Moms: Go Ahead, Use the “h” Word

Hang on to your pony tails, friends. This mama needs to preach.

A week ago, I came across a blog post entitled, “Stop Saying Being a Mom is Hard” which was shared on Facebook. As a mom who has blogged frequently about why it’s not only ok but healthy to be honest as a mom about your struggles and failures, I was intrigued by the title. I clicked on the link and hoped, desperately, that the title was simply a writer’s trick to lure you into a post in which she gave permission to all moms to be honest.

Not quite.

The author laid out a very beautifully written argument about how motherhood isn’t easy, how it’s all about working diligently for your children and your family and how we mothers need to focus on the blessings and not allow ourselves to get stuck in a rut of negativity. She also encouraged moms to pray and reach out to friends. I really loved 98 percent of her article and would have shared it with my friends if it wasn’t for the little 2 percent in which she said we mothers should stop saying being a mom is hard.

I read through the comments looking for moms who would protest, and there were plenty. The author held strongly to her point, though, and said she chose to write the post after she saw too many of her friends complaining about motherhood on Facebook.

Here is my argument: saying something is hard is not the same thing as complaining, and if we don’t allow ourselves to be honest, we risk having a society in which we all plaster on fake smiles and tell each other everything is “fine” because we are too afraid of being judged by fellow mothers.

Complaining about how hard your kids and life are on social media is one thing. I have done it plenty of times, and I can see how an overwhelming Facebook newsfeed of ranting mothers who are struggling through potty training, runaway kids at the grocery store or children who cut their own hair while a parent is distracted can be discouraging.

If these types of rants and posts are fostering a culture of negativity where mothers are surrounded by other mothers who do nothing but complain, we will all be drained and too overwhelmed to better ourselves as mothers.

Is this something we as a community of mothers should work on? Absolutely. I am so grateful for my life and my children (as I know you are, too). Getting caught up in the negatives to the point where we can no longer see the gifts we have is working against us being the best moms and daughters of our God.

However, I absolutely believe we need to maintain a culture of honesty with one another. If not, we will have social media filled with nothing but pictures of magazine-worthy, toy-free living rooms, photos of homemade reindeer soap and stories about our children doing nothing but sharing and hugging one another all day. And who knows how painful our face-to-face interactions would be when no one felt allowed to say anything other than how much they loved being a mom. This is a recipe for fostering shame, guilt and secretiveness between mothers who need to support one another.

The author also suggested in the comment section to remember moms who have lost their children or those dealing with infertility. As someone who battled for a long while with infertility and wanting a family, I can respect this. We all need to be mindful of our words, status updates and Tweets, thinking of each one through a different filter before sharing. There are moms and women who would give the world to be in our shoes, and we need to be aware of this daily. We are truly, truly blessed to have children to hold and hug each day.

However, having an attitude of gratefulness and maintaining some restraint in the complaint department on social media are NOT the same thing as not being real with each other.

We have to find a balance, moms, and I believe this balance includes permission to say, “Man, this mom thing is hard,” without judgment.

Should we think before we complain mercilessly on social media? Yes.

Should we look for the joy in our lives and work toward feeling grateful every day? Yes.

Should we encourage one another down this wild journey called motherhood every step of the way? Absolutely.

Along the journey of accomplishing these tasks, we should give one another permission to say, “Being a mom is hard.”

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8 thoughts on “Moms: Go Ahead, Use the “h” Word

  1. I agree, I appreciate reading honest writing by other moms, and hope I contribute to that conversation, too.

  2. I agree. Being honest means it IS HARD. Any mom who says motherhood is rainbows and unicorns and everything they wanted and hoped it could be…well, they have their blinders on. Motherhood is tough, frustrating, and sometimes cry-worthy. But it is also the best job in the world. I love being a mom, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have moments/days where I want to go back in time 8 years to the quietness that was my life. I struggle with this on my blog because I know there are many who are still waiting for their turn and I don’t want to seem ungrateful for my children…maybe I need to be more honest on my blog too. Thanks for posting this!

