Thou shall serve other moms.
Every mom is struggling in some way. Whether it is getting dinner on the table or shoes on kid’s feet. It is a general rule of thumb that if you see a mom wrestling her child while juggling snack containers, jackets and a diaper bag, that you offer to lighten the load. We’re all in this together! So, keep an open eye for ways you can serve other moms and maybe even wipe a nose without being asked.
Thou shall stop complaining.
Okay, so our kids are awful at times. There I said it. But, our momlationships will not last if we spend all our time complaining about how hard motherhood can be. Yes, we feel frustrated with our kids and irritated with our spouse at times. Why? Because we are all in one household struggling to put the other person’s interest above our own when we are bent towards serving ourselves. Play dates are an opportunity to encourage moms to have an “attitude of Christ”—humility, love and sacrifice (see Philippians 2: 1-11).
Next time a mom is complaining about how hard it is to teach her kid to put away his dishes and you want to chime in with a “yea, my little girl is always throwing her plate on the floor” remind your friend how her efforts are never in vain.
If she can be comforted knowing her seeds of patience demonstrate God’s patience; then truly we will begin to sow fruit in our parenting and in our friendships.
The exception: Everyone deserves a rant sometimes with a chorus of voices saying “that is so difficult! You need—no deserve– a pint of your favorite ice cream and a binge-worthy reality show tonight while your husband does bath time.” But trust me, complaining will not take you very far. It will grow stale and you will wonder why your momlationship has turned dry and crusty.
Thou shall include other moms.
Let’s all agree that we want less scary mom cliques! Nobody likes to be on the outside of a group of moms circled up chatting and laughing. It makes us feel “less than” and alone in an already isolating role. So, right now, just whisper to yourself “there is always room for more” and commit to welcoming in new women. Be the change…or something motivational like that.
Thou shall remember your child is not perfect.
So, the neighbor kid just pushed yours down again and you feel your dragon-mom-side rising up in you! Your child would NEVER do that. Your child is so much better than their child. You obviously know how to get your kid to listen and behave unlike that other mom (don’t pretend you haven’t gone home and written this in your diary while you snuggle up with your #1 mom trophy). But a few moments later, your child is doing the same thing. Your child is NOT a saint. Shame washes over you as reality sinks in that your child is not perfect.
Kids are going to push back, throw things and bite one another. If you feel embarrassed when your kid acts unjustly towards another kid (steals their toy or some other play date taboo) remember that your friend has felt the same in similar situations. Be forgiving. Be sympathetic. Diffuse the tense situation with care and instruction. This is an opportunity for your kids to learn how to work through conflict. It is not an opportunity to shame the other mom while shooting her with flaming darts from your “dragon” eyes.
Thou shall promise to never be “right.”
Here is the deal, rarely any of us know 100% what we are doing. We can read all the parenting books, listen to all the mom podcasts and try a variety of methods to create perfect angels and we will still have bad days. The only thing we have as our confidence is the Holy Spirit directing us and the saving truth of Jesus offering us grace. We will make mistakes, we will respond in ways we aren’t proud of, and we will promise to be all organic and then feed our kids Cheetos a week later.
Give other moms grace, stay open-minded when they potty train differently than you, and remind them that God specifically created and equipped them to be the momma of their children. They can do THIS and you are here to cheer them on!