what your mom friend needs to hear

Becoming a stay at home mom is a huge transition. When a woman works in any other capacity, there is validation in the form of a paycheck, and often in the form of words of praise from others. Babies don’t have money, and babies don’t talk.

When a woman completes a project, the project stays done. Then she moves on to the next project. No matter how many times a diaper is changed or a mess is cleaned, it will need to be done again. And again. And again.

There is no external validation, no grades earned for patiently soothing a baby through teething. She never earns a grade or an award from a teacher. There are no honor society inductions, no landing high profile internships.

For a woman who was a high achiever in her educational and career pursuits before children, the change is abrupt and jarring. She loves her baby, but sometimes she vainly attempts to make her child eat for the 72nd time and wonders What am I even doing with my life?

She goes out to eat with her husband and the baby. One holds the baby while the other eats. When it’s her husband’s turn, a stranger approaches the table and tells him what a fabulous father he is for holding the baby.

She smiles politely, but thinks of the countless strangers who have told her she is doing it wrong.

While the specifics of every woman’s situation is different, there is one thing that nearly every mother needs to hear: You’re doing a good job.

There is so much negativity aimed at women in general, and at mothers specifically. We need to encourage each other. One lady at my church encouraged me when I expressed concern about my son’s weight percentile.

“Don’t let them stress you out,” she said. “My kids were around that percentile too and they’re fine.”

It may have seemed like a little thing to her, but to me it was just the balm my weary mama soul needed. He’s going to be okay.

Since I realized the power of a kind word, I’ve been trying to actively recognize other moms. If a child is well behaved when I take care of him in the church nursery, I make sure his mom hears about it. I send uplifting Facebook messages to my mom friends when I know they might be having tough days.

What would happen if we all focused on building up, rather than tearing down?  How can you edify someone around you this week?

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” – Ephesians 4:32

21 comments on “What Your Mom Friend Needs to Hear”

  1. I’ve been working in the professional world for 10 years and can’t wait to be a stay at home mom! However, I am trying to brace myself for a jarring transition as you mentioned and reminding ourselves it is so important is key 🙂

  2. Great post. you nailed it when you said the balm your weary momma soul needed. Such a great reminder to be that balm for other moms!

  3. My husband and I were just talking about how much I missed regular work evaluations and raises and promotions… That sort of external validation can be extremely reassuring about your performance, and unfortunately, it’s just not something you get a lot of when you’re a stay at home mom. Such a great post- thank you!

  4. Love this! When someone tells me I’m doing a great job with my kids I almost always hold back the tears. It makes me so emotional because being a mom is hard and this type of encouragement is so rare.

  5. Yes! I completely agree with this!! The rewards come in the little small moments, but it can be far and few between….the work of a mother is definitely one that is self sacrificing…have you read or heard of the book ‘Momnipotent’ by Danielle Bean? It is a great book about motherhood…she writes it from a Catholic mother’s perspective, but I think it can apply to all Christian mothers <3

  6. Yes!! So much this!! I was that high achiever and I was USED to praise for my work. I worked hard to be the best at whatever I did. Changing to a stay at home mom was difficult, it took years and still I’d like to hear that I’m doing well because most of the time I don’t think I am.

  7. Such a good reminder. I was the type A perfectionist over achiever and often felt like a failure for being a stay-at-home mom. “Was all my schooling a waste?” I still feel those whispers from the enemy at times. I am so thankful for the freedom in knowing I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. My one job is to be obedient to Him and that includes being a good Mom and not seeking the approval of others. Thank you for this thoughtful reminder!

  8. The world would be such a better place, if we looked for ways to build others up and encourage each other, rather than being nit picky and finding anything and everything to disagree about.

  9. Love how you’re turning a hard time (let’s face it, most mothers have a hard time) into something positive by letting it refine your actions towards others. I need to get better about speaking to other mothers when I see them in the store. Especially the babywearers who always look apprehensive when a stranger approaches them.

    And I really love what you ended with as well: “What would happen if we all focused on building up, rather than tearing down? How can you edify someone around you this week?”

    • I think going through challenges can help us become more compassionate towards other people. Ultimately, that’s a good thing. I think babywearing is awesome, by the way. 🙂

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