It's a big season. An unpredictable season. An ever-changing season. What can be so challenging about this season is that it's never really the same one. Really, it seems to be about a thousand different seasons within this one big one called "Motherhood." And because of that, we moms are all going to be at different places (er, seasons) at different times and what we need will be different too.
Have you ever found yourself not relating to another mom while chatting at a play date? Or maybe it's a blogger, or an article or a book? It's weird, because you both are loosely doing the same things, day in and day out in this motherhood gig, but when you hear them speak or read their words, it feels like you're on a different planet.
Because maybe, in that moment, you're in a difficult season. You really are doing the best you can day in and day out, but your dishes are piled higher than you'd ever care to admit and wearing clean clothes is at the bottom of your list because there are a million more needs at any given moment clinging to your legs. And so when you hear someone say motherhood isn't so hard, but you're thinking it's the gosh-darn-hardest thing you've ever done, then all you feel is like a failure.
Or maybe you're in a good season. You're not just surviving, you're thriving as a mom. The plates are spinning in the air and while you're waiting for one to drop, you're also trying to enjoy the fact that you actually can juggle for a moment. And so if you begin to hear, over and over and over again how tiring and difficult motherhood is - you begin to wonder if that's how you should feel, if maybe you're not trying hard enough or being "the best you can be" as a mom.
But the thing is these seasons we're in - difficult or easy - they change quickly. A few weeks in one, a month or two in another. A year in one and a couple weeks in the other. And maybe a few days with one foot in each one. Morphing like winter into spring, these seasons we experience stay for a while, then become something new almost overnight.
Particularly when reading blogs, I know this can be challenging. Blogs are a wonderful, awesome place to find like hearts, kindred spirits and people who make you feel less alone in your journey. But as a blogger myself, I know not everyone will identify with the season I'm in, and therefore won't always identify with my posts.
I know lately I've been a bit of a downer on blogland, challenging some of the views that I see so often on the great www. In particular my "motherhood martyr act" blog post drew some criticism about how I was a stay-at-home-mom that was bringing down other stay-at-home moms, and people really didn't like that "one of their own" was saying they might just be making things harder than they are. And while I would ask if they felt they would receive the challenge better from a working mom or even a dad, I know ultimately some people just don't want to hear anything that would challenge them to look carefully at their attitudes, decisions and actions. Not that they necessarily need to change them (Because that post was never meant to be a blanket statement about all SAHMs - it was written about something I, personally, was going through.), but because it's always good to put your convictions to fire and see how they burn. They may be refined to gold and become stronger than ever, or they may turn to ash, giving you the opportunity for new growth and change.
That said, I believe there will be times that you'll need to take some of my posts here with a grain of salt, and other times it will be just what you need to hear in that moment. And I think that's what we need to do with ALL blogs. And even when we don't particularly relate to a blogger overall, or even just a specific post, I hope we can find ways to allow it to challenge our perspective to think about things differently than we normally do. Not that we have to agree with everything published, but that we can walk away finding some nuggets of truth that we can apply to our individual lives, or recognize when it's not truth and become even more convicted and steadfast in our beliefs.
I recognize that not everyone is in the same place as me, but I'm still thankful you're here! Plus, I also recognize that in just a few months from now, when baby girl arrives, I'll likely be in a completely different season and so my opinions and writing here will change - and I hope it will! That's apart of life and it means you're willing to learn and grow with the seasons and recognize that you don't have it all figured out.
I've actually been talking about this topic quote a bit with my friend, Amber from Mommy's Me Time. If you read both our blogs (And I know many of you do!), you'll note that our writing styles couldn't be more different. And the season of motherhood we're each in couldn't be more different either. But as we were talking candidly together about how sometimes she doesn't 100 percent relate to my post and sometimes I don't relate 100 percent to hers, we kept coming back to one thing we both can relate to - each other's hearts and the hopes and dreams we have for our children. While I wrote the majority of this post before she and I chatted, I thought it was a great example of what I'm speaking about here. Because she and I - honestly, we're pretty different moms, so while we don't always relate to the season the other person is in, we can both appreciate each others perspectives and points of view and learn from them. We care about each other and want to cheer each other on and support each other - because we know what really matters isn't the season we're in, it's what we do within the season.
So ultimately, I hope all of us moms can remember, that no matter what smaller season within this big, huge, all encompassing "season of motherhood" we're currently walking in, what really matters is how we care for and raise our children's hearts. That it doesn't matter if we're a sappy mom or an unsentimental mom, a practical or romantic mom, an introspective or take-it-as-it-comes mom, a let-them-eat dirt or clean-freak mom, a mom that thrives on play or a mom that thrives on productivity - it doesn't matter!
What matters is that you are present. What matters is that you are involved. What matters is that you are attentive. What matters is that you are faithful, devoted and unwavering in your love for your family. What matters is that you shepherd and care for your children's hearts.
And so if you ever wonder why I write, why I value this space, or what its purpose is, know it is this: While I want you to come here and feel inspired, related to and encouraged as a mother, I also want you to leave challenged and hear truth in the midst of whatever season you're in. And to remember that always, always, always, our most important job as mothers is raising hearts.
And so whether you're currently in a difficult or easy place in motherhood, remember this: We may all be in different seasons but we still all have one thing in common - the challenge and duty to raise hearts well.
And that should be a bond strong enough and important enough to unite us all.