It started with banana dolphins. That’s right, I am “that mom!” When it was my turn at school for snack week, I took the list of ok items then turned them into dolphins, scooters, layered fruit cups, and watermelon shaped jello with actual watermelon rinds. I had a ball doing it. I did it because I wanted to, and because I knew the kids would have fun with it.
I did those things because I enjoy using the crafty side of my brain. I am someone who believes in doing whatever you do to the height of your talent and ability. I am also someone who understands that the height of my ability in some areas is higher than others, and that others have strengths and talents that I don’t.
When it was someone else’s turn to bring snack I never commented that they should stop bringing bags of goldfish in a box because it might not have been their strength to do what I did. I do not think anyone should ask someone to stop doing something that they enjoy because it is on the opposite end of the talent spectrum from them.
Here’s the other big truth. I’m not a better mom than someone who doesn’t do those things, and I will not judge or measure their value in motherhood or womanhood based on what they do in these areas. I think that it is so important to empower and support each other’s talents and gifts, and criticizing someone who does things differently perpetually pits women in competition with each other.
I do not feel the need to compete with anyone over how clean my house is, how my kids behave, how I’m dressed, or whether or not they see more success in areas I don’t. The truth is that being a mommy can be a lonely place. How much better would it be if we all came along side each other and spurred each other to be the best we can be in our strengths? We should all want to see each other grow and shine!
I can speak from the perspective of being a mom with a preschooler and one year old who lives in a new place. I wish more moms were friendly to each other. In the hopes of cultivating goodwill among the moms and kids in my daughter’s class, I have organized a weekly play day to get everyone together over the summer. Maybe having more time to get to know each other will make everyone aware of the heart and intention behind “the mom who made cool snacks.”
Next year, I will do the same kinds of things because I will not stop enjoying them or doing them so that someone else will feel more ok about what they can bring to the table. I have hopes of getting to know these women and being an encouragement and friend. I will always choose to be me, and strive to do the best I can with whatever I set my hand to. I will also choose to see the strength in others without the need to compare or judge.
Cheers to moms everywhere, and I pray that you are encouraged to find what you love to do so that you can generously share it with the world!