Sometimes I worry. I worry that my children aren’t eating enough vegetables. I worry that I will never get caught up on laundry. I worry when my son’s bus is 15 minutes late dropping him off from school, that he will pick his nose in public, that he will never be the best at reading. I worry that my boys will spout off embarrassing family secrets to their teacher or classmates, that they sometimes forget to brush their teeth after breakfast. I worry that my boys will never find nice girls, or that they will find them too soon.
I worry because I’m a mom, and that seems to be my job.
Sometimes I read the news paper and I worry. I see news about wars, scary things. I see sadness and despair. I worry about the future my children will have.
Then I see articles online. Other parents worrying too. They write about their concerns and their thoughts, their values, only to have it thrown back in their face by other worrying parents.
I see people fighting, spewing hate at each other over social media. Aren’t we all wanting the same thing? One might want to teach their daughter to respect her body and protect her from lustful boyish eyes. The other might wish to teach her daughter that her body isn’t something to be objectified, that she isn’t responsible for the inappropriate thoughts of others. Both well-intentioned, both wanting what is best. I see moms, women I respect, bashing each other for differing opinions on vaccines. Both arguing the same underlying cause: the health and safety of our children. But the passion of the argument and disdain for each other is thick. Such disgust on both sides, both sided by people I love.
It makes me sad.
Aren’t we all on the same team? Aren’t we all just worried parents? Aren’t our goals, our hopes, our passions, to raise good, kind children in a scary world? A world where some are killed for what they choose to or not to wear. Where health is a matter of whether or not they will have anything to eat that day or clean water to drink.
In a country where we are blessed with the opportunity to express ourselves, to make choices based on our beliefs and feelings, I feel like maybe sometimes we should put differences and arguments aside and realize we are so blessed. Many are not as fortunate as we are. Maybe it’s time we helped each other out, lifted each other up, and supported each other in the things we can agree upon.
Maybe, as worried moms, here’s somewhere we can start:
- Teach our children to be kind and compassionate. Example is the greatest teacher.
- Create a home that welcomes others–particularly our children’s friends who may not get love and care anywhere else.
- Fortify your marriage–a union based on mutual respect, kind gestures and words, and understanding.
- Help our children recognize their potential. Build them up, not break them down.
- Allow our children to experience consequences. Help them to realize the gravity of their decisions now so that they will recognize them later when the stakes are so much higher.
- Spend real time with our families.
- Teach our children that their worth isn’t found in the mirror, their closets, wallets, brains, or friends. Definitely not in the number of heads they turn. That no one, no matter what, should be objectified for any reason.
Let’s support each other along this path, because as parents, we need all the help we can get. It’s scary out there, and there’s so much we cannot do alone. We owe it to our kids and their future.
And when we have realized all we have, maybe we can find ways to reach out to those who do not have the freedoms we seem to be taking for granted: the right to express ourselves through speech, through dress, through decisions of what is best for our children. Theirs is the real fight worth fighting. And maybe when we work together, instead of hating, we can make a difference.