Monday, September 28, 2015

Why Sharing Stories Makes All the Difference

Last week I blogged about ending #mommywars. This week I have a story to share that hopefully will convince you to do it.

I was talking with a young mom of two children - one girl and one boy. It was her boy who had had a recent injury. If you have boys too, that perhaps won't come as a surprise. She told how he had been playing and something happened to his arm. He mentioned that it bothered him and she noticed that he was favoring it, but he wasn't crying and didn't appear to be major pain. She decided to monitor it.

After two days of the same, she went to the pediatrician.  She was shocked when the doctor ordered an X-ray and said that her son's arm was broken. He had never screamed nor shed a tear. When the mother questioned the doctor in disbelief, feeling guilty, the pediatrician reassured her: "You waited two days - usually it's two weeks." At that remark, even my jaw hit the floor as she relayed her story.

She buried her face in her hands. "My two-year-old now has a bright blue cast, which he picked. It is a glaring reminder that I made a mistake."

It was at that point that I stepped in. I shared my own mishaps while raising my boys. I marveled at her intuition in taking her son to the doctor - I too would have thought a broken arm would have been more dramatic. But more than anything else, I realized I was the recipient of valuable knowledge. Her experience would allow me to better protect my own children.

This mother felt shame as she relayed her story. But I learned something from it. I wonder how many stories could be shared, how much collective knowledge could be garnered, and how much grace could be given if we would all be vulnerable and share our hearts without fear of judgment. 

  • Do you have a safe place where you can share too?
  • Do you have a story that could help a fellow mom?
  • Would the simple act of sharing your story help you too?

Again and again, I remind myself that Christian parenting isn't about being perfect. It's about doing our best, continuing to learn, and pointing our children to the only perfect parent - God. Sometimes the best modeling we can do is acknowledging that fact. When we're humble before God and others, we demonstrate the power of community, the importance of forgiveness, and the healing power of being authentic in daily life.

Hebrews 4:16 says, "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." This is what God offers us. My prayer is that we also seek to offer it to each other.


To read more about ending #mommywars, check out my post from last week and what some celebrity moms had to say about it.

Stay tuned for the unveiling of a new professionally designed printable on my blog - it's one that I hope will inspire you for years to come!

Monday, September 21, 2015

How to End #Mommywars

Similac's viral You Tube video depicting #mommywars

Have you ever experienced mom guilt at the hands of other moms?

This past week, I went to a event designed to stop it.  The event was courtesy of the TODAY Show Parenting Team and Similac.  

As a panelist, actress, singer, and mother Hilary Duff remarked that mom on mom judging often starts as soon as we get pregnant.  Whether it's comments at the doctor's office, conversations while pushing strollers, or chance encounters with total strangers, sometimes we can walk away questioning our adequacy as moms.  

Can you relate?  I wonder if you have ever felt judged for decisions regarding:
  • breast versus bottle
  • natural versus cesarean birth
  • diet, illness remedy, and vaccine-related choices
  • tummy time length
  • walking age of your child
  • crib, toy, and educational choices...

You get the picture. These issues are illustrative of culture's #mommywars.

And here are some of the solutions the panel came up with to solve them:

  • Hilary Duff encouraged moms not to have a heavy hand with each other. She said, "We're tough as nails, but we're soft inside and it hurts." Instead of focusing on judgment, she wants to concentrate on her passion for motherhood and living a self-fulfilled life.
  • Clinical Psychologist Dr. Shefali Tsabary hit the nail on the head. She said judging others is an indicator of our own self lack. She advised everyone against operating from a place of "inner scarcity" and to cultivate our own self-worth. She said, "Don't use your children to fill your inner lack. This is not their war. Don't use them to finish your unfinished inner business. I think this mommy judgment comes from a place of inner scarcity, inner lack."
  • TODAY Parenting Team Editor Rebecca Dube reminded us that sometimes the worst judge of ourselves is not others - it's ourselves.  She said, "My harshest mommy judge is me... If I can be kinder to myself, that gives me the strength to be kinder to others." 

The intricacies of our decisions are not the most important thing. What children really need is simple. Secure parents and quality time, for instance, are real gifts to our children. And I would add a faith foundation is too, for it can ground us all in God's love.

Some panel members in the Rainbow Room at NBC.

Hilary Duff and me! 

For more coverage of the event, click here.

What have you felt judged for?  What helped?  I'd love to hear from you!

Thanks for stopping by! This fall, I have a couple exciting faith resource giveaways coming up PLUS a new printable for moms! Be sure you're added to my email subscription list so you don't miss any of it...And remember, just signing up isn't enough - you have to click on the follow up link to activate it! You can sign up on the upper righthand corner of this page.

Monday, September 14, 2015

A Mother's Back to School Prayer

Dear God,

Thank you for the gift of a new school year with my child. Before schedules get too busy, help me to pause and appreciate the special opportunity this year of learning and friendship brings.

Thank you for my child. As I know you have chosen me to be his or her parent, I pray that you will equip my family with these blessings in particular this year:

Courage.  I pray for courage for my child - not only to meet the demands of his or her chosen path, but also for strength of character.

Passion.  Lord, fan my child's passions. Use me as an instrument to come alongside to dream, support, and encourage them.

Protection.  I pray for protection for my child - not only from injury or harm, but from culture's pace and expectations.

Sanctuary.  Lord, make our home a sanctuary. Help it not to be a place for franticness and meltdowns, but a place where we regroup, nurture, and redefine what it means to be a healthy, successful family.

Freedom.  I confess there's a strong pressure to compare my family to others. I confess there's a strong pressure to people-please at the cost of added stress upon my family. Lord, direct my eyes only to You; help us to experience the freedom that brings.

Wisdom.  It's humbling that you want to bless us with your wisdom, as the One who made it all. Thank you for never leaving us alone; draw me closer to you. May your wisdom be an open and available lifeline this year.

Love.  Please help love to be at the core of all we are and all we do. May your love inspire my family to grow, heal, give thanks, and enjoy our blessings each day.

I place all that is precious to me in Your capable hands.  Thank you in advance for being faithful.



This prayer marks the beginning of a new school year of posts! I took the last two weeks off in preparation for my youngest going back to school this week. I hope this prayer encourages you as it does me. Please feel free to return to it again and again, and don't forget to visit my prayer from last year too!

What are you praying this year? I'd love to know - leave a comment!

TODAY Video Clip