    • It’s definitely a balance, isn’t it? Honesty is helpful in so many ways, and I think keeping the attitude of gratitude as a running theme throughout will help your readers to know you are just sharing and not complaining. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Read your article regarding mine. Thanks for sharing it and getting the word out that we need to stop complaining. Stop sharing? no. Stop being real? no. Stop being honest? no. But, the purpose and the heart behind it as well as the reflection on Christ and what it says to our children….we need to consider that. After all, the world tells so many, go ahead, do what you want with your body and get rid of that baby because being a Mom is hard. We need to counter that and say LIFE is hard. In my article, I do share that and a few other things. I do appreciate your comments and sharing the post. I have received a ton of emails and messages from Moms who are so tired of Moms being so negative on the internet and at home in front of their children, tearing them down. Perhaps my article will help create a paradigm shift where mothers realize our words are powerful. We speak life or death with them. Many blessings to you and to all women who are blessed to be called Mom. ( i’ve experienced infertility and I’ve lost a child as well as my own Mother and recently my Mother in Law….more to be written about that soon)

    • Thank you SO much for your comments. This is what I love about blogging and sharing opinions with mature, Christian women. We can be respectful and share ideas and maintain an attitude of kindness. I’m with you–maybe between our two posts and others by moms who are noticing too much negativity out there, we can help shift the paradigm away from complaining and more toward honesty. I would be lying if I didn’t say I get frustrated with my Facebook newsfeed, too. I don’t think many moms notice a trend in their updates sometimes. You are right–we are reflecting Christ in our words and actions. I look forward to following your blog and learning from you! Many blessings to you, too!! Here’s to honesty and friendship between moms everywhere. 🙂

      • Yes, it is nice to have a good discussion. I always steer clear of blogging about articles others write – and pointing them out. I realize we all have our own opinions and God has each of us on a journey, we are all learning. Over the years,I have learned that words can hurt and really, my opinion doesn’t matter. How I make others feel and look towards Christ does matter. I’m thankful you appreciated 98% of the post. The 2% is what got you thinking, though. Last night, I posted a follow up and there will be more to come. I would have commented on your post where you published your entire thoughts on my blog post, but could not and I didn’t want to give my address just so I could. Here is the follow up post (below). Blessings to you and your family. My husband is a twin and my Mom was a twin. I know God will carry you through the days where your arms feel overwhelmed, just remember – In our Weakness, we seek His strength and our actions/words speak our heart to our children. Keep It Real – but focused on His Glory.

        http://momsmustardseeds.com/2014/03/being-a-mom-isnt-hard/

      • Hi Rebecca–I have now posted my content here (I have to wait 24 hours after my blog runs on the Greeley Moms page before I put it on my personal blog), and I removed the link to your post. My intention was never to be hurtful in anyway. I honestly thought I was providing my readers with your side of the story so they could form their own opinion.
        Please know that I believe you and I have very similar philosophies when it comes to being a mom. I believe in joyful, Christ-centered mothering and have written extensively on my blog about how to find joy through being a mother and serving God. I think you and I only differ on one small, tiny detail: you think it’s ok to say life is hard, and I think it’s ok to say being a mom is hard. I’d like to just agree to disagree and leave it at that. We share so many views and can help mothers through our platforms as bloggers, and I am not trying to create a conflict but simply encourage moms as you are doing, too.
        Thank you for the link to your follow up post. Again, I agree with you on most everything except the one miniscule detail of how to use the word hard. I was raised by Godly women and mentored by Godly grandmothers, a Godly mother and a large group of amazing Godly women at my church. I’m not quite sure what to make of your reference to the scripture in Titus, but I know you meant it in a positive way to remind us all to mentor each other. I believe I can make my point and live my mothering life in a way which brings glory to God, and I believe you can do the same.
        Thank you for your blessings to my family, and I extend the same to yours. If you’d like to link to my post to give your readers an idea of what is going on, I’m perfectly ok with that.
        Again, my apologies on linking to your content. I am sorry if that came across as hurtful as that was not my intention.
        Hopefully through our dialogue and blogging we can bring conversation and awareness to joyful, Christ-centered mothering and how it may look slightly different but can all be positive and encouraging.
        Melissa

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