Mama, you’re doing it right.
As I fed my 1.5 year old a bite of chocolate cake off of my plate recently, a good friend and mentor said to me, “Just so you know, you’re doing it right.”It wasn’t organic, sugar-free or anything like that. It was gluten full, refined sugar laden and it was right.
But how often have you felt that you’re doing it wrong? Somehow along the way we painted this picture of mothering, wife-ing (I’m fully aware that’s not a word), and relationship that dare I say….isn’t even Biblical. Somehow we have reached the place where the picture of our gatherings has become more important than the connection at our gatherings.
We used to have an annual Women’s Tea. I loved that tea. I loved seeing all the pretty table decor, the perfectly cut sandwiches, I loved being apart of it and dressing up and feeling fancy! And it’s so fun to do that occasionally. But when we live our lives in a women’s tea, we don’t foster relationship. We foster pretty dresses, and beautiful plates, and all lovely things- which sounds amazing, but it’s not real. Because often enough, we aren’t pretty, our lives aren’t beautiful and our struggles are most definitely not lovely.
Sister, I want to say to you- the one who is feeding your kid the chocolate cake because it’s a freaking celebration, the one who’s house is an absolute disaster because you have spent all day playing with your kids outside, the one who was tired and so you watched the movie instead of reading the book, to the one who doesn’t have their young child on a “schedule”….I want to say to you, “Just so you know, you’re doing it right.”
I made a post on social media recently that read,
“I love our [neighbor]hood! All we need is a roundabout and some hot dogs in the air fryer!”
Allow me to explain. We live in the BEST neighborhood. I dare you to prove me wrong. It’s always been a great neighborhood, but recently God orchestrated a year to help us realize it’s the BEST neighborhood. You see, this interesting thing happened in early 2020. Many of us found ourselves with nothing to do; forced to slow down. Businesses and restaurants shut down leaving us without somewhere to go. And so we were at home. And alone. And tired. And longing for community.
I don’t know if we had ever realized how much we need each other, as human being to human being. I don’t know if we ever truly understand the way in which God fastened our hearts for community until last year.
But I realize now.
You see, we live in the BEST neighborhood. And by default, in our weariness we began to ditch the pretty dresses. Day after day, in 2020 we spent outside, sitting on the sidewalk, watching our kids play in the roundabout by our house and connect. Day after day we sat, there on the side walk, just being. Just doing life. And friend, at times life in 2020 was ugly. Like real down and dirty, drop some cuss words (and possibly punch someone in the face) ugly. But that’s what we were created for. To do battle together. To pick each other up.
But when we are wearing the pretty dress, and using words like organic and fair trade (like what does that even mean?) and keeping our kids on their very specific nap schedule it becomes easy to elevate the importance of those things above actual relationship.
So let’s strip it all away! Let’s get back to the basics and just BE. Let’s put such an importance on being together that we forget the details . Let’s make one another a priority. This past 4th of July our neighborhood came to be together. And it finally wasn’t about the red, white and blue food. I didn’t even get decorations like I normally do. In fact, it was Sunday and I was tired and so we put hot dogs in the air fryer. And it was okay. Because it’s not about the food, or the decorations. It’s about the people. And we sat outside in our roundabout until darkness fell just doing life.
Earlier this week, I was summarizing a post I had read to the same friend who had said, “Just so you know, you’re doing it right.”
At one point in the article the author says,
“As a whole, we’re really not craving over-the-top celebrations. We’re craving connection, but we’ve gotta make it easier and lower the expectations. Lower. Nope. Ever lower.”
To which my friend said,
“The secret is having no expectations [other than expecting to meet with people].”
I’ve watched other mothers just do life in this season. And they didn’t come wearing pretty dresses, or eating their organic food off of their BPA free plate. They came make-up less, they came broken, they came with crying kids, and they sat down on the sidewalk and it was beautiful because they came expecting to meet with people. I’m so honored to watch these women do life. Acacia Knutzen, Karissa Wellman Bilderback, Renee Phillips-Richardson, Danee Molan, Marin Allen, amongst so many others, you’re doing it right.
So mama, let go of all the things. Make it just about people. And if you do that, just so you know, you’re doing it right.