Sometimes we all need to see something from a different perspective. Sometimes we need to concentrate on supporting one another instead of looking for ways to tear each other down. Sometimes we need to give others the benefit of the doubt. I’m Wendy, one of the Hip Homeschool Moms owners. As part of my job, I love helping moms like you homeschool! I love encouraging and informing moms who homeschool. And honestly, I thought I was pretty good about supporting, helping, and encouraging moms, but I recently realized that I need some work in these areas! Let me share with you what happened.
A few days ago, I was reading comments on a homeschool-related blog. A mom was sharing her fears about homeschooling her special needs child. She was saying that her son had been having a hard time in school and that his teachers were convinced that he wasn’t able to learn, so they weren’t attempting to teach him anything. He was being allowed to sit alone and goof off rather than being given constructive things to do and rather than being taught new skills and information. Then she mentioned that, for those reasons, she was bringing her son home to homeschool.
As I read the comment, I noticed some grammatical errors. I noticed some punctuation errors. I even noticed a few word-usage errors. Because of those errors, my first thought was, I wonder how she will homeschool her child when she has trouble with the English language herself. Doesn’t she need to be a little more skilled and capable herself before attempting to teach her child?
Then I decided to look at the mom’s Facebook page to learn a little more about her. I don’t usually do that, and I’m not sure why I did it this time, but I did. Once I went to her Facebook page, I realized that English is not this mom’s first language. Then I realized that this mom is evidently trying her best to learn and correctly use the English language, and in light of that, my whole attitude changed! I began to understand that her comment was actually really good for someone who’s learning and using English as a second language. In other words, at first I didn’t know the whole story, but this new information completely changed my attitude about this mom and her comment and her ability to homeschool her child!
However, the topic here isn’t really English grammar or whether or not a particular mom is capable of homeschooling her child. My point is that we moms, myself included, are often very quick to judge each other and tear each other down, when what we should be doing is looking for ways to build each other up and help each other. We may have different languages, needs, desires, abilities, religions, priorities, likes and dislikes, and reasons for homeschooling, but the fact is that we’re all more or less in the same boat. And we all have a desire to be accepted and supported and liked.
So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to try my best from now on to look farther than a single comment another mom may make. I’m going to remind myself that she’s a mom just like me. I’m going to stop and think about what may be going on in another mom’s life and why she may have commented in a way that I don’t agree with or that I don’t understand. And then I’m going to give that mom grace. The same grace that I’d like for her to give me if the situation were reversed.
Most of us make a hasty comment now and then. We speak before we think. And once we’ve spoken (or commented), it’s too late to take it back. We can apologize, or we can delete or edit the comment, but once something has been said and heard (or posted and read), it can never truly be taken back. So let me encourage you (as I’m doing the same thing myself) to stop and think before you speak or comment. Consider whether you might need to take a few minutes to cool down before you say something. Think about how your words might sound to someone else. And then give mercy and grace.