Moms Don’t Hear This Important Phrase Enough

You wake up to a literal ray of sunshine glistening across your face, you smile, and then in walks your figurative ray of sunshine.

The kids come pile in your bed, making you feel like royalty while you get your morning snuggles.

You feel on top of the world. What could go wrong? The kids woke up in a good mood, breakfast went off without a hitch, and you managed to get out the door for a morning grocery run without anyone screaming about their shoes…but it may be too good to last.

Getting to the grocery store, you walk in with kids in tow, skipping to the beat of your life’s own theme song.

Grabbing the first cart you see, you try to put the little one in the seat. However, unbeknownst to you the kiddo was in the “wrong” cart. They needed the one with the flames on the side.

Of course! But before you can fix it, your toddler goes into full blown meltdown mode. Scream crying (you know the one where they get high pitched with every exhale) all the way to the produce department, you try to soothe their buggy woes.

And just when you think that you are beginning to get control of the situation, and appear to the outside world that you are a mom who can handle her kids, your other two begin to play catch over two huge carts with an apple.

While you use your I’m-very-serious voice where you talk through your teeth, you begin to feel a wave of anxiety sweep over you as you question whether you can keep it all together.

Then a woman walking by the organic carrots smiles at you, and says “Cute kids. I’ve been there. You’re doing good mama.”

Although, the situation didn’t change, a sense of peace touches the top of your head, and wiggles down to your toes.

Maybe you’re not a bad mom, maybe everything isn’t spiraling out of control, and maybe you will make it out of the store alive with a few healthy snacks to show for it.

The stranger’s words were simple, pure, and empathetic. In that short exchange you heard the phrase that gets you through the tough days, that answers the questions that keep you awake at night.

“Your doing good..”

Dayna from Lemon Lime Adventures had a similar experience, where her son ran down the sidewalk mad, leaving her to try and coax the angry boy back into the car. The scenario was messy and stressful for all involved when a stranger walked by and assured her in her parenting:

Seriously! Out of NOWHERE… I think I was too surprised to even catch it, though. You see, just as I was walking to the car, I heard a strange voice and felt a strange touch on my shoulder. This stranger muttered something that was so amazing I almost missed it.

She said… “It will be okay. You are a good mom.” 

Thank you to the stranger that chose to understand instead of judge! Thank you to the stranger that chose to connect rather than ignore! Thank you to the stranger that chose to support instead of stare. Thank you!”

People are typically quick to judge, watching you struggle as they sit on the sidelines playing Monday night quarterback.

So, having those sweet souls who can remind you in turbulent times that you aren’t a bad mother, that conflict with your kids are just par for the course, are a blessing beyond measure.

As Scary Mommy points out, “If you were truly a bad mom, you wouldn’t care.. your reaction proves you are loving.”

But we do care, we care a lot. Mothering is a constant effort. When your are not physically exerting yourself by changing diapers and cooking, you are mentally exerting yourself by worrying about if you gave your kids too much screen time, or how you are going to afford college tuition (even though they are 7).

Psychology Today reports on Roy Baumeister’s article “Bad Is Stronger than Good,” where he points out that bad things stick out in our mind, “both emotionally and cognitively”, more than good things.

This explains why we focus on the one time we raised our voice with our kids, rather than all the times you made them smile.

We can consciously choose to engage in positive self-talk where we say the things we find good about our position as a parent, or the things we want to see in ourselves.

There is power in words, and that power can be used to build up or tear down. The next time you need to give the kids a less-than-healthy dinner, or let them have an extra 30 minutes of television, don’t beat yourself up.

Tell yourself, “I am a caring mother who needs to change the schedule a little to be at my best.”

You are a good mom. The tough times won’t last forever. Nobody is perfect, but you love your kids the best way you can.

Please let us know in the comments section if you have had a moment of saving grace as a mom where a stranger offered kind words or support.

 

 

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