Six moms who need your compassion the most

This post is among the thousands of voices who are coming together today to write about compassion, because we care. The 1000 Voices for Compassion movement is about making our lives overflow with good for others, ourselves, and the whole world.

Who are the people you think deserve compassion? The poor, the needy, the estranged, the homeless, the victims? But, perhaps, we shouldn't be using the term 'deserve' when we talk about compassion. Because compassion isn't a limited resource that we hand out to those who need it most. It is an ever-flowing quality which we can cultivate in ourselves. We can have enough compassion inside us to change the world. And we must use it freely.

To me, compassion is complete when you do these three things:

1. Understand the other person's situation from their viewpoint.

2. Indicate to them that you understand. Acknowledge them.

3. Do something, no matter how small, to improve their situation - even if for a single day.

Lizzi, author of the Considerings blog, and one of the founders of #1000Speak, wrote a post about how we all need 'the village'. It really resonated with me.

A mother can be a powerful human being, forgetting her self to nurture a new life. But she can also be very vulnerable - because she is a human being, complete with physical and emotional limitations. No mother should have to deal with the overwhelming emotions and challenges of pregnancy, birth, and parenting all on her own. She should have a circle of support and protection.

Yet, most mothers today do not have that circle. And to make matters worse, we moms end up being our own worst enemies. We have put ourselves in factions, ready to take each other down. We are ready to judge where we could take a minute to put ourselves in the other mom's shoes. We often do this unknowingly.

The now viral Similac ad about motherhood shows exactly this - we may disagree about everything, but we will have to agree that all we want is the best for our children. We are all parents.

We will always differ in our parenting styles, and we will have our disagreements. But I would like to leave it at that. We have to stop splitting hairs about what diapers to use and bring the focus on to ourselves. Yes, parenting is about bringing up children, but it is also about taking care of ourselves, and supporting other parents.

We can start by being more compassionate towards that mom who didn't put a jacket on her child on a windy day. Or the mom who was feeding cookies to the toddler at the store. Maybe it's time to stop the eye-rolling and curve our lips into an understanding smile. Everyone is living a life we know nothing about. So, it is entirely unfair to judge them based on what we only see of them for a few minutes.

The six kinds of moms who need your compassion more than others.

Let's think more kindly of every mom we meet, especially these six kinds of moms who need your compassion much more than others. 

The New Mom

She doesn't know what to do. She has a baby to take care of, and she doesn't know how she'll ever do it. All she needs is someone to tell her it will be okay, and that she should just take it one step at a time. And that if she ever needs a shoulder or a listening ear, someone will be there, hopefully with a cup of soup.

The Formula-feeding Mom

She probably struggled for days before giving in to her infant's hunger screams and feeding formula. It could have been a medical reason, or maybe she didn't get the right support. She feels guilty every day, because people won't let her forget. Breastfeeding is undoubtedly the best thing in the world, and somehow she couldn't do it, and she now feels like a failure. She needs someone to tell her that all that matters is that she's taking care of her baby, and breastfeeding isn't the only way to bond with her newborn.

The C-section Mom

She had her birth plan etched in her mind. It was perfect. But reality was different. And all she remembers is a blurry kiss on her baby's forehead before she passed out. And she can't get over it. She can't stop being envious of all those beautiful birth stories, and now she feels let down. Someone needs to tell her that she's still a good mother, and that the birth is just the beginning.

The Working Mom

She leaves home every day filled with worries. Did she pack the right lunch? Has she forgotten about a school meeting? She chose to have a career (or maybe, she didn't even have a choice), and she is consumed by guilt when she sees moms taking their kids to the playground. If only she had the time. She needs an assuring hand on her shoulder, and she needs to be told that she's doing everything she can for her family. And it's awesome that she's managing both her career and home.

