Building Her Up Won’t Break You


Building Her Up Won't Break You

“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” — Michelle Obama

Motherhood. Careers. Keeping a home. Dominating the workforce. Love. Strength. Courage. But what about empowering each other? We should start with understanding the definition of “empowerment:”

/əmˈpouərmənt/ |noun|

1. Authority or power given to someone to do something.

2. The process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.

As individuals, we deserve the right to empower ourselves; it’s how we move forward and progress. But when did we — as women and mothers — become okay with the idea of mom-shaming or tearing others down? When did we become okay with placing judgments on women who are facing a struggle that we may not see? When did we become okay with stating hurtful one-sided opinions of someone’s life, based on a fraction of time we’ve spent with them? I’m not talking the “Let’s all be sensitive and be offended over everything” talk. I’m talking the “Ya momma raised ya better than that, so act like it” talk.


We’ve all done it. I can admit the judgments I’ve cast upon other women and mothers without knowing their story. And such behavior cost me my happiness. Because how could I truly say I was happy, yet do any of the following things?:

  1. Tear other women and mothers down.
  2. Place myself on a high horse and look down upon others.
  3. Have the inability to have a different opinion with an unguarded, open and a ready to listen mind and heart.
  4. Have the inability to accept that ways different from my own may work for other families.

We are living in a time of incredible knowledge where we, as women, need each other more than ever. So, I had to have this tough conversation with myself:

Does striking fear in a new mom make you feel better or empower you? If so, you must change your mindset. What should truly make you feel powerful is lifting up another woman, making her feel like a million bucks. Because you, better than anyone else, know that we need it. How often are we in the grocery store with our kids yapping on and on, and we find ourselves comparing ourselves to others, wishing we were better? What if another felt the same way? What if you were to her — what you needed during those times?

I am no angel. Dear lawd, I have had my rough times. I have judged so hard core it’s not even funny. I’ve said some mean things and thought some even worse things. But then I was always miserable. Always comparing myself to others, and feeling as if I could never climb out of the dark hole.

So I changed my mindset. I began to respond instead of react.

Messy-faced kids in public. Screaming kids in stores. Screaming kids in restaurants. Exhausted looking moms. Moms that are dressed nicely, but their kids aren’t. Kids with curly hair and moms that seemed to have no clue how to brush it. Moms with their nails done, but their kids’ shoelaces are raggedy. Moms yelling at their kids in public. Moms spanking their kids in public. Moms telling their kids yes in public. Moms telling their kids no in public. Women giving stank faces to moms with screaming kids in public. Any of this sound familiar? Have you been in any of these situations? Have you judged another in one of these? I have!

I talk about empowering others and building your tribe. When doing so, you want to build with a warm-hearted purpose of empowerment, support, honesty.

Social media can be the death of this. It only shows the good, and you must remember this, so as not to drive yourself crazy. Comparison is the biggest thief of joy. One of my tribe members is a friend named Madeline, who I’ve known since I was 18. When looking at her social media, I couldn’t help but compare myself and wonder what I was missing. I love her dearly and wanted to be so badly like her. She is a working mom, with a great job, she’s a homemaker, she’s got two gorgeous boys, and a smokin’ husband who adores her so much it makes me teary eyed with joy, and she’s honest.

Madeline and me, the first night we met. We immediately hit it off. This is before careers, men, and babies! Just girl’s nights and silly faces, before the social media boom.

One day, she posted how she was having issues with her younger son, and was at her wit’s end. I was shocked. I’d always thought she had a perfect life and no issues. But her raw honesty sparked something in me. I texted her to offer some advice and to build her up. She’s one of my greatest mom role models and I needed her to know that. We ended up spending nearly two hours on the phone, sharing our hard parenting truths, and our darkest times as mothers. Times we’d screamed, hollered, sobbed and felt so down we thought we were alone and were too ashamed to ask for help.

I’ve never felt more empowered in my life. Why? Because I was honest, open-minded, listened, and wanted to build another up out of goodness, not gain. Because we both trusted each other enough to give those raw moments and truths, and we bonded so deeply. We both finally felt like we weren’t alone.

This is what we need: Strong relationships based on making others feel safe and good.

How do we apply this to our everyday lives? By reaching out. We see each other in moms’ groups and in grocery stores and restaurants and in Victoria’s Secret while we’re trying to find new panties and our kids are emptying the drawers.

If someone inspires you, tell them! If you’re curious, ask for advice or a coffee date! Be honest without being negative.

Negativity instills fear and distance. Positivity promotes power.

What do you do when you start finding your mom tribe? Be engaged. Ask about them. As much as we want to vent, you have to be an ear for others too! (I’m bad at this. I can’t seem to shut up at times.) Grow and build friendship. Commit to it. Communicate! The good, the bad, and the ugly! Raw honesty builds deeply-rooted bonds. Schedule times and keep your word.

I truly hope this helps. I tried to use the mistakes I made as best as I could. I’ve made so many mistakes in friendships and as I’ve grown, I’ve come to yearn for and appreciate deep bonds with others. My shoulder is always here for you and I almost always bring coffee and biscuits.


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