No More Mom Labels!
This blog post has been rolling around in my head for a few days. A group of friends and I are doing a bible study, and in it, it talks about “runaway words”. Runaway words are “misguided thoughts that can lead to flawed perceptions that in turn can become dangerous realities.” It then asks you to list some runaway words that make up your negative inside chatter. In other words, the negative things you think about yourself, or think others may think about you.
Then, I read what I had written and I realized, “Wow, those words make me seem awful; like someone who shouldn’t even be around children, much less have five of her own!” It’s amazing how self destructive and demeaning we can be to OURSELVES. The bible study warns that having an inside dialogue like this can develop into reality if it is left unchallenged.
This got me thinking about the labels that moms put on themselves, and on other moms. Labels like: working mom, stay at home mom, breastfeeding mom, formula feeding mom, vaccinating mom, vax free mom, crunchy mom, granola mom, green mom, cloth diaper mom, babywearing mom, married mom, single mom, home schooling mom, (insert your religion here) mom, special needs mom, foster mom, preppy mom, athletic mom, etc etc. The list goes on and on. These labels don't seem negative, but do they have the potential to be?
Why do we do this? Are we running some sort of contest I don’t know about? Do we give ourselves these labels to make ourselves feel superior to other moms, or to compare ourselves to them?
Can I just be a Mom? A regular, plain, trying-the-best-I-can-Mom. I am a loving mom and I only want the best for my children, but I’m not perfect, and I am going to stop beating myself up about it NOW. I don’t care if Susie Q down the street is making her kids’ sandwiches in the shape of little dinosaurs with cheese saddles and carrot stick men. I am not going to do that and I’m not going to feel guilty about it either! My house is not squeaky clean and it’s not going to be for at least another 18 years. It’s going to have a bathroom used by little boys, dog footprints on the floor, a sticky keyboard, dirty laundry, muddy soccer cleats, chewed up crayons, dirty dishes, spilled food in the fridge, and stained upholstery. But that’s OK, because I won’t be lying on my death bed one day wishing my house had been cleaner, I had watched more TV, I had impressed more friends, or I had had more money. I won’t remember the thousands of meals I had prepared, but I will remember the faces of my sweet children around the table as we ate together. In the words of my 3 year old at meal time, “Everybody! Let’s eat like a family!” Yes, let’s.
From now on, I’m just going to be me, a mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend. The lady with the camera, the mother playing with her kids, the wife hugging her husband, the woman spending time with her best friends, the daughter calling her mom. Just call me … Sarah. Don’t label me, because I’m not going to.
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