Sneaky Mama Drama
Motherhood is filled with unpredictability. On any given moment anything can happen filling your hours and days with a dynamic range of experiences and emotions. Sweet moments filled with mundane tasks, happiness, discovery, laughter, tears, gross messes and some downright embarrassing moments. The worst of all, in my opinion--fellow mother judgement and the drama it can spark. For me this is the worst as it typically comes at you way outta left field when you are least prepared or ready to face it. You are just trying your hardest to keep everyone’s needs met, and happy while accomplishing a goal. My goal on this particular occasion was attending church on any other typical Sunday with my kids, returning home with even the tiniest bit of peace, understanding and renewed patience.
We arrived just as the services were starting, we quickly found our seats and were settled quickly. Now for those of you who frequent church with small children know this is one of those highly unpredictable outings. Some days they are sweet and reverent, while others are a constant battle to keep those little bodies still and listening. On this particular Sunday it was my toddler’s day to give into his running impulses and make a run for it right in the middle of the message being shared. Instinctively I followed as reverently as possible trying to wrangle him before he got too far. This left my oldest two sitting alone for a little less than two minutes--my husband happened to be out of town for business, of course. I returned to what seemed like two kids behaving themselves, trying not to burst into a fit of giggles. I was able to keep everyone occupied with their church related silent books and snacks and before long the messages shared were concluded.
At this point in the morning I am feeling a little accomplished at mitigating what could have been a tricky situation without much fuss. As we were leaving the Chapel and on our way to the children’s sunday school classrooms, a friendly sister I had never met before approached me. She began by complimenting me on my cute kids and how she was eager to meet me and share with me what transpired in that small space in time when I was out of the room chasing after my toddler. In the most jovial and animated way she then recounted how apparently my oldest two were silently teasing and elbowing each other while I was gone. I was shocked as to how excited she was to deliver a bad report of my kids. As I stood there listening as politely as possible I could feel myself starting to feel angry and defensive. I couldn’t believe that she was being so critical of them and their behavior in a moment of lapsed supervision. I then started to feel as if she was judging me as a mother within the context of two minutes. I found myself trying to suppress a laugh as I realized I didn’t even know her much less how silly this whole situation was. I quickly remembered the adage..”It takes a village to raise a child,” and thanked her for pointing out we had some little things to work on as a family during church and made my way to sunday school.
Was this infuriating deep down? Yes! Was I slightly embarrassed at first and wanted to politely remind her to mind her own business? Absolutely! I knew deep down that causing a scene and getting all defensive with her was obsolete, and that the setting was nowhere near appropriate to start some irrelevant drama. I am not sure why motherhood conjures up unsolicited advice from strangers. Maybe they mean well but the delivery lacks tact, only to leave us feeling insecure, frustrated and judged. Why is it that in those moments when we see other fellow mothers we are so quick to judge and silently walk away grateful it’s not us instead of offering help? When did the saying “ if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all” go out of daily use? I’m not sure if with the ease and availability of social media we have become more prone as a society to offer unsolicited, unkind criticism so freely without considering how it might make another feel, or the impact it may have on them.
I am not perfect--far from it actually. I know I have much to learn as wife and mother and that my personal struggles are hard because they are my own to bear and learn from. This is not a season in life where I have time for focusing on what others are doing and judging them for it. I am going to advocate for my children and stand up for what I feel is right at times. But engaging in petty arguments and silly drama is something I simply don’t have time for or want in my life. Childhood is fleeting and the last thing I want to do is waste it on unimportant confrontations that only damage relationships. I am going to strive to be more kind, more understanding, and more empathetic towards all mothers. I like to think we are all doing the best we can with what we have while loving our children unconditionally. I encourage us all to uplift, help, and reassure one another and diminish the fault finding and leave the drama as a thing of decades past. Let us find refuge in motherhood! Just remember you are doing better than you know.
Much Love Ladies,