Do you love being a mom? I sure do! But just because I love being a mom, doesn’t mean it’s without challenging days or seasons. In fact, some of those times have been overwhelmingly hard.
And the more you travel this journey of motherhood, the more you learn that it hasn’t been challenging just for you, but for many other moms as well.
Moms all over the globe are dealing with loneliness, post-partum depression, fear, mom-guilt, financial hardships, single parenting, stress, children with special needs, low self-esteem, insecurity, anxiousness, unfulfillment, and so much more.
Sometimes it’s hard to wrap our minds around the fact that we can have these great gifts, our beautiful children, and yet still struggle with intense emotions and feelings surrounding motherhood.
And if we’re a mom who hasn’t faced any of these struggles ourselves, we might even become judgmental of what another mom is feeling and venting about.
That’s not a good thing. Because the truth is, just because you’ve never faced any challenges or dealt with any negative emotions and feelings surrounding motherhood, doesn’t mean you never will.
So, what are some ways we can support and uplift other moms, even if we’ve never struggled in our mom life, the way they have?
- Listen without judgement. Oftentimes, a mom just wants another mom to talk to. Someone who can relate to the highs and lows of parenting. This may mean listening to a mom rave about her child’s accomplishments; but it could also mean listening to a mom talk about feeling stuck in the house all day with their child, and desperately needing some time out of the house, without their child.
- Don’t be “that mom.” It’s okay to be positive; and it’s okay to be encouraging. But please, please, please don’t be the perfect mom, who has perfect kids, with perfect thoughts, and a perfect life, who no one can relate to. Because…. SHE ISN’T REAL!! If someone is courageous enough to open up to you about their pain and vulnerabilities, then have the courage to be honest about yours. Now that doesn’t mean you need to sit around and have a gripe and complaining fest. You can speak honestly about your struggles, and still offer hope laced with positivity.
- Offer a praise or a compliment. Motherhood is often a thankless job. And we do a lot! I’ve worked many jobs, and I can tell you, none of them was as hard as parenting! Sometimes, a mom just needs to hear from somebody, that she’s doing good. That her efforts are noticed and it isn’t all in vain. I’ll never forget when my teenagers were young, I was playing outside with them. And our regular mail lady came by, whom I did not know personally; and she stopped me and said, “I just wanted to tell you that you are a really great mom. I see you out here doing different things with your kids all the time, and I can see how happy they are.” It was a real quick sentence, from a person I didn’t know personally, but it meant so much to me. I’ve never forgotten what she said. And little did she know, it was at a time that I desperately needed to hear that.
- Encourage their goals and dreams. Contrary to what the rest of the world believes, when you become a mom, your goals and dreams don’t just die within you. They’re still there, and they’re still itching and burning to be accomplished. But sometimes even moms lose hope in what all they can do and accomplish because they’re bogged down with responsibilities. Remind a mom that, yes, she’s a mom, but she’s also more than that. Find out what her passions and gifts are, and encourage her to put them to use once again. She may have a lot of naysayers in her life; but you can be her cheerleader.
- Invite her on a playdate or a girl’s day out. Motherhood can be lonely. And if you’re a stay at home mom, it can feel even more confining. So, make friends with other moms; even if you don’t struggle with loneliness. Invite them to go on playdates with your child, so that the children can become friends as well. But also invite the mom out for a girl’s day out some time. If you both can snag a sitter, go out and get your nails done; or have a cocktail, or go to lunch, or there’s my personal favorite, go shopping!
Just as women are stronger together, so are moms. We don’t need to be each other’s biggest critics; we need to be each other’s biggest supporters. Don’t sleep on an opportunity to offer a mom support and encouragement just when she needs it. After all, you never know when you’ll be the one, in need of another mom’s support.