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Are You That Mom?

Student on a swing

Are You That Mom?

by Christy Johnson, Director of Communications

Are you that Mom? I know you know the Mom I am talking about…

You know that Mom who is out running errands with her children, but suddenly finds herself in the middle of chaos and shame. Her child’s tears start, softly at first, but escalate quickly to banshee screams that everyone in the store can hear. You know, the kind of screams that propel people to stare, certain that a child is being murdered. The kind of screams that leave that Mom wondering whether she should make a run for it or endure the stares and finish shopping for her much needed groceries. It is an agonizing decision.

Have you seen that Mom who forgot her daughter’s class skit one morning? She remembers too late and arrives when it is over, her daughter’s hurt and anguish stabbing her in the heart. She is left to dry her daughter’s tears; the only comfort she can offer is an apology and a hug, as shame and sorrow wash that Mom’s soul in grief at her failure.

Have you been that Mom? I have definitely been her! I wager we have all found her in ourselves or have seen her in others around us. I know when I see that Mom, I want to avert my eyes and let relief wash over me because it is her turn and not mine. What if, instead of looking away, I walk up to her and offer her an empathetic smile and tell her I’ve been there too? What if we all did that when we see a fellow Mom struggling in a hard situation? Shame researcher Brene Brown says, “Shame cannot survive being spoken. It cannot survive empathy.” So fellow “that Moms,” let’s offer each other empathy and kindness when we see each other struggling. You never know just how much a difference you can make to a fellow Mom by doing that.

“We draw people to Christ not by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it.” -Madeleine L’Engle