Motherhood is beautiful, motherhood is important, motherhood is a gift. We all know - deep down - how great of a gift motherhood is. Sometimes, however, its beauty and glamour get lost and buried under piles of laundry and smeared away by billions of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
That's why moms need support. Support groups are everywhere nowadays. You can find a support group for just about anything. Mothers need this, they've always needed it. If you think about it, moms have always tended to gravitate to each other, knowing they need each other for support.
A fellow mom friend can lift you up and help you feel like you are not alone, you have each other. She can laugh and cry and roll her eyes with you about the cute and annoying parts of motherhood that really only another mom could truly empathize with. A good mom friend is there to offer a hug after a harrowing morning, she sends on a knowing look - not of pity - but compassion when she runs into you trying to corral screaming babies and runaway preschoolers at the library. She's there to offer you a listening ear for your "constructive venting", that others hear as ungrateful whining, so that you can release your tensions and struggles in her understanding ear instead of in your kids'.
A good mom friend knows the truth about your life - about the dirty dishes that have been piled up in your sink and countertops for who-cares how many days. She knows how you avoid the laundry and sometimes go on a Pinterest oogling escapade instead. She knows about your afternoon naps and your secret stash of chocolate hiding in your bathroom. (Maybe because she's helped herself to it once it twice.)
She knows that you are trying - so hard - but that most days you feel like a total and utter failure. She feels your inner mental battles and knows your immense exhaustion. She knows you sometimes want to call it quits - if only you didn't love them all so darn much. She knows you sometimes turn into a dragon-monster momma and yell and stomp your feet and that you give your kids candy to win a few points and a few moments of peace.
A good mom friend knows you've gone on more than a few McDonald's drive thru runs - because she saw you from her table inside. She knows all about it, and she doesn't judge you or think less of you because she is or has gone through it too.
But the best part about a good mom friend is that, yeah, she knows about all that but that's not WHO you are to her, it's not what she sees. She knows you love your husband and your children more than anything. She knows that you get up earlier than you'd prefer so you can help them eat breakfast before school.
She knows you give up precious free time to volunteer in their classroom or organize an activity with the homeschool group so your kids can learn with their own peers instead of just their mom for a change. She knows you take the time to write those little notes of affirmation you tuck into your kids' lunches. She knows how you like to hold your sweet boy's hand while walking through the park and she sees your genuine joy when your ornery toddler runs up and gives you a random hug and slobbery kiss.
She sees how you swing your energetic toddler and preschooler up high on the swings, make sand castles in the sand without thinking about the mess for a moment, and play tickle-monster with them to try and avoid the "I know you're having fun but it's time to leave" meltdown.
She knows you sit and read the same book over and over with your kids because you want to cultivate in them a love for reading and kindle their imaginations. She knows you love shopping with your daughter who's growing up too fast and that you relish your "spa dates" together. She knows you'll miss them when they are all grown-up and living their own lives away from you.
A good mommy friend hears your complaints and frustrations but knows that underneath that thickened battle-wounded skin, there is a deep and unshakable LOVE, so strong, you would do anything and GIVE anything for the sake of your children.
Our mom friends are there to give us strength, relief, prayers, compassion, a listening and knowing ear, soft shoulders and strong hugs. They are there to motivate us, inspire us, and encourage us.
This is the goal of all those mom groups abounding around the world and through the centuries. This is why mom blogs exist and why people like Lisa Hendey started our CatholicMom.com. It's also why women like Lisa-Jo Baker answered the burning in her heart and helped build (in)courage to support other moms "just the way we are" in the beautiful and chaotic vocation of our mutual motherhoods. It's why Lisa-Jo poured her heart out through her writing to give an amazing gift to all mothers with her book - Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected about Being a Mom.
Surprised by Motherhood was just released as the buds of Spring peeked out from their hibernation and the timing of the release is perfect. For that’s exactly what this book is: a Springtime for motherhood, an awakening and rejuvenation after a long hard winter.
Lisa-Jo’s words are like the spring sunshine thawing our frozen hearts, making us remember anew how beautiful motherhood is. She found healing in her story and brings hope to ours. She found meaning and purpose in her motherhood and brings joy to ours.
One day Lisa-Jo opened her eyes and saw the great gift God had set before her wrapped snuggly in her own motherhood. And now she gives us that same gift with her book.
And this is why I'd like to share it with you, so you to can be uplifted, encouraged and - once again - surprised by the JOY that is motherhood. Lisa-Jo and her publishers generously agreed to let me offer one give away of her much-needed book. I encourage all moms to enter the Giveaway I'm hosting at my place - the Simplemama blog. In the meantime, go ahead and get one for you and then - if you win the give away - you'll have one ready to give to a friend. Go ahead, get the book, open it, and be surprised by what unfolds.
Always remember, God is with us, always. In each of our lives, in the big and the small. He whispers His Love gently. We can see Him, feel Him, and see Him in many ways through our loving husbands and partners in parenting, our supporting family, and most especially He is with us, cheering us on, through our fellow mom friends. We see them in the trenches of the pews at church, in the asphyxiating tunnels of the school hallways, gulping for air in the oceans of the grocery store, trecking through the forest and mountains of the playground, and hanging around the water wells and water coolers of Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums and other social media.
Thank you to all of you, my dear mom friends. It's good to know we are not alone and that we have each other.
How about you? What do you LOVE about your mom friends?
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Copyright 2014, Erika Marie