I have a growing concern for the young moms of our generation. My fear is that we are missing out on a treasure trove of parenting wisdom because we are only tuned into one voice: the voice of moms our own age.
I understand how hypocritical this post will read, because I am a 30-something mommy blogger and contributor to that voice.
I have attempted to find studies or polls that tally the average age of the most influential bloggers on the web today, but my searches keep coming up flat. However, I hypothesize that if such a study were to be performed, the age range for parenting and family bloggers would fall in the 30-40 year old age range (if not younger).
There is typically nothing wrong with these blogs in and of themselves. I think it is fantastic that moms around the world have access to literally every question we might have as we raise these little
monsters…I mean humans. It’s exhausting work and it’s comforting to know that other moms can empathize with us and give us a cyber “pat on the back” when we need it. If I didn’t believe that there are good things that come out of these social networks, I would not be a contributing writer to this site.
My concern comes when I think about the women in my life who have already traveled this path of “young mothering” and are well on their way into the college and adult years of parenting and even grand parenting. I feel slightly panicked as I ask myself, “Are their voices being lost in all our cyber noise?”
They are voices that have layers upon layers of wisdom hidden in their words that we, as young moms, need to hear and take the time to uncover.
I think of my own life and the women in it that have invested and continue to plant this knowledge in me. I have Jan. Her children are now adults and she worked in elementary education for 26 years. She now counsels ex-convicts in Milwaukee. All of our family lives out of state, so soon after she and I met at church and bonded over our love (and need) for mascara, I asked her to become my daughter’s “Wisconsin Grandma.” She attends grandparents day at school and spends intentional time investing into my little girl. When I am struggling with how to handle a disciplinary situation with my daughter, Jan is my first call. Her calm but firm wisdom has never led me astray.
I also have my friend Elizabeth. She raised four boys who are now finishing high school, in college, and married. She just became a first-time grandma to twin baby girls! My parenting scenario looks much different than hers did, but she has offered me insight into building family traditions, choosing schools, and parenting when your husband travels frequently for work. And of course there is my mom. She and my dad know me well and frequently offer my husband and me tips on how to raise our “mini-me.”
I could go on and on with a list of the women who have spoken truth into my parenting. Their experiences have kept me from repeating their own mistakes and have comforted me on the days that I feel I have completely screwed up my child. They reassure me that I’m doing a great job, but also give me loving correction when I need to hear it.
On the days that I feel like I’m failing at motherhood, I need to let their words sink in deep, not see another Pinterest board on how to spend 23 days pulling off the perfect “My Little Pony” birthday party.
And so my fear stands that many of these voices are being snuffed out because of their lack of presence on social media. Just because their words do not have a URL address, does not mean that they are not needed.
So I urge you moms to seek out these wise voices in your own life. Put these women on speed dial and call them often. Set up coffee with them or take them out to dinner. Whatever you do, make a concentrated effort to hear their voices.
Just because they may not be loud, does not mean that they do not need to be heard.