Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Woman of Encouragement

A few weeks ago we were at our Sunday School class. During the beginning of every class we are all given the oppourtunity to share if we need prayer or if we have something to praise the Lord for. This was back when we were potty-training the Blue-Eyed Boy and it was FINALLY going well. We were obviously excited about this, so we shared with our class. Everyone was happy for us. It was great. And then she had to pipe up. You know who I'm talking about --the naysayer. The mom who always has to point out the bad side of things. The one who makes you feel like a crappy mom. Who reminds you, yet again, that though you may think so--you don't have it all together. 

That conversation has been rolling around in my head ever since. I have been dwelling on it far too much. I've been waiting and watching for the Blue-Eyed Boy to regress in his potty training instead of rejoicing in his progress -why? All because some other Mom tried to tear me down in my moment of happiness and pride in my son? And for what? To make herself feel better? To be the "superior mother"? To put the focus on her and her potty training problems?

Why do we do this to each other (and by we I'm mean "women")? It seems like women are the worst enemy of, well...women! We are constantly tearing each other down, and criticizing each other for doing things "wrong". Why can't we just support each other?  Why can't we give positive encouragement, even if another mom's parenting style makes our skin crawl? To say something uplifting even if another woman's worldview makes us wonder what in the world they could be thinking. 

We are all women. We can empathize with each other in our motherhood journey. We can understand where the other may be coming from. Or we can at least try to step into her shoes and visualize what she is going through. 

I'm sure I've done this, actually I know I've done this to some new moms. I'm sad to think that I was a naysayer. I hate that I was one of those moms who said, "oh just wait" and belittled what that other Mom was going through at the moment. 

I don't want to be that kind of woman. I want to be an encourager to other women and moms. I want to lift other women up not tear them down. I want other moms to be able to come to me and know that they will find no judgement or condescention in my demeanor towards them. 

I hope we all want these things. I hope we will all strive for these things. I know I am. I can only change myself, but hopefully I may be an example to others around me. 

Lets try to remember the old saying, "If you ain't got something nice to say, don't say anything at all"!


Anonymous said...

While I agree that many women demean other women, I'm not sure that its always done out of a spirit of meanness. When some people say "just wait", ( or whatever) they may be trying to give some advice based on what they've experienced. We've all been the recipient of negative vibes that shoot down our happiness balloon but that's just human nature. You've been guilty of it yourself as have I. One of your recent posts kind of ridicules moms who choose disposable diapers. You stated "if you don't have time for a few extra loads of laundry, then that's just really sad." I'm sure you didn't mean it to be demeaning, but some can take it that way. So when you receive some negativity or advice you don't agree with, just let it go. For heaven's sake, dont lose sleep over it! Sleep is a precious commodity in a household with kids!

Jessica Lynn said...

You're right. I was really a jerk there. So, I went back and took it out. I guess I was feeling rather snarky that day or something..=) People need to do what's right for them and their baby. Cloth diapering isn't for everyone. I just get tired of hearing how much work it is, when really it's not that much.

I wasn't loosing sleep over what she said, that would be really silly--as you said--sleep is a very precious commodity in a household of kids! It's just been rolling around in my head. I needed to get it out, so now I can move on.

I agree with you that it's not always done out of a spirit of meanness, the woman I was speaking of I don't think was intending to be a jerk at all, and I know it's never my intention.

The point I was attempting to make, and failing I guess, was that I need to think before I speak. As do we all.

Jessica Lynn said...

P.S. Thanks for reading my blog!! and especially for leaving a COMMENT!!

Anonymous said...

If only everyone would think before they speak, the world would be much better! I wonder why we dwell more on the negative things people say to us rather than the positive? I can hear one negative remark, 100 positive ones, but I'll only remember the negative. And then wonder for the next several days why that person doesn't like me, or what I did to provoke a negative remark, or on and on and on.... And maybe the reason some people respond negatively is because deep down they're insecure so it makes them feel better. Or maybe they're just really big jerks!

Jessica Lynn said...

When we are insecure we tend to react defensively, so that makes sense!

I too brush off the positive comments and dwell on the negative ones...I wish I wouldn't!

Andrew Betts said...

It's amazing how much we dwell on negative things that happen in the past. I still clearly hear things in my head that people said to me years ago. I don't like it, but I haven't figured out how to make them go away.

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