What I didn’t expect was how the book would change my perspective towards other mothers.
I have always tried to be polite when I see another mother out in public struggling, but the book reminded me that we are all in this together. Whether our kids are 8 days or 8 years old, we need more than polite. We need real!
My perspective of understanding other moms (which I thought was fine) has shifted to a perspective of encouraging other moms. The last week I have seen tired moms, moms crawling under chairs to retrieve toys at the doctors office, moms negotiating with 2 year old tantrums, moms rushing into the coffee shop for a quick snack for their kiddos, a mother diagnosed with breast cancer a month after the disease took her own mother, and even a great grandmother striving to create a legacy.
Mothering never ends, mothers are everywhere. I didn’t realize how many mothers are out there, how ragged they run, and how much difference small gestures can make coming from one mother to another.
~Amazon review of Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected about Being a Mom
11 Things you can DO to Actively Encourage another mother:
- Grab that door she’s trying to wrestle open while juggling a baby carrier or a stroller.
- Pick up the pacifier/bottle/blankie/toy that her kid just threw on the floor and that she’s impossibly trying to bend over to pick up while holding a baby or a pregnant belly.
- Let her and the potty training toddler cut in front of you in the line for the restroom.
- Wave back at her wildly waving kid hanging out of the grocery cart trying to get your attention.
- Offer her a stack of napkins when someone inevitably spills something at the table next to you.
- Smile big and say out loud that she’s doing great when one of her kids is having a lay-down-on-the-floor-temper-tantrum.
- Help her load her groceries into the car.
- Tell her loud enough for the kids to hear what handsome well behaved sons she has.
- Comment within earshot what helpful daughters she has.
- Laugh and help her restock the shelf that just got demolished by her toddler.
- Admit often and out loud how hard this motherhood gig was for you too and that no one has mothering figured out. That it’s a surprise all over again every new day, age and stage.
And if you haven’t yet, give her a copy of Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected about Being a Mom because every mom needs at least one book on motherhood that’s not a “How-To” book.
But instead is just a “Me too” story.
Because we’re all in this together, no matter what age or stage our kids are in. And imagine what we could do if we were actively looking for moms to encourage today!
Love this! Though I am not yet a mother I am going to try a few of these things this week. These superheroes deserve all the encouragement they can get!
I’m not a mom but I can do the 1st 10 of these w/ no modification & modify #11 to: “Motherhood is hard and no one has mothering figured out. It’s a surprise all over again every new day, age and stage.”
This reminds me of a rule we had in this household when the kids were growing up. It was actually the only rule “Be nice”. That just about covers everything. If we were all just nice and considerate to each other, as you so eloquently wrote out in your 11 things, this would be a much nicer world. We only need to say, each day, with our actions….”Let me be as Christ to you”. Thanks Lisa
Number six times a million! My toddler is just beginning to throw mini-tantrums, and when it happens in public I always feel mortified! A bit of encouragement from a fellow mom would be more than welcome at those times.
SO TRUE! I am happy to say that I’ve experienced almost all of these at some point in time. This is a great list!
Lisa-Jo of love how you are always encouraging us to uplift and be there for one another instead of comparing.
PS. Can I add a #12 to your list for us moms of almost grown kiddos. When we have to let our kids make mistakes to learn a lesson sit with us, hold our hand and pray with us in the unknown.
Lisa Jo – this list blessed me. As a mom of two grown sons, I feel I need to continue to model motherhood and mentor those who are still in the midst of caring for little ones. We never stop needing our moms and knowing that makes me more aware of the gift that being a mom is and always will be. Thank you for this beautiful post today!
a great community of mothers is wonderful.=) I wrote down our simple systems we use in our house and maybe that could help someone. http://bellesbazaar-heather.blogspot.com/2014/05/my-schedule-kids-responsibilites-and.html
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