My kid came and hugged me good night last night and put his nose up close to mine and peered at me through his glasses – “You’re a great mom,” he grinned up at me.
A great mom.
It’s funny how easy it is to believe the opposite.
My next-door-neighbor is becoming a second home for my boys. If they’re not at my house, they’re at hers. And she and I stood in her door way the other night as the leaves were blowing in and just shook our heads over the mystery of raising kids. This strange dance. This aching growth.
I’m no parenting expert.
You might be surprised how often I doubt myself. Or then again, maybe you won’t. Because you’re a mom too. And you know that self doubt comes with the territory.
So if you asked me my best parenting advice – it would be this.
The best thing you can do for a child is to encourage their mother.–-> click to tweet.
Remind her that she matters and that as exhausted or defeated as she might feel some days, she matters.
Moms matter because they feed us the good stuff. Great big helpings of who we could become. They mix us up into themselves and knead us through with answers we may not want to hear and tears we do not want to cry.
Moms matter because they model courage before we are even old enough to recognize it. They get up in the thankless dark and offer bottles, chase away our fears, drive to work, wait on midnight homecomings and keep vigil over sick children to the second and third generation.
Moms matter because their words can crack or cement the foundation of who are – no matter how old we are.
Moms matter because they show us by doing. Their lives echo throughout ours and we will still hear the voice of their living long after they are gone.
Moms matter because they were made to matter.
And if you wish your mom didn’t matter so much. If you wish someone could soften the blow of her impact or soothe the ache of her loss. If you’re a mother who hasn’t figured out her motherhood, oh friend, I would rock you if I could. But instead let me offer my hand. For I would lead you to the One who has always said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me.”
The Christ who was born of a woman, for a woman, from a woman. The Christ child who became the Christ man who spent his dying breaths still loving on his mother.
When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. John 19:26-27 (New International Version).
He knows what it is to love a mother. He knows what it is to lose a mother.
Moms matter because they matter to Him. In all their righteous and wretched vulnerability. So, on the hard, confusing days let Him be the one to rock you.
Because even grown ups need lullabies sometimes.
And a Friday free printable for all you reading through the Surprised by Motherhood book club with me?
Just right click on the image below to save. This is my all-time favorite South African recipe that is mentioned many times throughout the book – melktert (or milk tart in English) is served at pretty much any social gathering. Easy to make and even easier to eat – here’s the recipe for you to bake a moment of quiet into your day.
And if you need a deep, daily source of encouragement –> I can’t encourage you strongly enough to connect with my other online home, (in)courage – a community of women sharing their messy, broken, beautifully redeemed stories.