Cannibal Moms

Cannibal Moms

Moms, why are we turning on each other? We are this tribe of strong, beautiful, unique, intelligent women, and we’re slaying and roasting our own. We should be the most connected, encouraging group in the world because–hello–we’re women. We go to the bathroom together. We talk about everything–and I do mean everything–together. We count down the days until the next Girls Night Out.

So, why do we turn on each other and start bashing each other’s decisions? C-section vs regular? Epidural vs drug-Free? Cloth diapers vs disposable? Breastfed vs formula fed? Paci vs no paci? Homemade baby food vs store-bought? Private school vs public school vs homeschool? Not to mention all the different options with discipline. And those are just from the first five years.

We get so caught up in these debates that we’ve lost touch with the gift we’ve been given. The gift of the village. Thank goodness God didn’t ask us to be mothers on an island. He gave us each other. He gave us a village. And He made us unique with a specific set of circumstances and a special way of living out our common calling–to parent these children to know and love God.

We all fall into this trap, but most of the time we’re very subtle–you might say passive-aggressive. It’s a little nod, a link to some article on Facebook and the phrase we’ve all said before, “I could never do that.” Maybe our heart is in the right place and we don’t say it out of malice, but let’s be a little more considerate. Because the truth is if God calls you to do something you absolutely CAN do it. And God calls each mom to different things, and we have to be okay that what God calls one mom to do He might not call another mom to do. Not everything is a right and wrong decision like we often make it out to be. Sometimes, it’s a listen to the Holy Spirit and find my best yes decision.

I’m ridiculously grateful for my best friend for a million different reasons, but one of them is that God has called us to make some different decisions as moms. And I love watching her be a mom because she is simply amazing. During our five years of parenting, I have seen that most of our struggles as moms are shared. There are a few unique to our particular situations, but the vast majority come just from being two imperfect moms trying to raise imperfect kids to love a perfect God and a broken world. As moms, we have so much more in common than we have different. But those differences don’t make us weaker. They make us stronger, more vibrant, more beautiful.

Instead of giving that look or posting that link or saying, “I could never do that,” let’s use that same amount of energy to encourage a mom today. Let’s use our words to build each other up instead of eating each other for dinner. I’m proud of you. Keep going. You can do it. You’re amazing. Our tribe of moms is pretty special. Let’s celebrate each other today.

My #1

My #1

elissa and mattA few weeks ago after my Saturday run, I came around the sidewalk curve heading into our cove. I was exhausted and disgustingly sweaty because August in Memphis means heat and humidity to the nth degree. In my training for the marathon, I was at the half-way point in distance having just finished 13.1 miles. And as I rounded the corner, I saw my girls, one with her pink princess night gown and some awesome bed head and the other with legs flapping out of sheer excitement. And holding the little one was my husband, my best friend and my #1 fan. He had a pom pom (my big girl did too, of course) waving it wildly in the air. The moment I locked eyes with him, tears welled up.

It was such a literal representation of the way he cheers me on every day, a memory I’ll treasure forever. This morning during my run, I was listening to the podcast of last week’s episode of the Andy Savage Show. As we ended the show, Andy challenged listeners to not let anyone speak more highly of your spouse than you. Not the people at the office, not the people at the gym, not the barista whipping up espressos. No one should speak more highly of Matt than me. This is why it matters that I listen when he tells me about the new client. This is why it matters that I notice how hard he’s been working. This is why it matters that I tell him how good he looks. This is why I kiss him as he walks out the door in the morning and again when he comes in the door every evening.

Matt and I know a little something about fair-weather fans versus real fans. While it’s fun to be a Bama fan now after three national championships in four years (Roll Tide!) this was not the case when we were in school. Real fans are the ones who sit through five overtimes during the Tennessee/Bama game while it is raining cats and dogs (or Smokeys and Elephants)  only to wind up losing the game. Real fans wear crimson and white and anything houndstooth even when you lose to a Div II school. Real fans leave the stadium hoarse no matter what the scoreboard reads.

Being my husband’s biggest fan means encouraging him no matter what. When the preacher said for better or worse, he meant it. It’s easy to tell ourselves, “I’ll encourage him as soon as he encourages me.” Whenever I’m tempted to fall into this trap, I think back to Romans 5:8, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God didn’t wait until we were lovable to love us. He didn’t wait until I got my act together to rescue me.  I’m called to love my husband in the same way. I don’t cheer for him because he’s perfect. I cheer for him because he’s my favorite. Because he’s my team. And because I love him.

A short text, a little note in his work bag, cooking his favorite meal for dinner… it doesn’t have to be big. But sometimes the little things, like coming around the corner to your own personal cheering section, leave the biggest impression.