As mothers to young children, it’s easy to feel isolated and alone in our struggles. But going on the Better Mums Conference reminded me of all we have in common. It reminded me of the importance of community and growth for Mums.
Often it feels scary to open up about our true feelings and experiences, for fear of being met with blank stares or worse, judgemental stares. But if we are brave enough to take the first step of opening up, be the first one to share, we will find that we are surrounded by a community of mothers like us, with the same struggles and desires.
When I first learned of the Better Mums Conference, the name grated on me a little. “Better Mums” – was it implying that we weren’t good enough Mums already? As mothers, we often harbour unwarranted guilt for all the ways we have failed our own expectations. As a result, more Mums are now writing blogs, books and talks encouraging Mums that they are enough just as they are – that we shouldn’t load ourselves down with guilt.
It is refreshing to receive encouragement and instruction on how to improve ourselves as Mums, rather than succumbing to the belief that we are stuck where we are. I came away from the conference feeling empowered and equipped to move forward in God’s grace, for the sake of my children and the world they are growing up into.
Here are some of the things I learnt at the conference:
- That it is so important to verbally express our love in marriage. Our words have the power to destroy the relationship, or to bring healing.
- That we should be willing to just listen when our friends are grieving, not try to make it about us or diminish their pain.
- That we should always keep in mind the end goal of what we are trying to teach our kids, rather than get caught up in the emotion of the moment when, for example, our kids are having a temper tantrum.
- That we really do need community to be the best mums we can be.
As we sat down enjoying morning tea and lunch (that we didn’t have to prepare ourselves or share with tiny mouths), I experienced the beauty of mums in community. It was like sitting down with old friends, picking up where you left off. Even though I hadn’t met these women before, we all shared a common goal – to be better mums to our kids. And in doing so, to make a better world.