I have to tell you a secret. Motherhood is really, really hard sometimes. Well, actually that wasn’t a secret. I’m fairly certain all moms know that. What you may not know is that every mom out there, no matter how perfect she may seem, needs encouragement. Even when we act like we have it completely together, I’m pretty sure we all question ourselves, wondering ‘Am I doing enough?’ The answer is, ‘You are absolutely doing enough! In fact, you are doing more than enough! You are doing great!’
I imagine that if we all took the time to encourage other mothers, maybe we all wouldn’t question the definition of good enough. Starting today, you can encourage another mother in a multitude of ways that go well beyond this blog post. But here are a few ways just to get you started:
1. Share your struggles.
We shouldn’t be afraid to share our struggles with each other. Motherhood isn’t perfect, and sometimes, it’s downright psychological warfare. This takes its toll, and we shouldn’t be shy to reveal this to other mothers. When we share our struggles, it validates to other moms that we are all in this together. It helps us all feel like we are not alone. It helps us all stop over-analyzing what we are doing wrong, and makes us feel like maybe we are all doing really, really well. We are all hanging in there.
2. Share your victories.
Obviously, we don’t want to be ‘Debbie Downer’ and just drone on and on about the hard stuff. It’s important to show that there is actual light at the end of the tunnel. Share with another mom how you overcame your struggles. Let her know how you achieved even small victories, that things will get better, and you are there to help support her. Knowing how other moms achieved victory through struggles is motherhood’s greatest encouragement.
I once heard a story about a mom who was having a heck of a time trying to get her newborn baby to sleep. This little newborn baby boy was very hard to get to sleep and he was very hard to keep asleep. After six weeks of struggling, this mom starting sleep-training her baby using a few simple techniques. And you know what happened? This little boy finally started taking some decent naps and sleeping better at night. His sleep wasn’t perfect, but it was dramatically better. A small victory for sure.
Now I will confess that story was actually about me and my son, but I wanted to share my victory with you because we all have something to learn from each other. Sharing everyday small victories (not be confused with boasting) can really help encourage other moms through their own struggles.
3. Check-in from time to time.
Checking-in conveys a caring attitude. Simply asking another mom, especially a new mom, how she is doing may be the gateway to a great conversation. Does she need help with anything? Does she need a break? Offer to take the kids off her hands for a few hours if she needs to get out of the house. She may or may not take the offer. Either way, your offer provides an encouraging safety net that someone reliable is, in fact, out there.
Checking-in may also come in the form of a simple text message, email, or good old fashioned phone call. Even a ‘Hey, I’m thinking of you’ voice mail can go a long way. By taking a short amount of time to check-in with another mom, we can all benefit from a heightened sense of support in our community of mothers.
4. Send a Snail Mail Note.
How awesome would it be to get a note of encouragement in the mail from another mom? It could say something simple:
You are a doing a great job as a mom!
I admire you as a mom!
I always notice that you are really working hard to be a good mom to your kids!
Your children are a pleasure to be around!
Keep doing what you are doing!
If we all took the time to send a note to another mom, once a week, or even once a month, imagine how encouraged we would all feel. I challenge all mothers reading this post to try it just once and notice the power of one single sentence in one single note.
5. Tuck the judgment away in your back pocket—for good.
We all need a good cheer! I don’t, however, know any mom, who desires any unsolicited judgment on her parenting. From Babywise to Attachment parenting and everything in between, I truly believe we all want what is best for our children. We are all unique in our parenting, and that’s a good thing.
Let’s all take a moment to stop looking at other moms with a wary eye, and replace it with a helpful line of encouragement. Sometimes a helpful line of encouragement can really snap us all out of a bad mommy funk. When someone says, ‘Hey you’re doing a good job,’ I start to feel more confident as a parent and often think, ‘Hey I can do this!’ My bad day as a parent suddenly transforms to good. Encouragement is always better than judgment.
Encouraging another mother is a powerful, yet underutilized tool. We can all lift each other up, inspiring us all to become better, more productive parents. I encourage you to share your struggles and victories with another mom. I encourage you to check-in or send a simple note to another mom. And I encourage you to erase judgment and start encouraging. It takes courage to encourage. We can do this!
Thanks for hanging around! I’d love to hear from you. Check me out on Twitter @mommilitarywife, so we can connect!
What are some ways you think would help encourage another mother?
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