. I don’t like to feel like I’m constantly reprimanding my son. I’m banking on the hope that this is just a season, however! 🙂
I’ve seen women verbally bash their children (both away from and in front of their children) and the behavior when around other mommies. They roll their eyes and talk about how hard little Tommy is or how “bratty” Sally is. They describe their children in ways that would make it seem that they really do not like their children at all. Again, I have no problem when mommies get together for encouragement and to see humor in a situation. Share stories, please! It helps other mommies realize they are not alone in their current struggle. However, I cringe when I hear moms call their children names. Since when is this ok? (These views are all mine, FYI – personal convictions!) I know that if I had heard my mom call me a name to someone else, I would have been devastated. It would have crushed me to know that she felt that way, even if it was just a “moment feeling”.
I definitely have moments of frustration with Z. I have had to walk away until I can reign in my emotions. I broke down this morning and cried in front of him, because he just wouldn’t listen and had thrown THREE tempter tantrums and then threw a car right at my face (and the car hit its mark!). However, I won’t call him a name, even in my head. Why? Because this child is a blessing, first and foremost. He was given to me, by the Lord, to raise and to nurture. Calling him names, whether he hears them or not, is not nurturing or loving. I’ve been called names by other people. I know how that hurts. I can only imagine the hurt if it would’ve been one of my parents.
So what am I saying? Well, I’m encouraging us women. Let’s be new trendsetters. Let’s encourage other women when we’re together. Go ahead, share your stories. But let’s do it with a positive light. Let’s share stories with laughter in them. Let’s make sure we edify and lift one another up. Let’s not help tear down marriages and break apart parent/child relationships. If a parent is struggling, be there for them. If you can’t relate, just be there! Offer your support. If a wife is struggling, be there. If you can share a story, do so! But let’s encourage one another at all times. Let’s stop the husband-bashing and stop talking meanly/rudely about our children. Let’s see them as the blessings that they are and see the humor in the situations (afterwards – because during, you almost NEVER see the humor…I definitely did not think being hit in the face by a steel car was funny this morning, trust me).
I went out last night with some fellow mommies and I had a great time. We shared stories, both about our lives as mommies/wives and outside of those roles. Yet no one showed resentment or anger towards their husband or children. I LOVED it. I’ve been craving that! I left encouraged and energized! So let’s have more of that. 🙂