I spoke with a mama-friend earlier this week and it dawned on me that her situation was totally different than my own, but I had no difficulty at all in identifying with what she shared.
She told me that this blog meant a lot to her even though she had adult children. She said that her biggest struggle with her adult children who live out of town was not being able to be physically present the way she could when they still lived with her.
She described wanting to put them in her lap when they called and were facing heartache. And here I thought the teenage years were tough! We felt stronger together.
So, how can we support each other no matter how old my children are and how old your children are? How can we support each other in our commonality as mothers?
Never Tell a Mama How to Parent
Have you noticed that this is my first how-to? Notice it has nothing to do with parenting? You’re reading this blog because you are a hands-on mama after encouragement and growth. You are here because you love your kids. You are here to love yourself. You are here because you love God.
You are my mama-friend, so who am I to tell you how to raise your children ‘better’ or more ‘efficiently’? I won’t because this is Diary of a Hot Mess Mama not Memoirs from a Master Mama. My whole blog, my entire purpose, and, honestly, probably my glamour is to say I get you, girl and God has got THIS.
I want you to remember how great you are. Effort and consistency pay off in everything! You’re a rockstar. We are peers. We are on the same team. We are doing this thing together and every day is a day we have not yet experienced. We are all winging it together. I have no place in telling you how to be a mother.
Ask How You Can Pray for Her
Some of you lovely mamas are part of my Facebook prayer group. If you are not, please know you are welcome. I have never seen anything more astonishing in my life.
There are women who do not know each other, who have never met, praying together and relating to one another every single day. They share pain, they share praise, and they share support.
We ask each other sincerely how we can pray for each other. We do not have to carry burdens alone. There is so much power in prayer.
Make Her Laugh
Being a mama can be serious work. Your nerves may be wrecked, you may be sleep-deprived, or you may be so involved in your kids’ extra-curriculars that you forgot to have any of your own! We can get discouraged, burnt-out, and delirious.
We have all been there though, right? Share it! Tell a tired mama about the time your baby kept you up all night and you were so tired that you put the milk in the cabinet instead of the refrigerator. Tell her about the dirty diaper you had to stuff in your purse because there was no trash can.
Tell that mama that you once wondered if your teenager was possessed by a demon and how scary it was to let them drive. Remind her that this too shall pass, but help her to find joy or humor in what in that moment may feel like a bleak existence. Remind her it gets better or she will master it. Tell her she is on the right path!
Tell Her She is Doing a Good Job
Have you ever seen a mama at the grocery store and could just see her exhaustion written all over her? Well, if you see her again, tell her she is doing a great job! Seriously!
I once worked in sales and had a team of part-time, minimum-wage employees. I wanted them to succeed, but realized that these college kids didn’t seem very motivated by money. I had to find out how to drive them to success.
Guess what motivated them the most? PRAISE. A ‘good job’ or high-five went a long way. Each week I sent out e-mails to shout out various triumphs of different team members. They worked harder to be recognized and seen. We want to know we are doing well. So, tell that mama!
Cry With Her
I have encountered mothers who have lost children. I cannot relate to that pain. In those moments I count my blessings, but I also allow myself to grieve with them. No mama should be alone in the darkness.
I have met mamas who are terrified of custody court and feel powerless. I have been there before, so I allow myself to feel it again with them. They are not anxious AND alone. We are in it together. Rally, mama.
Just Be There
Being there can look different for everyone. Maybe being there is a text. Maybe being there is a lunch date or a phone call. Maybe it is a prayer. Just make the time.
Life is busy with kids. Having friends is hard in this chapter, so we have to find ways to BE THERE. I have a mama friend who I see maybe a few times a year now, but I always text back and I always plan a date.
She knows I care and she knows she matters to me. When things are tough, I’m an ear. We need our mama-friends. She knows that she has got one in me.
Mama, we need each other. We have the most important job ever. We cannot do it completely alone and keep true to ourselves. We are equals. We are peers. We are on the same team. Let’s be there and support each other.
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.