What are you planning to do for Thanksgiving? When first considering the question, you might begin to list the restrictions and all the things you won’t be able to do. It’s fair to lament, and maybe even mope, about the broken traditions and how annual family gatherings on this day will be relegated to FaceTime, […]
The truth is that another mom’s abilities have nothing to do with your value as a mom. The mom that you are idealizing may not have the same struggles as you, but she does struggle. I bet she also has a mom that she admires and wishes she could be more like. No matter how good you are at your brand of motherhood, you will always sit in the darkness of shame when you put your hope and identity in motherhood instead of God.
Motherhood is never just a walk in the park—although it may involve an inordinate number of literal walks in the park. It’s tough, as Motherly’ s recent survey results confirmed, showing 97 percent of Millennial moms feel burned out and 74 percent of moms feel mentally fatigued since the pandemic began. 89 percent of moms don’t feel the support from society or others. Despite the socially distant challenges moms are facing, there are four ways moms can support each other during this unpredictable time:
Recount God’s faithfulness.
Share both little and significant ways you see God is walking with you through these challenges: maybe you made it through an entire day without growing angry with your kids, or your youngest is finally potty trained, or your kids slept in late so you could have an extended time in God’s Word. Celebrate the small moment faithfulness with your mom friends. Sharing God’s faithfulness helps your mom friend identify where God has been faithful to her too.
Remind your friends you are thinking of them.
Grab some cuttings from your garden, or the $4 bouquet from your local grocery. Create a thoughtful gift basket or drop off her favorite coffee drink. It’s also the perfect excuse to get one for yourself!
Identify her growth.
God is using this season to sanctify us, but it can be hard to see how we’re growing in the midst of it. Encourage your friend by identifying a way you see that God is growing her in holiness. Consider how she is exhibiting one of the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
Chat about something other than the pandemic.
Commit to talk about some light-hearted things – maybe fashion, a new book, a favorite new recipe or show you have discovered. Create an atmosphere that reminds you that your identity exists beyond your experience in the pandemic.
Be empathetic to her opinions.
You’re probably not going to agree with your friend about every choice you make during the pandemic, but because you know her decisions come from loving her family, you can empathize with her choices instead of judging them. Being willing to admit that no one has all the right answers will help keep your friendship close, no matter your differences.
In a society that doesn’t do enough to support moms, we can reach out and support each other, one friendship at a time. Which of these steps could you take today, to come alongside a friend as she works hard at motherhood.
Maggie Combs is the author of Motherhood Without All the Rules: Trading Stressful Standards for Gospel Truths. She loves playing games with her husband and three sons, herding goats on their family farm, and reading young adult literature and mysteries in her free time. Her official web site is www.maggiecombs.com or on Instagram and Facebook as @maggiecombsauthor