Let’s just get this out in the open: I’m tired of being discouraged and defeated by other moms who are discouraged and defeated.

There, I said it.

Life as a mother is hard. It doesn’t matter if you are a stay-at-home-mom with five little ones underfoot all day long, or you’re part of the workforce with a budding career while trying to juggle daycare, school schedules, and soccer practice; we’re all terribly busy and frantically trying to do our best for our kids. But always complaining about it, either in person or online gets just plain depressing over time.

I’m part of a Facebook group aimed at parents of many little ones. I joined the groups thinking it would be fun to see other parents who all have closely-spaced kiddos like I do and get some tips of the trade. It didn’t take long for me to realize the majority of the posts were just complaining about never having clean houses, their whiny kids, an unhelpful husband, or how they are just “surviving” motherhood. It was depressing. And it impacted my viewpoint.

Now, before you think I’m some goody goody mom who thinks I have it all together, I must tell you that I struggle DAILY at this whole mom thing. My middle daughter DRIVES ME CRAZY on a daily basis, when my house gets messy it bothers me more than it should, and I struggle with keeping my cool most every day. I don’t always “like” being with my kids. I don’t always feel content with my “job” choice. I have problems just like all those moms on the Facebook group. But the problem is that their public complaining only encouraged mine.

Did you catch that?

Their complaining only encouraged my own.

In contrast, I’m also a “liker” (is that even a word? I mean you have “followers” on Instagram so on Facebook there must be “likers” I guess) of a page that aims at encouraging mothers in their role. The posts from the author of the page are full of Bible verses, uplifting quotes, sweet stories, challenging thoughts, and encouragement to other moms in their motherhood journey. No, it’s not some mystical la la land view that this page promotes where the kids are little cherubs with nary a shoe on the wrong foot. Rather, it’s uplifting the hearts of mothers and families everywhere to embrace their role as nurturers in their homes.

When I read those posts, I want to be a better mom and love on my kiddos a little bit more.

When I read that page, I want to slap a smile on my face and embrace my job with passion.

When I read those encouraging words, I want to be the woman God made me to be and make my home a happy place for my family.

There’s a time and a place to cry and vent over a hard day, and sometimes you just need a listening ear when the going gets tough—I know I do. But let’s not dwell in the muck. Let’s hop back up, grab hold of that encouraging word, and move forward as better mothers.

My question to you, sweet mothers, is this: what are you letting impact your heart and thoughts? Fierce encouragement or whiny complaints? There’s quite a difference.

Whitney Bougher

Whitney is Momma to three little munchkins ages three and under who always keep her on her toes! She is also a youth pastor's wife, chai tea lover, organizing fanatic, and enjoys a bowl of cookie dough on occasion. You can join her on the Bougher family blog: heartrighthome.wordpress.com