Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Judgement and a Letter.

I always joke that I'm a halfway decent mom.  That I'm the mom who makes other moms feel better about themselves.
And I'm sure, to some, that's true.  
They look at me and my life and the things I've done to get to this point and think "Well, at least I'm not Melissa.  At least I'm not THAT screwed up.".  And recently I've started to believe this is true.  Thanks to social media I can share things that I'm up to and things that are on my mind whenever I want.  And also thanks to social media, anyone and everyone can comment and tell me what a crap job I'm doing and how I'm wrong.  Recently I've felt I could literally post "I love my kids!" and SOMEONE, somewhere would be able to find a way to make me feel like a terrible person, "You love your kids too much!" or "You don't love your kids like I do!".
And the worst part is, A LOT of these people claim to be Christians.
"Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight reign on their tongues deceive themselves..." James 1:26.
I would NEVER consider myself perfect.  In fact, I tell others of my flaws almost constantly.  My imperfections are ever present, what with getting pregnant outside of marriage, to just name a major one.
Yet, I've realized recently that every thing I do as a mother, wife and woman, I will be wrong to someone.
And someone is going to take the time to tell me how their way is better and that I am not enough for my children.  Whether directly, or indirectly, through lengthy explanations of their parenting styles or just a simple snide remark.  Now, don't get me wrong, I don't think ALL people purposely make remarks about other mothers with an intent to be hurtful.  But do I think people care about the long term effects these comments can make on another person?  No.

But, I've decided to make a change in this social media mommy war.
I've been writing letters.

Just a note here and there to a random friend. 
A woman. 
A mother.  
Single.  
Married.  
Or just someone I know in passing.
Just a short, simple note about how you are enough.
How you are beautiful, caring, sweet, funny, an amazing mother, a Godly wife, or just a note to say hi.

It started about 3 or 4 weeks ago.  I found that the stares in grocery store made me feel like absolute crap.  
AND THIS  WAS A STRANGER!  
Imagine how much worse it feels to get remarks and dumb comments about your workout schedule and your choice to move your son to a "big boy bed" from someone who claims to be your friend or someone who you look up to.
And I just thought, ya know, if I had someone tell me I was even doing an OKAY job at parenting for every time I felt I wasn't doing a good enough job, it would make such a difference in my life.

So that's what I've done.  
Every time I feel judged, inadequate and cut down, I write a letter to someone else and tell them that they are amazing and wonderful.  
And it's ALWAYS legitimate.  
It's always heartfelt and always truly, truly what I feel for that person.

And the response has been remarkable.  I've heard from probably 30 people the past month who have said that this has made their day.  That the letter is hanging on their fridge.  That this simple note has made them smile, has gotten them into the Word (I usually attach a Bible verse that has given me hope recently.), or just given them a little encouragement to keep doing what they're doing.  That a little 10 cent card has changed the way their day/week has gone.

It's not changing peoples lives, it's not costing me anything but time and the cost of a postage stamp.  It's simple.
And it's amazing what encouragement can do for someone else.

So I guess this post is just my encouragement to you, to pass this along.
To write someone a letter.
Tell them they are enough.
To offer encouragement where it's needed.  Christian, or not, this is imperative to parenting, heck, it's imperative to life.  I urge you every moment you feel inadequate take a second to tell someone they they are enough, you never know what that little act of kindness will do for someone else.

M

6 comments:

Kelly said...

Look. You are 22. You have two kids, a stable marriage, a house and a life. When you are my age you may be a grandmother, and that would be awesome, but people will judge you even then because your kids would obviously be teen parents or something horrible. That is because you will have been doing insanity for what, 22 years and will look amazing, so there's now way you could be old enough for grandkids. And you will look at your kids and say, "You know it was hard, but worth it. I wouldn't trade it for the world!" and the rest of the world can pound sand. You cloth diaper your kids for pity's sake! You praise your husband and children in public. You openly love your family. Don't compare. Be the duck (as in let it roll off your back) and make the world a better place by raising loved, healthy kids.

bijoublue82 said...

Well I don't even know you, but I think you sound like an AMAZING mother, wife, and friend. Just the simple fact that you are taking your negative experiences and turning them into positive ones for others is truly showing Christs love! There will always be people that condescend. I too got pregnant before being married. Guess what?!? We are still married! And trying for our second child. I admire you little lady! Keep up the good work and try not to let others bring you down.
Sincerely,
Natasha
www.facebook.com/TashasToyBox

Jerilyn Moon said...

That's so amazing. Definitely inspired to try this too (:

Melissa said...

:) thanks Kelly! I appreciate it :)

Melissa said...

Thanks Natasha!! Good luck with number two! :)

Melissa said...

Let me know how it goes! It tends to make me feel better even after people are so negative to me to know I may be uplifting someone else. Hopefully it does the same for you :)