The Single Mom

Whether by choice or circumstance, this mom is a superhero. She makes it seem wonderful, but inside, she's so tired. All she wants is to sleep uninterrupted, without having to worry about every single detail of her family's life. But she still manages to get it all done. She really needs to have a break, and any offer of help with the kids would mean a lot to her.

The Distressed Mom

She may be diagnosed or not. She will probably not talk about it. But every day is a battle of survival for her. She desperately wants a world of happiness for her children, but she feels blinded by her own mental illness. She needs help, straightforwardly. She needs a hug, and she needs to be freed of the stigma of needing that help.

Think about it - can you be the ray of sunshine in another mom's life today?

Visit the 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion blog to read other posts about compassion, kindness, support, and care. Don't forget to see the link-up at the bottom of the post.

You can start by visiting these wonderful hosts and their blogs:

Yvonne Spence
American Indian Mom
Finding Ninee 
The Quiet Muse
Chronically Sick Manic Mother
Just Gene’o
Driftwood Gardens
Getting Literal
The Meaning of Me
Ilirian Ravings
Head Heart Health

Follow the hashtag #1000Speak on Twitter and Facebook to read more.

This post has also been linked to:

Parenting 3117571063780746625

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Roshni Aamom said...

Excellent perspective of what it must be like to be one those moms!

Kathy said...

Lovely post and you are right - all those Moms need compassion - we've all been new moms in one form of the other (me an adoptive mother) and we all need to support each other in our different circumstances, different choices (and non-choices) and mostly in our similarities as mothers. And in love.

nabanita21 said...

Yes, the world forgets its not easy and always ends up judging moms...This needs to be high up on the agenda of compassion...

Lexis said...

So true! It will be a beautiful day when parental judgement becomes a thing of the past <3

Jill Robbins said...

You are absolutely right. We need way more tolerance in this world.

Chris Carter said...

LOVE this so so much, Tarana. You took this movement in a beautiful direction!!!

Meredith said...

SO so great. All moms could use more compassion. Love this.

Tarana said...

That's true, Kathy!

Tarana said...

It does, thank you!

Tarana said...

I hope so too!

Kristi - Finding Ninee said...

YES! Every mother deserves compassion. Ever person. Love this!!

Mike said...

You rocked this and I love how it's circulated around the world, Tarana! Fantastic post and I couldn't agree more with you, my friend! I hope you are having a good week so far and that little dude is doing great! :)

Let's Talk Mommy said...

I absolutely love this hunny and it's so true and we all need to support each other more and judge less. We are all trying to do the same thing the best way we know how and it amazes me that we don't support each other as women more. Great post. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

Jenny @ Unremarkable Files said...

Great post. Regardless of whether you think a mom needs compassion or not, it's not going to hurt her either way so you might as well give it.

#share with me

Brandyn Blaze said...

This is beautiful! We all need support and compassion, every single one of us! Life is full of challenges and no one is perfect. How much better would the world be if we could remember that?


Stephanie Sprenger said...

What a fantastic post in this great project. Such an inspiration-- I loved it!

Tarana said...

Thanks Mike, hope you're having a great week too!

Tarana said...

Glad it resonated with you, Jenny!

Tarana said...


Tarana said...

That's such an important thing to remember, Brandyn.

Tarana said...

Glad you liked it, Stephanie! It's a real compliment for me, coming from an awesome writer like you :)

kidGLloves said...

The Mother says - Loved reading this post. As a working mum, I totally got what you said. It didn't matter whether Lucas was staying with Grandparents or going to nursery, you are always mum and that comes with a huge heap of emotions :) 'sharewithme

TheMissusV said...

I am all of the above except for one! LOL. There's really no one way to do it and we need to support each other instead of judging.

Amy Antoinette said...

One type of mother you're missing from the list who needs the most compassion of all, is the bereaved mother. My twin sons died, but giving birth to them made me a mother, and I really needed that recognition from people, as well as empathy and compassion.

Tarana said...

You are very right, Amy. I am so sorry for your loss, and my thoughts are with you.

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