Love One Another-Call it a Tangent

Today was supposed to be about Casual Bloggers Conference. I had it all planned. Ready to go. 
But... my thoughts have been inundated with something different, a tangent.

It doesn't matter if I am dealing with mothers in class or in the community. There are a few things that are always the same.
  • As mother's we are all trying to do the best job we know how. 
  • Mom's look to other mother's for support, advice, and as examples.
  • It can be intimidating to see a mother that appears to "to have it all together."
  • Being a mom can be isolating and scary
  • Moms put a lot of pressure on themselves
So...Why do mother's judge one another and their parenting?

For example. I have a dear friend who just had a new baby about 6 weeks ago. When she had her baby she wanted to breast feed. She did all in her power to try and nurse. She tried so hard that she was pumping blood instead of milk. It was not meant to be. You should have heard what other mother's had to say to her. "You just don't want to get up in the middle of the night, hahaha", "a breastfed baby is a healthy baby", "breastfeeding was the best decision I have ever made", "I just read a study that said breastfed babies do better in school, too bad it didn't work for you."

I was with her for most of these comments. These comments came from women who were supposed to be experienced, supposed to give encouragement and provide wisdom and strength. The comments made her feel like a bad mom.

I remember a particular instance where I dealt with this. I recently had a student (she had two children) who liked to ask me personal questions during class discussion. One day when we were talking about families and both parents working she raised her hand. I called on her and she asked me, "how do you deal with the guilt of not being home with your children because you teach?"

Funny, I didn't know I had guilt to deal with. This really bothered me for about a week. Was I making the wrong decision for my family? Was I a bad mom? I started to doubt ALL my motherly decisions. I talked to my husband about it and he reassured me that the 6 hours a week I spent teaching helped make our family stronger not weaker. He also exaggerated A LOT and told me I was the best mom and wife on the planet. I like it when he exaggerates. :)

Just like my friend, I was very offended by what felt like a personal attack, not on me as a professor, but on me as a Mother. The job I care most about. It's rare to have someone tell you you're a good mom. That's why we get so defensive. We are already insecure about the job we are trying to do. 

So... lets support one another and ourselves.  

We can't take suggestions and criticism personally. Most of the time other mother's don't mean to be offensive. A mother of six has a lot of experience. Just because she shares her wisdom with me, doesn't mean that she is saying I am a bad mom. Give them the benefit of the doubt, they are trying to help. Usually they are so excited because something worked for them, they just want to share. 

Sometimes we just need to listen. As mothers and women we want to know that someone else understands and can relate. Women don't always need a solution, but they do need to feel understood. 

Surround yourself with supportive women.

Avoid making comparisons. It won't do any good. We are all different. That is the beauty of it. Our families are different, our children are different, our situations are different. 

Tell other mom's they are doing a good job. These are like magic words. We all need to hear them. 

Be confident in your motherhood. We are all doing a great job. We are trying our hardest. We are sacrificing and serving and praying for the strength and wisdom we need to raise our children. We are not perfect, but our love for our children is. That love will carry us through anything. 

Love One Another. Always.


P.S. Thank you for all the love and support you share on Family Volley. Tears are shed because of your kindness. If I could, I would have put all your pictures at the top of this post. To represent the women that support and strengthen me. We are all in this together. (Enter High School Musical Dancers) 


  1. Great post! I agree completely, and it breaks my heart when a new mommy feels like a failure because she can't breastfeed. Or if she has an epidural, or a C-section, or whatever might be different from the "book" or the ward. Motherhood is a marathon, and not a sprint. Let's be gentle and kind with one another, and allow each other to make decisions confidently. I don't know very many mothers who are actively trying to fail.

  2. Thanks for this post! Being a Mom is hard work...a refiners fire! Its complicated, challenging, and rewarding all at the same time! I think we are all, in our own way, too hard on ourselves. It is refreshing when there is someone you can relate too and gain perspective from. I am surrounded by Mothers who seem to have it all together. It is difficult sometimes. One thing that gets me through is remembering that I am a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father who trusts me to do my best! I think being open and honest with other Mothers can be a source of strength to us all. Each of us is fighting some kind of a battle. When we join together we can be strong!

  3. I love that in my current ward, most of the jugements are absent. I have to work and support my husband while he goes to school. I feel guilty, but I know my time will come; and I know the Lord understands my faily's situation. I have a hard time breastfeeding. At about sis months it starts to fizzle out. With Asher I stressed and worried and it got worse. With Abbie, I just said I refuse to put myself through that again. When it started to fizzle, I stopped and I knew that I had done my best. It is interesting that when we are judging, we are "in the box" I am guilty of comparing and judging, but as I improve, I realize that we each have our own trials and situations we have to deal with. If I am so focused on others and their supposed shortcomings, I am not strengthening myself for my family. It is blogs like this that help me realize it is okay, and we all have the opportunity to learn:) Thanks

  4. I meant to say judgements in that first line, not jugements:) and disregard anything else spelled wrong.

  5. Well said.
    I just had someone in the grocery line make my little guy happy as he's having a meltdown, and then tell me I'm doing great. I need to tell more moms how great they are doing. It's hard.
    I have work guilt. And so many other guilts, but just do what has to be done for now.
    Thanks for your great blog!

  6. Why is it that women are so mean to each other? I just don't get it. Why can't we just be supportive of one another?

    When my second son was born I had undiagnosed, untreated post-partum depression. For two full months I was feeding my son blood instead of milk and I literally screamed every time he latched on. This led to feelings of resentment, and dare I say it, hatred towards my CHILD. So tell your friend that quitting nursing was the absolute right choice. Because my second son (who is 3 1/2 now) and I still have issues, and probably always will, because of those feelings in the beginning. If nursing isn't working, IT'S OKAY TO QUIT. I wish someone had told me that.

  7. Thank you for posting this. My sister had the exact same experience with her first child, and she couldn't believe the mean comments other women made to her. As I'm now expecting my first child, I'm carrying forward with her experience in mind - and something someone told her that she passed along to me: "YOU are the best parent for your own child. No one can be the mom your child needs. Only you." Trying to keep that in mind as I face the future.

    Thank you for your blog. I love it. Truly.

  8. I was there that day, and I think I was just as offended! I think that every situation is different, and if that is what works for you, it should be your decision.
    Personally I am SOO glad you made the decision to teach. As a student, your class changed my life, and the lives of many others I'm sure.

    Thank you!
    And thank you for writing, I always look forward to reading your wonderful advice and inspiration.

  9. I'm with Jaicy on this one! You're amazing Heather. Your class opened my eyes to so many professional avenues and family principles. We owe you so much. I'm so glad that student didn't sway your decision to teach. And every student you ever have should know that your job as mother is your top priority. You've made that clear. Keep it up!

  10. Heather, I have had these same thoughts and feelings about how thoughtless women can be to other women. As a therapist, I've worked with countless women who have struggled as a direct result of these kind of comments. I hope I have never been the person to offend with an offhand comment. I pray I am mindful and thoughtful when I talk with others, especially women. When we see one another as family, we can take out the competition, and the judgments and just love one another. If we could all just get there...


  11. Thank you for a wonderful post - I've been reading your blog for the past couple of months and I love it! I don't always have time to comment, sorry. I really needed to hear this right now.


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