Eager to become a mother or father, but have no lover in sight? New, dating-like websites that connect singles looking to create a child—without the commitment of love or a relationship of any kind—are popping up everywhere. Momadily (a mash-up of modern and family) and Family By Design are some notable picks, with quite a few co-parent prospects already signed up. Do you think parenting partnerships are the way of the future?
I came across this video a couple of days ago on Upworthy. While the video appears to have been made in honor of Mother’s Day, I think its message is important enough that we should emphasize it more than on one faux holiday on the second Sunday in May. As a web site for mission-driven media with the goal “to make important stuff as viral as a video of some idiot surging on his roof,” I’m going to agree with Upworthy and say that this is meaningful and deserves to go viral.
Moms work really hard and love their children so much, and—as shown in these three minutes—that does not go unnoticed by said children. But Evolution Church, the makers of the video, gave one instruction to a group of moms: Describe yourself as a mother. I was expecting to hear responses like “Well, I tend to be a strict mom” or “I’m definitely a cool mom”—you know, a la Amy Poehler in Mean Girls. But what actually came out of their mouths was something more like this:
“There are definitely days when I have doubts in my abilities.”
“I struggle with….”
“I wish I knew how to…”
“I wish I was better at…”
“I wish I was more….”
Wait. Why were all of those responses about their deficiencies as mothers? Why is the first thing that jumps into these mothers’ heads when asked to describe themselves is what they are NOT good at? (Granted, the video editors could have chosen to take this angle, but these moms were not forced to utter self-criticisms.) And for that matter, why is self-criticism often at the forefront of women’s brains when we describe ourselves, period? As Jessica Simpson mentioned in her blog post the other day, even when the tabloids pointed fingers at her, she was really her own biggest threat.
I think we all need to practice a little more self-love. Of course there is always room for improvement, but why not think of what we can do better after congratulating ourselves for all the things we do right. After all, there must be a reason why the children of these mothers described their mommies with such an outpouring of love. One girl nearly cried as she confessed “[My mom] is like my heart … because she’s that close to me.”
So don’t wait until May to cut yourself a break, Mom. Chances are that for every little mistake you see yourself make, there are at least ten things you did right. Focus on that, and maybe even dial your own mom to say you love her. In fact, I think I’ll do that right now.