Moms Are Dying for Your Words
When my dad passed suddenly two years ago, he left a legacy of words. He was rarely long winded. He wasn’t much for party conversation. And he wasn’t one to seek attention for himself. But he was the master of a well-timed conversation. He intentionally noticed people, sought them out, for the purpose of encouraging them.
I often reflect on the cards and phone calls I received from him that had no agenda except to say, “I think you’re doing a wonderful job as a mom.” This was especially meaningful when I felt the complete opposite, when I wasn’t measuring up to my own expectations, and I just knew I must be causing irreversible damage to my kids.
Where’s My Paycheck?
The nature of our jobs as moms, the pressure to raise moral, healthy kids in this ever-changing world, makes us vulnerable to worry and doubt. It’s a bit of a thankless job. No employee of the month plaques, no bonuses for overnight vomit fests, and such long hours. Our countless little tasks often go unnoticed.
We are left feeling parched, desperate for encouragement.
If we are in a difficult season with one or more kids (or maybe it’s more of a lifestyle than a season), it’s easy to feel that life is confirming what we already believe – failure might be just around the corner.
We really can’t get enough of someone telling us something positive instead, a vote of confidence when we don’t have confidence of our own.
We Can’t. Get. Enough.
It’s a Selfless Choice
I realize that my dad was unusual, and many moms don’t have someone in their lives who’s cheering them on from the sides. But I also recognize that there wasn’t anything magical about what he did. He wasn’t particularly gifted in this area, or flowery with his words, he just made a choice. He chose to see the good, to seek it out, to say it out loud.
We mothers are often dying for someone to notice us, to see how hard we are trying, and to give us a little reassurance and hope.
What if our culture as moms was such that this was common among us?
Instead of complimenting cute clothes and flawless skin, what if we looked for the authentic good in each other? What if we took time to say out loud, “I see what you’re doing over there in your home, and it’s amazing. I know it feels like you’re scaling Everest, but you can do it.”
You may have read those scary articles about water safety and how a drowning person doesn’t flail about and holler. They are actually somewhat still, sinking quietly into the depths, and other people don’t notice.
We probably all know a mom who feels exactly like that, like she’s sinking right now. Under pressure, under the weight of her responsibilities, under fatigue. And as culture dictates, she might not ever speak up about it. It’s not cool to need help.
My challenge to you is to seek out and encourage one mom this week. Take time to recognize and validate someone. It might be a friend or it might be a lady at Target with four kids hanging off her cart and a haggard look on her face.
Say something meaningful, maybe the very thing you want to hear about yourself.
Send a card or email or text to a friend. It won’t cost you anything.
And wouldn’t it be amazing if, one person at a time, we shifted the culture away from isolation, shame, and discouragement, and more toward rallying around each other, strengthening each other, and recognizing all of the good that moms contribute to this world.
Do you remember a time that someone encouraged you as a woman or a mom? How did it impact you? Share in the comments.