sunrise over swamps

sunset over melancholy seas

That random moment something you wrote gets posted and reposted around facebook…

on February 7, 2012

At approximately 10.00 AM (Melbourne Eastern Australian Daylight Savings Time) on Tuesday, 7 February 2012, I posted a status on facebook. That’s not particularly noteworthy (and considering my compulsive facebook habit it would be newsworthy if I didn’t write on facebook).

Here is what I wrote (copied, pasted and reposted from the original, as it appeared on my facebook timeline):

This may seem random, but I’ll put it out there because it’s been on my mind a lot:

Dear Stay At Home Mums, I hope you realise how amazing you are. 
It CAN be lonely, isolating, mundane, and exhausting. You might not have had a full night’s sleep in a long time; you might be stuck having people ask you when you’re going to get a “real job”, or having a dig at you for breastfeeding, or throwing their opinions at you about how your choice of pram or preschool or nappy brand will affect your child’s future life chances, BUT please be assured that what you do for your children is so incredibly important and irreplaceable.

You are a beautiful, significant, strong, and valuable woman (don’t sit there saying that this doesn’t apply to you, because if you’re thinking that then you’re precisely who I want to read this), and you are laying the foundation for another human being’s life and future. Be encouraged: you’re doing so well!

And working mums, you’re amazing too! I don’t know how you do it!
And uni student mums – you’ll get your sleep back when you graduate! 😛

It was just something that had been burning in the back of my mind for a while. It’s not easy being a mum. It’s especially difficult being a lonely stay at home mum. I speak from experience, here. I’m not just saying stuff and hoping it’s true. I have been a parent for almost a decade; in that time I have raised two children to school age, chosen to be a stay at home mum, and finished both my Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degrees, AND volunteered at my local church in the youth (teenagers), young adults (20-something year olds), and prayer departments. In fact, I still volunteer in the youth and prayer departments – there’s no past tense about it.

Anyway, an old school friend I’ve known since we were about 5 or 6 years old copied and reposted my status on her own profile and on her business page on facebook. I watched in amazement as, after only three hours, it had been liked and reposted and shared by many, many stay at home mums. I can’t believe it. As an aspiring writer, it’s a huge honour to be considered quotable. And the feedback – to hear from parents who have heard nothing but criticism – well, I feel humbled and amazed that something I wrote after walking my children to school and bracing myself for another day alone at home could mean something to so many people.

There is so much more that I could say to mothers. We are not enemies. We don’t need to attack and criticise each other. It doesn’t make us any less human to speak a word of encouragement to others. As parents we set the stage for our child’s future, faith, hope, sense of self, sense of purpose, and are the foundation of all the big social structures. (Yes, I had to bring sociology into it!) Because in the end, society is made up of a whole lot of individuals. And it is in the small details, in the context of family, that these individuals first learn how to engage with the rest of the world. What we do for our children in their early stages – though it may appear hidden, unappreciated, and even outright boring – can ultimately make the world a better place.

On a similar note, I want to encourage all who read this: show compassion. Show compassion to mums, to children, to families, to other humans, and to animals. It is easy to criticise others, and it can be hard to encourage others (especially if you feel like you’ve never been shown encouragement or compassion yourself, I understand, I truly do). But it is when we speak words of life, words of hope, that we allow others to become all they can be.






2 responses to “That random moment something you wrote gets posted and reposted around facebook…

  1. debut dad says:

    Very well put! All SAHM’s deserve a massive pat on their backs! and if there are any SAHD’s, golf clap for you too 🙂

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