How Do You Do It? Part 2: Find Your Sisters
How do you do it? As mothers, how do we manage the stress and anxiety of keeping our family dynamic running smoothly, all the while working a full time job (whether in the home or outside of it), maintaining self-care, helping out in the community, etc., etc., etc.? Sisterhood. That’s right, centering oneself in a community of other women who can relate to what it is like to be a woman and a mom.
My sister and I always say, “being a mom is different.” It doesn’t matter how awesome and amazing the dad in the family is, the role of the mom in a household is just different. We are inherently expected handle more while raising our children than men. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s a tough thing. We often have to set ourselves and our personal goals and dreams to the side so that our children can thrive, yet still figure out how to maintain some semblance of self and who we are as women, aside from simply just being mothers. We also have to recognize and accept that no matter how much we strive to be great moms, wives, co-workers, friends, and daughters, we won’t possibly feel adequate in every single category all of the time. When one area thrives, another is likely going to suffer.
Recently my toddler asked me, “Mommy, can you get my phone? I need to work.” This coming just days after hoarding a toy computer at her cousins’ house because there too she needed to “work” and couldn’t be interrupted. I had to reflect. Was the message I was sending my three year old that I constantly needed to be working? Was I failing as a mom in an attempt to crush it at work? Of course not, but that’s what popped into my mind. Having another female that could understand my spar with reality and talk me through how demonstrating a positive work ethic to my children was a good thing, was an essential piece of me maintaining a practical outlook on my situation. So when other moms ask me, “How do you do it?” I have two things to say.
- When you don’t have a choice you rise to the occasion.
- I do it with you by my side.
It’s the days when I’m booked to be in three places at once and I’m anxious because I don’t know who is going to pick up my children, and I don’t know what I’m going to feed them when we get home, that I find solace in my family of women companions. It’s the nights when my husband is out of town and the crying won’t cease, I don’t feel well, and am overly exhausted that I am humbled by the community of women, past and present, who have laid the foundation for the beauty of the life I have been given. If you are one of these people, thank you. From the mom that feels loved because of your actions and words of encouragement, thank you! From a woman who understands that chains have been broken so that I can have the freedom to live out my dreams as a human being aside from simply raising children and taking care of my home, thank you. From a wife that needs to hear she looks beautiful from someone other than her husband, thank you. From a teacher that craves to know that her efforts are not unnoticed, thank you.
Thank you Sisters
Thank you to all of my sisters that never quit,
True women and role models who really get it.
My mom bod or mishaps you don’t give a damn
You’re beings of substance and love me for who I am.
Thank you my Sisters for being true
No masks that camouflage, you’re just genuinely you.
You pick up my kids and even play mom
Without you, how would I ever stay calm?
Thank you my sisters, without you I slip
Day after day, I rely on you as my grip.
Forgotten tasks, I washed my hair three times at least
This thing called mom-life can be a real beast.
Thank you my Sisters for the constant reminders,
You help me find clarity when I’ve got on my blinders.
You keep my soul alive when the glow is dying
You point me to Jesus, no sugar- coated lying.
Thank you my sisters for your noncritical stance
You love me as a person and not my circumstance.
My biggest cheerleader, no competition
We don’t always agree, but your support is my spirit’s nutrition.
Thank you my sisters for the everlasting giggle
The deep hearty kind that makes by belly jiggle.
When days are dark and I long for a friend
No matter how long it’s been, you’ll pick up on the other end.
Thank you my sisters, I can’t say it enough
Without you I’m different, and life gets really tough.
When there’s no sleep for mama cuz baby said no
You remind me to praise God, because my children still grow.
Thank you my sisters, from now til the end
For recognizing the good in my heart and being my friend.
You are people of value, you’re worth is not measured
But counted in blessings, for you are truly treasured.
Take a minute today and show some love to those women, your sisters, who keep you moving forward each and every day. And, just to be clear, I am not talking about biological blood relatives or sisters by marriage here, although I have to say, I have some of the BEST! I’m not talking about your business “tribe” or your “person” either. I am talking about the group of people that you get out of bed for in the morning because you know if you don’t, they’ll be there knocking on your door. I’m talking about the women you want to see in the hallways at work because they are going to lift you up. The ladies that tell you look fabulous and put a smile on your face when you feel your worst. The individuals that don’t hesitate to rearrange their entire day and take on extra children so you can have an hour by yourself. The people that make it possible for you to go pee without a little one asking you about your girl parts while an infant tries to climb into your lap. I’m talking about the people who send you a text message, never expecting a response, just to say “I know this is the anniversary of ____, and I’m praying for you today.” And yes, even the woman in the check out line who gives you a gentle smile and nod of understanding as you come up to the counter with screaming children, silently thank her for her understanding too.
Recognize these sisters. Acknowledge the women that pull you out of bed when the last thing you can or want to see is the light of day. Thank the people who put you in positive situations. The women who won’t ask you to compromise your values or put you in scenarios where they may be compromised. These are the people that make you rise. They are the yeast that makes you expand beyond the bowl in which you’ve been living.
By the grace of God I have been blessed with many sisters. Sisters by blood, sisters by marriage, and sisters by chance. Sure, sometimes I still feel alone. I can’t tell you the last time I had a girls night out. But, what I can tell you is that when I meet up with the neighbor down the street at the park on a random Tuesday night and we chat while our kids play, her support inspires me. When I watch my sister packing lunches for three boys at nine o’clock at night while she’s still in her scrubs, and she’s doing it without complaint, I’m motivated. When my other sister calls me up to discuss my beliefs and how I got there, I grow curious am reminded of how much I have yet to learn. When I get a text message from a friend who I know is going through an internal struggle I cannot even fathom, the mountains of dishes and laundry I previously felt would consume me suddenly feel much smaller.
As women, so often we try to do it alone. We fear sharing our struggles and difficulties with others because it seems like everyone else has it all together. I promise you, they don’t. Sure, maybe their house is clean, but their marriage is suffering. Oh, you like that fancy car they’re driving? Did you know that they are $162,000 in debt? None of us have it all together, and anyone who tries to tell you different is lying. God didn’t make us to be perfect. There is no such thing as perfectly balanced, but trust that when the rocks are piling up on your side of the scale, God’s sending you a sister to help you carry the load. Don’t do mom, or even woman life alone. Seek out your sisters and do it together.