We are mom's, and you know the unique thing about mom's? Everyone has one...everyone was birthed by SOMEONE. My heart is heavy today as our nation continues to face a divide. A divide that is apparent wherever you go: the media, our community, our nation... and yes, even the mommy Facebook group I am a part of. This divide got me thinking. I started this blog because WE, mom's who juggle 900 things at once, mom's who feel the kicks of our babies inside from butterfly flutters to birth, mom's who plan dinners, wipe noses, clean boo-boo's, and pick our children up when they fall. WE (mom's) are all worried. We are ALL watching the news and we're concerned about what the world is and is becoming for our children. This, ladies, unites us regardless of our opinions.
Today, the mommy Facebook group that I am a part of, had a thread unlike the typical threads. It had nothing to do with how to get our kids to sleep, what to do about some random rash, or when to begin solid foods, TODAY there was a post about compassion. The post read:
What can we do to show our children that this isn't the world we're going to let them grow up in?...I want my kids to see a world of color and peace, of love and understanding. If any mamas wanna get together to brainstorm, shoot me a PM."
The post ended with a quote.
Be the change that you wish to see in the world. -- Gandhi
I should mention that my husband is a police officer. I read this post in my feed before he went to work, I appreciated the sentiment, but didn't give it a whole lot of thought. Then my husband went to work and I was worried. People ask me all the time 'how I do it' my response is typically 'it's not how I do it, it's how he does it.' Ladies and gents...before I met this man I had no idea...zero...none...nada. Let's put this into context, they respond to bad things all day. Never in the history of ever did something good happen and you called the cops. Never. The heartbreaking stories are overwhelming. I did not have to 'teach' my husband about the risks associated with blankets and pillows in cribs because he has responded to calls where children have suffocated. My husband is ready to teach my toddler children about the dangers of drug use and they are toddlers...because what he see's daily is terrifying and awful and tragic. But I typically don't actively worry, I know he was made for this, I know he is making the world a better place. I rest easy knowing he is doing what he was blessed with the ability to do that not everyone can. I know that if I had to pick one guy to be on anyone's side - it would be him. But today I worried, today was terrifying. The world is scary right now. Today, I asked him if he wanted to quit - and I meant it. And then I thought, what happens if all of the good guys quit? And that was REALLY terrifying. No one - none of us - want that.
He left for work and my kids took a nap. The comments continued on this mommy thread...and I read and I listened and re-read.
When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new. - Dalai Lama XIV
While the comments were coming from many points of view, opinions, backgrounds and lifestyles there was an overwhelming commonality and that was every.single.one of those mama's who posted wanted: A better, safer world for their children to grow up in. Ironically, there was a tinge of adversity but ultimately the goal was the same: to keep OUR children safe and to show compassion.
Compassion is defined as 'sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings and misfortunes for others.' I once heard that sympathy without action is nothing more than pity (check out Glennon Doyle Melton's work at The Momastery for more brilliance on putting our hands to work).
This is our call to action. Ladies, the world has no more room for pity - we need action to achieve our united goal of a better place for our children we are out of room (and time) for the specifics. So here goes...the whole reason I'm writing this....ready?
Action doesn't have to be EPIC, it doesn't have to be a well-defined movement. We will NEVER be able to control the people who are already assholes. I'm proposing a gentle sway. What we can do is control ourselves, guide our children, educate and advocate. In the words of Cinderella, we must "have courage and be kind." That's it. That's all.
Ladies...we are MOM's! We grow and feed people! We are the most influential demographic on the planet. We influence our children by teaching them through our actions, we influence our husbands, and we influence our family. It is up to us to advocate and model kind behavior and to listen. This doesn't have to be EPIC, it can be quiet and consistent. Remembering to say thank you, to show gratitude, to teach responsibility, to enforce the importance of following the rules, to empower our children to speak up when it makes sense and teach them when it doesn't. To guide them and to be their advocates, to know where they are, what they are doing, to keep them out of trouble and to insure they are on the right path. Then....what???
Then... our children (there are 3,988,076 of them born every year and each of them have a mother) will begin to make the world a better place. If we take the time to listen to each other and work to understand without violence and anger then WE: the mom's who juggle 900 things at once, mom's who feel the kicks of our babies inside from butterfly flutters to birth, mom's who plan dinners, wipe noses, clean boo-boo's, and pick our children up when they fall. WE have the ability to impact the world - quietly- one wonderful, compassionate child at a time.
And that ladies is how we show our support. By saying thank you loudly and letting our children watch. By teaching our kids to listen to people that are different from them. By teaching our children to speak up loudly - the right way - violence free. And when they can't do it themselves we put our mommy capes on and ACTIVELY and APPROPRIATELY advocate for them. Then and only then we will be building a better America.
What Our Readers Are Saying
"A refreshing 'mommy blog' that instantly will put you in a good mood. Clean, fresh, bright and oh so cute...OliveJuice.life gives you the "low down" on being a busy mom who is doing the best she can. You won't need to find hours of time that you don't have to explore this little corner of cuteness. I'm obsessed already. -Nashville Mommy
Join our mailing list today!