A few years ago, I walked into a meeting at work and noticed a co worker of mine sitting at the other end of the table, and my first thought was, “Aren’t you sick? Why are you here?” Later that day, I was in a smaller meeting room with another co worker, when the sick one went to pop her head in, I immediately said “Do NOT come in here!”, she gave a bewildered look and left. My other co worker looked at me shocked and said ” Uhhh, I think I just heard your mom voice.” In my defense, I really didn’t want to get sick…
The mom voice
We’ve all heard it at some point in our lives. That stern, means business tone that gets your attention and respect, instills fear into your heart and usually involves all 3 of your names. The mom voice. The power that a mom, any mom has over those around her. It’s commanding. It can come out of the meekest of moms and the boldest of moms. It comes out when you are in public or at home. It is the voice that has helped us all make better choices, stay out of trouble and right our wrongs.
It can also be a look or a phrase, it doesn’t even have to be a string of words, maybe just one.
My grandma could say one word with a look, “Tatzche!” it was some sort of Romanian word that basically meant “don’t even think about it”. I swear when she said it, my cousins and I would all stare at her in fear as if when she said it we got some gypsy curse put on us. Needless to say it was effective.
Not just for moms
Sure it starts with moms, but we all need to use it. We need to use our mom voices for the sake of humanity and keeping the world in check. Here’s the thing, the mom voice comes without hesitation. It comes out at those critical moments to be helpful and speak out against injustice, to make sure people are taking care of themselves, being the best version of themselves and overall being good people. Sounds like a super hero, but hello, think about it, that’s basically what moms embody.
There’s a power in this voice we need to embrace. It’s the type of voice all women need get comfortable using. Too often, we don’t speak up or are apologizing for what we’ve said. We regret the things we say and don’t say. We over think what is appropriate.
That’s not the case when I use my mom voice. There’s something about it that overrides all of the cultural niceties I’ve been taught and encourages me in a way where I can feel all of the women who’ve come before me standing beside me. It may sound a little silly, but it’s not.
Say what you need to say
Last year, in my book club, we read the book, Playing Big by Tara Mohr. Great book. There is a line in it where she talks about the fact that women in America are liberated but not empowered. Wow! I never really thought about that. Is it true? I think we are working on it, today more than we have in a while. This is where our mom voices come in…
We aren’t hesitant to use our voices within our families, so we need to feel comfortable out in the world to use our voices in the same way.
Children make us our best advocates
A friend of mine told me, since she had her son, she was a much better advocate for herself, because she felt she had to be to provide the best for her family. Many movements we are a part of are because we want the best for our children, whether those are children in our family or friend’s families or communities. I think it is because there is so much possibility, hope and love we feel from them.
All children need people in their lives to encourage them, but it works both ways. They are truthful in that way adults aren’t. They make you want to be a better person, they drive you a little crazy sometimes, they show you the beauty in little discoveries and to look at things in a whole new light. They remind us of the best life has to offer. They aren’t afraid to be who they are.
Got what it takes?
Village, tribe, family, your person, partner, spouse, BFF, kind stranger, teacher, neighbor…it takes all of us. All of us to support each other and especially moms. If you are a mom, or have helped a mom or child, give yourself a high five, pat on the back etc. We need you!
The thing I like to say to moms, whether I know them well or not is “You are doing a great job!”
Usually what happens next, is a sigh of relief, a smile and sometimes tears. Moms hold a lot in and hold a lot more together. We are the glue. It’s hard, it’s rewarding, it’s scary, it’s fun. It’s life changing. It brings out the best and worst in a person… but we love it.
Raise a glass!
Thank you!!! Thank you to my mom ( she’s the best!) To my Mother-in-Law, my sisters, my aunts and “aunts”, my grandma & grandma Rose, Gamma, my god mother, my “Fairy” godmothers (self appointed), my nieces and daughter. All the moms. The best women I know. There’s a lot of you. You are all amazing. I’m happy to be a part of the motherhood. I’m thankful for your support to use my mom voice to make the world a better place and appreciate when you use yours too. We all need it. We need you. Celebrate all you do, today and always.
Happy Mother’s Day!