As my tired foot caught the rock and I realized I was going to fall, I thought I was having the hardest day of my life.
My 60+ pound pack slammed into my back as I hit the ground. It was day 3 of a two week backpacking trip. As I rolled out from under the pack like a strangely de-shelled turtle, my classmates lifted me up and put my pack back on. I was not the first to fall that day.
For those first 3 days we’d walked silently with a few conversations breaking our labored breathing. But as we started to trek on, the spunky girl in pink belted out:
“We’re leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when we’ll be back again.” From that moment on we sang all the time. Country, Hymns, Pop, Folk, and even our own homespun Rap.
The constant refrain was our way of encouraging one another, but it made a difference for everyone we encountered. Other hikers heard us before they saw us, they’d come around the corner smiling and some even sang along.
What should Be our Mom Refrain?
How can we speak words that encourage? What would they sound like?
That third day of the backpacking trip, it wasn’t my hardest day. The backpacking trip was not the hardest two weeks of my life. Motherhood so far has been that hard season and had the hardest days.
What if you and I rallied around each other to help us each finish this motherhood journey?
What if we said things like:
“I’ve been there?”
“Can I help you?”
“It’s worth it, keep at it.”
“My kids did that too.”
“You’re a great mom.”
“If you’re wondering if you’re a bad mom, then you’re probably a great mom.”
“It’s okay that your house is messy, so is mine.”
“Don’t compare your worst day to someone else’s highlight reel.”
“It’s going to be okay.”
“Parenting is hard work.”
A little challenge for you: Try to randomly encourage one mom each day.
Say to the lady in the grocery store: “My kid used to throw fits in the store too. It’s okay.”
Call your own mom and say “Thank you.”
Text your friend a picture of something that’s not on your highlight reel. Better yet, put it on Facebook to encourage a whole pile of moms.
Invite a friend who is having a rough day over for dinner spontaneously and don’t clean up the house beforehand. In fact, serve grilled cheese for dinner.
Together we can create a culture of encouragement rather than comparison. We can build one another up with just a few words.
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