This is why we should judge less on our motherhood journey together.

I woke up late this morning, buckled my four year old in his car seat, and headed to the car dealer 40 minutes away for the appointment I was already late for . We got there and I realized he didn’t have shoes. I held him. 

Then when he wanted to walk, I just said, “watch out for the puddles, buddy.” And, yep, he may have stepped in some. We had to stop at a store on the way home. I tried to hold him there too, but there was one point where he wanted to get on the ground to see something. I let him. 

I was that mom this morning. The one that left the house with my barefoot kid and then took him in public to walk on the ground (I did choose wisely where he walked).

It made me think about how often I’ve seen moms with their kids out in public wearing no shoes or pajamas or their older sister’s soccer cleats that are three sizes too big, or a halloween costume in June (guess who’s guilty of all of those…this mama).

My first thoughts with those moms used to be, “yikes, I would NEVER do that.” Or “how could she leave and not care about what the kids look like?” Then I had a child…then two, then three, then four, and then I realized why “those” moms seemingly didn’t care. It’s because of the simple answer I gave my son this morning when he said, “mama, why are you really taking me in here without my shoes on?!?” 

“Because that’s how mama’s are sometimes, buddy. And it’s okay.” 

I don’t think there’s a single mom that wouldn’t agree with that statement. We cannot keep track of everything, including shoes, when we are trying to keep our little humans alive and do all our supermom, superwife, superfriend, superworker, and super-whatever duties.

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We all know that is true and anyone who pretends to have it all together all the time is only doing just that - pretending. 

What if we all looked at this whole mom thing - the good, the bad, the victories, the crazy - as a journey we share together in a secret club that only WE know about? “We” as in those of us who choose to admit that it isn’t always perfect. 

Let’s create a community of moms where when we see those barefoot piggies on a child in a store, we look at the mom and give a stare of empathy, maybe even a half giggle that says, “I’ve been there, I understand” instead of a stare of judgement. 

What if we even acknowledge it with speaking actual encouraging words like, “It’s the toughest job in the world and you are doing awesome.”

How could a moment like that change another mom’s day for the better? 

You see, every time we choose to judge instead of take time to see past the surface, we are creating a world of assumptions and those assumptions are most of the time false. They end up leading to division and essentially making someone feel that they are “less” and many times those someones are another mom. 

I didn’t feel judged by anyone this morning - mostly because I didn’t even look around to care if anyone was looking at us - but had I, it would have made me feel like a “bad” mom for a few minutes. 

And the truth about my morning is that it was actually filled with a pretty special conversation in the car with my four year old about our faith. He asked me about a song on the radio that was singing “holy” and he told me that he really wanted to see Jesus in a church we passed. He also told me he loves to talk about Jesus. 

I’m pretty sure that moment trumps any seemingly “bad” mom moment of forgetting to make sure my child had shoes before we drove 35 miles away. It also reminds me that I am doing an incredible job as a mother and that my kids are turning out just fine. 

Nobody sees those moments though. They see the ones on the outside where it’s easy to judge based on forgotten shoes or stained clothes or something else deemed as a how-could-she!? moment.

So why should we choose to lift each other up on this journey of motherhood instead of the alternative?

“Because that’s how mama’s are sometimes…And it’s okay.”

Jennifer Zumbiel