Last February, I joined the social networking site, CaféMom, to talk with other moms about life’s struggles as a first-time mom and stepmom. I thought it would be a good place to get wisdom from those that have gone before me. Within CaféMom are different “groups” you can join to chat with moms that are similar to you, i.e. 30-something moms, first-time moms, step-moms, etc. There is an option to get a daily email called “CafeMom Daily,” that has three main sections. First, “Community: What Moms are talking about today.” This features different group’s hot discussions within CafeMom. Next, “Video: What Moms are Watching Today.” Lastly, “Today’s Stories, What Moms are Reading Today.” This section features about five blogs on what moms are reading.
At first, I looked forward to this email that came around 6 every evening. After mine and Ella’s nighttime routine, I would have CaféMom time. I first read the community section, skipped over the video section, then finished with the reading section. As time went on I thought to myself, “Is this REALLY what moms are talking about?”
Often, the community is section is filled with moms bashing each other for not breastfeeding, or for breastfeeding, co-sleeping, or not co-sleeping, vaccinating or not vaccinating. Or, the headline would read, “Can you believe she said THAT!?” I must admit that a few times, and most recently with the election, there were some interesting, non-gossipy conversations such as, “What would you change first if elected president?”
So, the community section isn’t what got me thinking. It was the reading section. Everyday there is something about 50 Shades of Grey, Teen Mom, or Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. After a few weeks, I began to think,”Is this really what moms are concerned about? This is what interests them?” They want to gossip about teenage mothers, not because they care and want to help, but because they want to know who they are dating now? Or if they are in rehab? Or if they have a new boyfriend? Really? EVERYDAY…Kristen Stewart is sad. Robert Pattinson is mad. K-Rob make up. Kristen moves in with Rob. Rob moves out of Kristen’s home. REALLY? “The Christian Grey of your fantasy can finally be yours!” Really? IS THIS REALLY WHAT WE CARE ABOUT MOMS?
I had to admit to myself that yes, I was concerned about many unimportant things. I filled my mind every night with women bickering over breastfeeding while kids are being kidnapped and put on the sex slave market. I read women’s opinions on whether this lady should go to this other lady’s baby shower because, after all, it was the THIRD shower for their THIRD GIRL. I mean, really! At the end of the day I had to ask myself, does any of this matter?
Where were the discussions on a nuclear Iran? Where were the discussions on becoming an honest professional that fights against the moral decay in the corporate workplace? Where were the discussions on the sex slave industry? Where were the discussions on being healthy, mind, body and soul? Don’t get me wrong. If you dug deep within the groups, you could find a worthwhile conversation, but they were not featured on the daily emails. They were not recognized as what “moms are reading.” And…I don’t want to be one of those moms.
I also receive another blog email daily called “SteadyMom.” This is written by a woman named Jamie who is “on a journey toward intentional, professional motherhood.” Her blogs are consistently filled with content that matters. Her husband is involved in stopping the exploitation of children in the sex industry. They have three children, one biological, one adopted from India, and one adopted from Africa. She homeschools. She plays in the woods with her children and makes tents in the backyard. She writes books. She loves God. She is present…and she doesn’t care if Kristen cheats on Rob.
I was delighted to read one of her blogposts from 2009 titled, Thoughts on Blogging. Here is an excerpt that is the cry of my heart:
“And since my goal is to live with intention, I can't focus my blog on the unimportant.
- I can't do it, because I know too much.
- I can't do it, because I've stood in the sweltering heat of an African orphanage holding a sick-with-malaria, starving child in my arms. My son, Elijah. He survived, but over 3,000 African children each day die from the same disease.
- I can't do it, because last night I cried alongside my little girl as she talked about four years in an orphanage waiting for a family. "Nobody came to get me; it took too long."
I know the number of children still waiting at her "India House," and that millions of orphans with broken stories, empty bellies, and aching hearts are suffering tonight.
- I can't do it, because I know that even as I type this post, thousands of children are being raped and abused at the hands of predators around the world, and that two children are sold into sexual slavery every minute.”
I, too, know too much. I’ve seen too much. And I’ve tasted too much of God. Although, I enjoy fashion, follow Big Ang Raiola on twitter, and even have felt, “Can you believe she said that!?” it’s not fully who I am. It’s not what consumes my every thought. It’s not what this mom is talking about. It’s not what I want my darling daughter to be consumed with.
My top five list of “Today’s Stories: What Moms are Reading Today,” would look like this:
1) Sisterhood Dinner to raise awareness of the human trafficking industry: Can this mom get six people to commit to sitting at her host table?
2) Premier Design’s Jewelry: How one mom is working a second part-time job that actually creates more revenue and time to raise her daughter.
3) Israel 101 Tour: How one husband and wife team are partnering with an international ministry to stop persecution of Jews and the State of Israel.
4) Distractions: One mom reevaluates her life’s goals to add more intentional spots of her day versus internet filled mind numbness.
5) Debt: Fighting your way out of it can be as annoying as escaping a wet paper bag.
I’m no better than any of these other women. I just want more. I want to rescue people from hurting situations. I want my money to go to changing the world. I want to discuss deep issues. I want to read the bible. I want to worship. Thrive. Live.
So, I have chosen to leave CaféMom because I am not becoming a better mom from being on it, and trust me, I have a long way to go. I am staying on Steady Mom because at the end of the day, Jamie is trying to become what I am trying to become. She has arrived at a lot of places that I haven’t yet. Now, in Jamie’s blog, her annoyance was at mom’s love for fashion, while there are so many hurting people to rescue. For this mom, that’s taking it too far. I will be rescuing people and challenging the status quo, but I’ll be wearing fashionable boots and earrings while doing it.