Find your people, a current focus in our MOPS International theme this year. Find your village. This is such an integral part of motherhood; all those late nights, days inside with sick kids or leaving kids home to be at work, it can get lonely. Reaching out to fellow moms can help so much, and if you have a local moms group like MOPS that is even better. If you do not have a moms group, start one. Get online with local moms and see if anyone is interested, I bet there are many. Having a fellow mom that gives you an uplift when you need it, an ear when you cannot talk to anyone else or a prayer when you do not have the answers can make all the difference. Sometimes, we can encounter moms that take the faith in a village away – some that can make us feel less.
Recently I was in the grocery store with my three children, let me set the scene. My youngest who is 2 refuses to keep shoes or socks on (even though it is cold and snowy) and tries to wriggle out of all the shopping cart belts, my middle little has a super power of big emotions and usually ends up crying in disappointment when we do not have the time to stop and look at all the Disney Lip Glosses on an end cap, and my oldest is a busy body who wants to touch all the groceries and talk to me about all the Pokemon.
So, there I was standing in the dairy aisle looking to see which organic egg brand was on sale with a 2 year old barefoot and crying because I will not let him stand in the cart, my 5 year old who is crying into my coat because I will not spend $8 on Disney Princess Lip Gloss and my 9 year old talking louder than the cries to see if I know which Pokemon he is talking about. Reader, overwhelmed is an understatement but working on my patience and keeping it cool a fellow mom approaches me. She is smiling, about 10 years my senior and stops at the base of my cart. She proceeds to say “Well, get used to it. It only gets worse before it gets any better. Best of luck!” Proud as punch for the “sage advice” she has just given me, she walks away waving and smiling. I was shocked, here I am alone struggling with my three kids trying to grab a few essentials and this was the what I got. I am sure somewhere there was intent to try to relate to me but sorry ma’am, not today – not in this grocery store, this was not that moment.
This encounter made so thankful for the group of women and moms that I have in my corner, they show me what a true village is. If I had no community of moms and women that I know to be loving, supporting and caring, this experience alone could have enough power to make me doubt I could ever find it. A few takeaways from the experience for me:
1. A kind word always (ALWAYS) comforts more than a harsh one.
2. If you cannot say anything nice, say nothing at all.
3. I want to do better, I want to reach out and be kind to all my fellow mamas out there.
4. The “Golden Rule” always applies, treat others as you want to be treated.
Please know, I have had great, positive encounters in grocery stores, men and women. Some who have played peek a boo with my children, offered them toys from their purses (including one who gave my son a seamstress measuring tape to keep him occupied while I paid) and some who have reached into their pockets and given my children dollar bills. There are good people out there and I am sharing my experience to put hope out there that even though we may have some not so good experiences with fellow moms, we can make the difference.
Uplifting actions will only build communities while negative ones reach up and break them down. Let’s be encouraged, let’s earnestly be the change. I do not want another mom to feel as helpless, hopeless and isolated as I did in that moment. Sprinkle kindness like confetti – let it get everywhere. Find your village, even if it means you have to take the shovel and start by building the foundation. Let’s be a village that lifts one another.
x. earnest mom.
Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. – Proverbs 16:24