We, as mothers and Catholic women, need to focus on truly and meaningfully affirming one another.
My Facebook newsfeed has been full of articles about motherhood which seem funny and witty on the surface, but underneath, they are really just mothers tearing other mothers down.
Two examples come to mind:
First, an ‘amusing’ article about the mothers every mother hates: the mother who loses the baby weight right away or the mother who insists on only feeding her children organic food. (Just to name the two I remember.) When I first read it, I thought the stereotypes it mentioned were witty and relatable, but as it sat in my mind, I began to realize that the mothers every mother ‘hates’ are people too. And who are we to use these mothers to make ourselves feel better? Why should we ban together in making fun of someone whose body type is different or who wants to feed their child what they think is the best food?
Second, an article about the top things working mothers hate to hear: things like “don’t you miss your child?” and “how can you afford daycare?” This article was blatantly obnoxious and obviously filled with disdain. I knew right off the bat, this article was not meant to build anyone up. The point was meant to be working mothers don’t always like to work and be away from their children, it’s just necessary at times. But, this woman was angry and malicious. She twisted everything people said to her, even comments that probably came from a good place, and made herself the victim.
In the end, both of these articles, a handful of others like them, made me realize we would be a lot better off if we stopped being jealous, stopped judging the motives and intentions of other people, stopped comparing ourselves to other mothers. Instead, let’s bond together and build up one another. Being a mother is difficult, but being a mother when you feel judged and put down by others mothers, that makes the task feel impossible.
My goal is going to be to affirm the mothers I encounter daily. To give them a kind word, tell them they are doing a good job. If we heard more positive comments, we would be able to better perform our motherly duties in a joyful manner. God intends motherhood to be a wonderful gift, not a burden made heavier by the very women who are supposed to be our companions on this journey. Let us praise God for our unique gifts and affirm one another as often as possible!
May God be praised!
Copyright 2014 Stephanie Gulya