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how to encourage a mom

Natural Woman

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. . . “

Creative Commons License photo credit: nathalielaure

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5 comments to how to encourage a mom

  • Jaynie

    Hi Pam – wow. I just wanted to comment and say how much I love your blog. I found it via your brother’s girlfriend who’s a friend of mine here in Las Cruces. You sure hit the hammer on the head for us moms! I’ve got 2 boys – 10 and 8. We’re a military family getting ready to move yet again and any advice on being a good (not perfect!) mom is always appreciated.

  • So proactive and positive! Love this!

  • This is great, just as your last post was. I sometimes see moms totally lose it in public with their kids and I’ve even witnessed some physical interactions that are questionable. I pause and pray for these women and their children, but I’ve always left and wondered what it is I could’ve said to offer some love and encouragement. Lord knows I’ve had metldowns at Target with my toddler and people must wonder if I should be allowed to take my child home! You can sense the pain and frustration these mamas have and I can’t help but wonder what their childhood was like and than I also think to myself, “mind your own beeswax!” I pray that my Spirit moves me the next time to be bold for Christ and love a fellow mama that clearly needs love and support, and maybe her child even needs someone to step in.

  • pam

    Thanks so much for your kind words, friends. I’d be happy to bump in to any of you in the grocery store when my kids are driving me crazy. ;-) .

  • Another great post! :) I really like the way you break it down into three specific aspects of the encouragement moms (and dads) need.

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