How many times have you fellow mothers found yourself in a situation where you’re having pleasant small talk with another mom-acquaintance, which usually leads to talk about your kids (story swapping, anectode sharing, general inadvertent gushing) and said mom keeps slipping in comments about how she “really just can’t believe what a wonderful personality little Billy has,” or “how truly, truly lucky she feels, and so honored” to be little Suzy’s mother?
You feel yourself smile and graciously agree, saying something along the lines of, “Yes, they really are so charming,” and , “Yes, you really are so lucky”, when inwardly you are stifling a hearty eye-roll. I mean, come on. Let’s all be real here. Don’t all moms everywhere feel this way?
Don’t we all, deep in our hearts, feel that our children are somehow spectacular?
Now…I get it. I’m treading lightly here. I’m not some cold, cynical, eye-rolling monster who doesn’t want to hear about your cute kid. On the contrary, I think it’s important to share the positive sentiments as much if not more than the negative. After all, parenting is a mixed bag, is it not?
I do however, have a low tolerance for that subtle, passive-aggressive, my-life-is-ever-so-slightly-better-than-yours thing that women can be so good at. You know what I’m talking about? That shift, however subterranean it might be, that lets you know these pleasantries have suddenly taken on an ugly, slightly competitive edge.
Why? What’s the point?
It’s so important to have a circle of people in your life that this is not ever the case with. I am lucky enough to have such women in my life and I value them more and more each passing year. We know and love each other and all our subsequent children.
We can go ahead and just be real with each other. It’s so refreshing to be able to just come out and admit that we, or one of our little darlings are having an “off” day. A bad day. A naughty day, even. (Those happen. You know they do.) There is no judgement, no clicking tongues, and no raised eyebrows.
If you find this quality within your friendships do not let it go. It is pure gold. Invest in it. Nurture it. These relationships need care and effort and honesty and grace– with each other as well as with our children, because as parents aren’t we all just doing the best we know how to do? Aren’t we all trying raise good and decent little humans?
There’s nothing in the world that can completely empty you and gloriously fill you up at the same time quite like parenting can. So let’s all be chums, eh? Let’s be comrades. Let’s be real. Let’s do less competing and more rooting for each other.
* This is Day 21 of a 31 Day series on Keeping It Real. You can find all of the posts in this series here. I hope you follow along and join the conversation! *