As a mom, I’m constantly discovering the things that make my kids unique. I’m discovering what makes them smile, what makes them sad, what activities they’re naturally drawn to, how they’re affected by the social situations around them, and what their strengths are, to name a few. I love getting to know them more and more each day. I love having the chance to bond with them and learn about what makes them tick. It’s fascinating how each of my kids often need me to respond differently based on the situation and their personality. I consider it an honor that I get to be one of the few people in their lives who knows how to love them the best.
Maybe that’s what I love about motherhood the most. I love that we have been given our specific kids because WE are what they need. We weren’t given them by accident, but rather were chosen for them because we too were made uniquely special, with a specific skill set and strengths that make us the best possible mom for our children.
Sometimes, though, it’s easy to forget that. Sometimes, it’s easier to compare ourselves with other moms. In a world where so many snippets of our lives are canvassed over social media, it can be easy to look at how other moms are doing it, how they always seem to have it all together, how their kids are always dressed in the high end clothes, how they are always well behaved, how they could qualify for preschool at age 2, how they were walking and talking and potty trained years before ours, and how life just seems to come so easy for them.
Sometimes, it’s easy for our mom insecurities to get the best of us.
However, we are capable of so much more, and quite honestly, our kids deserve for us to change our perspective. I think it’s time that we stop focusing on what we aren’t doing well enough, or aren’t gifted in, and use that energy instead to do two things.
First, we need to recognize the things that make us awesome moms. We need to take an inventory of the things we do well, the things that come naturally to us. We need to give ourselves more credit, and use our God given strengths to develop and love our kids in a way that no one else can. We need to be confident.
Second, instead of feeling inferior to other moms when we realize they have different strengths than us, wouldn’t it be empowering if instead we took the time to acknowledge and affirm them? And then what if we took it a step further and were willing to humble ourselves and even learn from each other, so that we can constantly be refining our mom skills? What if we took the opportunity to grow from one another’s experiences, and made motherhood a collective effort?
We don’t need to walk through mom life alone, hoping we’re doing it “good enough”. You are a GREAT mom, and so is that mom you follow on Instagram who seems like she always has things under control. We’re all great in our own way. We’ve just been given different strengths.
I personally love social media and the online community. Having lots of little kids who are still on nap schedules and have early bedtimes, it’s been an amazing way for me to connect with other moms while I’m stuck at home during these early years that can oftentimes feel isolating.
I do think though, that as moms we have the ability to continue to make Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and all the other social media communities a bit more “community like” instead of logging in only to feel subpar and more isolated.
So, I’d like to propose a little challenge to you that I’m calling “Affirm A Mom.” Whether you’re a mom yourself or not, we all have people who come to mind when we think of women who are “great moms”. Maybe it’s your own mom, maybe it’s a friend of yours, maybe it’s your cousin, or aunt, or sister, or maybe it’s the woman who you’ve followed on Facebook for a while who’s always intimidated you. Whoever those people are, will you do something that possibly feels uncomfortable? Will you take the time to affirm them and encourage them and tell them that they’re people you respect? Will you point out their strengths?
Like me, maybe you’re not a “born teacher” so you’re in awe of moms who are always coming up with ways to creatively teach their children. Tell them how awesome they are! Maybe you love how your friend has the amazing ability to keep her house organized amongst the chaos. Maybe you love how your sister has supernatural patience. Whatever it is, let’s take the time to affirm each other and call out our strengths!
It’s up to you whether you’d like to do it publicly or privately. If you choose to do a shout out on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, I’d love for all of us to use this hashtag: #affirmamom
I think it’d be so neat to click on that hashtag and be encouraged by all the ways we are the best moms possible for our kids.
YOU are beautiful and talented, and deserve to feel like it!
I share many more “real life” mom moments on Facebook and Instagram. I’d love for you to follow along on our crazy, not perfect, incredible journey. Follow me on Instagram: (@amberkuiper) and on Facebook (Mommy’s Me Time).