Being a new mom is humbling. From sleep deprivation, to spit-up on your clothes, to lack of time for yourself, you wonder if you’re doing things right. Then as your baby develops and grows, you get a lot of questions; “Is she crawling yet?” “Is he sleeping through the night?” “Is she walking?” The next thing you know, you’re googling, “Why isn’t my baby walking yet?” and you wonder what you’re doing wrong. Moms need to hear they are doing a good job.
I don’t know about you, but for me, the questions and unsolicited advice get exhausting. I know family and friends mean well, but sometimes I just want to get noticed for the things I am doing right. More than anything, I want to hear that I am doing a good job.
This is not to say that I don’t want to learn from other moms – because I do. I learn from moms who are in the same stage or with children who are slightly older than mine. I ask for a lot of advice from these moms.
While our motherhood journeys may look different from one another, I’m sure we each share one goal in common: a desire to be the best moms we can be. Reassurance is what we need in motherhood, not comparison.
What are some practical ways to tell a mom she’s doing a good job?
- Tell her in person.
- Send her a text.
- Mail her a handwritten note.
- Compliment her in front of someone.
- Give her a shout-out on social media.
How can you tell a mom she’s doing a good job?
- The most important thing is to be genuine about it. Give her an example of something specific that she is doing well as a mom.
- Is she particularly patient with the baby or child?
- Do you like the way she encourages her children?
- Did she handle a certain situation well?
Many times when I compliment a mom on how she is doing, she is taken by surprise. Recently, I texted one of my best friends to tell her that she’s doing an excellent job as a mother. I let her know that she is so patient with her baby boy, and I love his sweet demeanor. I told her that I am proud of her and that she is a great mom. She responded by telling me that I made her heart happy and that it meant the world to her coming from someone whose parenting she admires so deeply. I was also surprised to hear that she admired my parenting style and wouldn’t have known that otherwise.
On another occasion, I watched as a neighbor kid helped my daughter come down from a play structure when she was scared. I told the mom that her son was so kind to help my daughter and that she was doing an excellent job as a mother. Her reaction was priceless. She thanked me for telling her and mentioned that a lot of times she gets in her head about whether she is doing a good job.
They say that raising children takes a village, and having a genuine support system in motherhood is invaluable. These are the friends and family that encourage you and pray for you. They don’t judge you when challenges come but instead lift you up. They recognize you for your efforts and tell you you’re doing a good job.
Often as moms, we question whether we are raising our kids well. We fear how they will turn out. With endless information about parenting right at our fingertips, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Trying to live up to society’s expectations will only make us feel even more defeated.
So the next time you think about giving a young mom advice, consider that what she might need more is to hear she is doing a good job. She might not hear it enough or even at all. These words can truly have a lasting impact.
This article was written by Tiffany Gunther, blog-owner of Destination Momhood. She is a wife and mom of two loving girls. She writes about all things adventures, motherhood and active family living.