“Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?” Sufi saying
To the mamas making your own decisions, deciding what is best for you and for your baby, and refusing to apologize for the choices you know are right in your heart- you’re amazing.
I have seen so much beauty in the community of mamas that surround me, both online and off. I’ve also seen judgement from the outside. The world is always telling us we’re not good enough, that we’re not doing the right thing. But we are.
In France they say, “There’s no such thing as the perfect mother,” and this I know to be true. Because perfect is boring. Perfect doesn’t exist. We do our best and we love each other along the way.
If you know a mama (experienced, new, or soon-to-be) try offering her these graces.
1. Offer permission, not advice. Tell that mama how much you love her and give her permission to miss texts and calls and girl’s nights because she is doing her very best. Keep your advice to yourself unless she explicitly asks for it.
2. Do not comment on mama’s body. I’ve always found it strange that saying, “YOU’RE SO TINY!” to another person is thought to be a compliment. All of us have different and beautiful bodies. Yes I am healthy but that doesn’t mean you get to comment on the physical vessel that holds my brain, my soul. You would not yell, “You’re so big!” at a mama so keep your comments about bumps and bodies (before and after birth) to yourself.
Yes, you can keep telling mamas they look beautiful, that one is okay. Even better? Tell them they are strong and wise. Tell them you can’t imagine what they’re going through but you think they’re killing it.
3. Offer a place to be real. If a mama is complaining, don’t assume she loves her little one any less. Don’t assume she hates being a mom. Just give her a place to be real and loved. If you ask a mama how she’s doing and she’s honest with you, empathize. Don’t just say, “But it’s such a beautiful time and such a gift!” We know it is, we also know our bodies and minds are tired.
Help ease minds and hearts. Offer respite from the rest of the world.