And Then I Talked About Pissing Contests in Church

I went to speak to our Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group at my church a few weeks ago. Here were these sleep deprived, spit up on moms with newborns and energetic tikes wanting to know how to be part of my world.

I got to share how sometimes my journey looks just like theirs (we all celebrate our children and get tired and work hard to see them progress) and sometimes it’s very different (Disability World has more doctors and meds and bills and fear). They wanted to know how to help me; how to teach their children to talk to Aidan; and they were eager to know how to not offend us.

I told them the truth. I’m one person and I’m not easily offended and sometimes I feel so dang left out that I don’t even mind if they stumble with awkward words. “What’s wrong with him?” “What’s his diagnosis?” “Why is he like that?” Others may take offense. “Nothing’s wrong with him.” “None of your business.” “I have no idea.” I welcome the conversation.

The truth is that there are no real magic words. My best suggestion was to ask exactly what you would ask another mom. “What’s his name?” “How old is he?” “He really knows what he’s doing with that chair.” All of these comments tell me that you see my child. Of course you see his disability; how can you not? But if you make an effort to really see him then I feel comfortable telling you more.

And here’s one more oh so important thing we have in common; these tired mamas want to be seen as well. One brave woman raised her hand and said that she has a friend who has a child with a disability. She feels ridiculous sharing her sleepless nights and sibling rivalry knowing that her friend deals with numerous doctors appointments and a strict medicine regiment. She may feel a little bit less than compared to this other mama.

In one moment my heart broke and in the next I got all fiery because really your life is hard because it’s yours and your pain is painful because it’s yours and your mess is messy because it’s yours.

“Motherhood is not a pissing contest,” I told these lovely church ladies who know about mess and doubt and imperfection and working hard and feeling so alone but never quite having alone time.

I’m so grateful that these women want to be part of my life, but I too want to be part of theirs. If I don’t get to hear about their teething babies and exploding diapers and broken strollers than I’m left out again.

Can we please just do this beautiful mess of motherhood together?

 

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8 thoughts on “And Then I Talked About Pissing Contests in Church

  1. YES! YES! I want to get a t-shirt with “Motherhood is not a pissing contest” on it! So many people need to hear that- including me sometimes! Thank you for validating my motherhood experience as still being difficult.

    PS Aidan has gorgeous, very unique eyes (your header picture!) Why do boys get the great eyelashes?!

  2. As always, love, love your posts. Thank you for always asking about my family and always laughing with me about motherhood – “messy” is a good word…

  3. hi Heather,ur Mom forwarded your message to me.I am going to share it with my daughter Kim(she is the special Ed teacher)Your message is so heartfelt but addresses so many questions that strangers,family or friends might have but don’t want to offend.Aidan is so blessed and lucky to have you,his dad and big brother in his life.

  4. Pingback: It’s Not All Rainbows and Unicorns | Team Aidan

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