how to encourage a mom
I’m so moved by all of you out there. Many of you reponded privately to my last post with touching words of gratitude and relief. I knew there was a need for recognition and validation of the hard work parents do. I knew we needed to build up our community, not tear it down; I just didn’t quite know what a nerve it would touch. Thanks so much for sharing your stories with me.
It’s clear we need to uplift one another, but somehow we rarely do so. Perhaps we’ve just forgotten how or can’t find the words to say. So in that spirit, I offer some tips on how to encourage a mom. Share one with your friends, family, or an acquaintance; say them to someone who needs a lift; or simply say them to yourself. Often.
When it comes to effective praise and encouragement, a few simple elements make all the difference:
1) Notice details.
2) Appreciate the impact.
3) Make it stick with evidence.
Here are a few ideas. They may be a little fantastical, but wouldn’t it be nice if someone said something like this to you today?
I noticed you delivered multiple children, lunches and backpacks to school, fully dressed and fed with only a few remnants of breakfast on their shirts. Congratulations!
I noticed you held your composure while your child threw a fit. I was really impressed that you didn’t give in. You inspire me.
Wow, I really enjoy listening to a little one’s happy squeals and babbles. It’s been so long since I’ve been around those baby sounds. Music to my ears.
I love that you let your children choose their own clothes. They learn how to dress for the weather that way. That’s much more important than matching socks.
Hey, I’m glad to see your children eat treats sometimes. It makes the rest of us feel normal too.
Oh, I remember those days of struggle. I can see you’re doing all the right things. Don’t worry, this season will pass.
Oh, I’m sorry it’s been a difficult day. It’s okay for your kids to hear your frustration. It will help them learn to work through their own problems. How can I help?
Oh, I’m sorry you feel like you messed up. Kids are resilient. Your authenticity and request for forgiveness will make a worthy impression.
Thank you for keeping the house from dissolving into chaos today. I know you’ve probably picked things up seventeen times already. It’s a nice to come home to a welcoming place.
Thanks for loving our children instead of fussing with the house today. I know you focused on what’s more important. Would you like a break now?
Thanks for working all day, taking the children to and fro, and figuring out what to feed them. How can I help tonight?
Find a mom who needs some encouragement today. She might just be you. What will you say to her? Go ahead, do it now. Just begin with, “I noticed. . . “