Build Her Up.

Is it just me, or does the competition among women drive anyone else crazy?

I remember in high school the competition among girls for all those typical things — popularity, The Boy, the best clothes, etc. I was relived when I went to a super geeky college where everyone was so focused on studies that they could have cared less about popularity, The Boy, the best clothes, etc. Life was good again.

Then I had kids. Enter mom-petition.

How many times have we moms been victims (or at times, instigators…) of innuendoes designed to make someone else feel less than us — whether it’s how long we nursed our child or at what age our child reached which milestone; making someone feel bad about sending or not sending their child to preschool or daycare, or making a stay-at-home mom feel as though she’s worthless or a working mom feel as though she must not love her kids as much as you do for staying at home. We secretly delight when it is another mom admitting fault or failure because it makes us feel better about ourselves.

We’re all on the same team, and yet it seems as though we’re tearing each other down. We don’t need to make each other feel small — we have Pinterest for that.

Last week at my adoption group, when it came to my turn to give my “update”, there were a lot of concerns expressed about how tired I looked (among other things, Baby Boy had a particularly severe and long night terror the night before, followed by waking up at 5:30 that morning). I acknowledged defeat, admitted that I was tired and a bit of an anxious wreck. So many friends spoke up in support, giving me words of encouragement, telling me that they believed in me and for me — even if I didn’t believe in myself at the time. As our group came to a close and I was packing up my things, one friend came over to me and said:

Carly, you’re doing a really good job.

If she had left it at that, I probably would have thought this was a pity comment intended to make me feel better because clearly, I was not doing a good job. My son was losing weight again after a bad bout with formula, my house was a disaster, I hadn’t showered in four days and despite the fact that I have fairly easy-to-manage kids (and only two of them), I was complaining about being tired.

But this friend went on to list all the reasons why I was doing a good job and helped me to see the good in myself. I walked out of group feeling renewed energy to go on with the day and letting go of the guilt that had been weighing me down because I felt BUILT UP.

This friend blessed me with her words of encouragement. She didn’t relish the fact that I was having a rough week or make some type of thinly veiled innuendo designed to show me what a great mom she was and how much I was failing. She was genuinely seeking to make me feel better and genuinely giving selfless praise.

Moms — I challenge you today to go bless another mom today by building her up. Tell her what she’s doing right, and be specific! Celebrate and encourage your sister. Help her see the beauty and strength in herself. Lift her up in prayer.

You have no idea how much your words may truly make a difference in her day.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

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