Since last fall I've been blessed to be able to attend a Mom's group (Mom's Connect) at our church. We meet every other week for 90 minutes. At the start of each session we usually go around our table and introduce ourselves, list our children and their ages and then share on a topic that is given to us. Two or three meetings ago the topic to share on was to give a "Mom win" you experienced in the past week.
Now most times the topic presented usually fosters so many thoughts for people that it's hard to narrow down what you want to share but on this particular day, at least at my table, we all kind of looked at each other and chuckled. We chuckled because we were like "Hmmmm.....a win?" The truth is as Moms we are so hard on ourselves that if the topic was "Mom fail" we would have all most likely had so many examples we wouldn't know how to choose.
The reality is had we have shared a Mom fail our audience would have listened, related to and then encouraged to not see it as a fail. Why? Well because most of us realize (I say most because I'm discounting all the trolls out there that like to tear others down rather then build them up. The ones who live on social media rather than under a bridge like their predecessors.) that majority of parents make choices with the best of intentions. When making decisions, whether they are long thought over, or those split-decisions that need to be made in the moment, we are making them out of love, out of what we really think is best.
This is not to say that there are times we reflect back and realize that it wasn't the best decision or wish we could have a do over (I can think of at least 2 situations today that I would like a do over on and it's not even 4:00), but in the moment that decision was made, or that action was, or wasn't taken, it was with the best of intentions. The majority of us don't want to hurt our children or push them down the wrong path, and really most of the time we have a win, but we remember the fail.
On this day, more than the wins that the Mom's shared at my table (which were all truly wins regardless of size) I was more connected in that most of us could think of fail after fail before we could think of a win. While I know some of the ladies in my group better than others I do know that all of the Mom's in this group love their children, love their families and love the Lord. I have no doubt these women have win after win. I have no doubt these women are strong and well intended in their lives. As I've thought about this day many times since I appreciated these Mom's even more. While I think it's time for all of us Moms to give ourselves a break and recognizing the amazing things we do everyday, regardless of size.
When we moved here two years ago we left our village behind. Our family that could easily be there to help us out anytime we needed, or that we could just hang out with and enjoy the built in playgroup that was there when we all got together. My girlfriends that I saw regularly and could talk, cry and laugh with about all this life stuff. ALL. GONE. I don't regret our move, I really don't. We really love it here, and there are days when I'm really proud that we are doing this on our own, as real life self-sufficient adults (maybe too much sometimes but that stems from my "I need to know I can do everything on my own, by myself!" mentality, which isn't as awesome as it sounds...hah!). All that to say that sometimes you feel like you are just on an island, which isn't always the best place to be. We have been fortunate to connect with some great people here and have been able to start and form a new village. Being in the group at church as helped me to remember that I do need that village.
A few weeks ago when we were all struggling to find that "Mom win", in that moment, I appreciated most that if I'm looking, and listening, at these amazing Godly women and mothers and I'm feeling the exact things they are, then I'm doing something right! That realization was, for me, a huge win! It was also a reminder that I don't live on an island and that no matter where we go we can always find a village.
Isaiah 41;10 says:
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.