Mommy groups have never been my thing. I just never fit in. As a younger mom, I really tried to connect with other moms in my church and community. Whenever I tried, it just wasn’t natural. Everything was awkward. Finally, I stopped forcing myself into uncomfortable situations. I became a mommy-group drop out.
For years I thought something was wrong with me and I was just a social misfit. Until, I met another mom who steered clear of mommy groups too. We clicked instantly. Our conversations were deep and meaningful. We revived one another’s hearts. Then that happened again - instant connection with a mom, who didn’t do mommy groups or play groups.
A common reason I discovered that “we didn’t do” mommy groups was - all the complaining.
Here I was, trusting God for daily grace and patience. I was digging down into my soul searching for His strength, looking to Jesus to meet me in the bathroom for the 30th trip that day, or while I cleaned smeared avocado off my fridge.
Every time I went to a mommy group or group play date, I left discouraged and depressed. Either - I wasn’t good enough, comparatively, OR all I heard was complaining.
For a couple years, I lived in a community where it seemed like every woman had elective cosmetic surgery. I mean - you’d go to a city park, start chatting it up with a mom and before ya know it, she’d begin telling you about her tummy tuck and her boob-job. This was the culture. 9 out of 10 women were knock-outs. It was a yoga pant festival with killer bodies flouncing behind jogger strollers. And there was me, the 1 out of 10. Again - ding ding ding - I didn’t fit in, social misfit over here.
When, one by one, throughout the years I’ve connect with other misfit moms like myself, our conversations are challenging, uplifting, and life giving. Such a distinct opposite to the mommy groups.
You see, I’m a mom. Moms get tired too. No one likes wiping poop. Today, I chose to identify as someone other than, Moooooom! I still have the baby belly and I’m running on caffeine. My shirt is accidentally inside out and I’m wearing a cute knotted headband - not because it’s a fashion statement, but because it’s huge and covers most of my greasy hair…which is in a pile on the top of my head.
You see, I’m a mom. It’s my job and my calling. If you’re a mom, you’ve been called to motherhood too...by God. If God has called you, He will equip you. He will give you all the grace. All the patience. All the long-suffering. (And there are sleepless nights the whole family suffers long…and hard.)
Note, I didn’t say it would be easy. You’re going to be exhausted. You’re going to question your ability to “train up” your children in the way they should go, without completely destroying their future self. You’re going to be challenged to your core. Anger is going to show up, when before you were never an angry person! You’re going to learn what’s important to you and start searching out why.
Being a mom takes patience. No one really ever explained to me just how much patience - that’s something you have to discover for yourself.
When you hit the point of, “I can’t do this! Momming is too hard!” and you don’t know what to say to the mouthy tween remember, God has already placed within you the ability to do this thing.
Your job isn’t to look perfect. Your job isn’t to raise perfect, suitably adjusted kids. Your job is to live and show the Gospel of Christ - starting with your family.
Stop comparing, and start living a Gospel-centered life. Who cares if you’re a misfit - God has gifted you something special, your mind. Your personality. Your unique story. Your ever-loving husband. Your kids. Maybe it’s a good thing you don’t fit in with what’s acceptable in the culture. What you were Divinely-wired to be is exactly what God will use in the lives of your children, and those around you.
It’s time we adjusted our brains to see God’s glory in what we’ve been asked to do. Stop complaining.