While I didn’t plan it this way, encouragement seems to be my theme this month. Last week I wrote about how we can encourage ourselves. Today let’s talk about encouraging someone else, specifically other moms.
Recently I got to meet and interact with a young adult woman, a recent college graduate. She’s smart, kind, polite, and thoughtful.
Several days later, I had a short conversation with her mom. We spoke about her daughter, whom I complimented, and then I said, “Mom, you did a great job.”
Of all the things we’ll do in life, parenting is one of the hardest. As moms, we really want to get it right. But often, it feels like we aren’t.
It’s so easy to see our failures. We lost our temper or were inconsistent in our discipline. We failed to connect with our child when we should have or we forgot to do something that was important to her.
To be affirmed in one of the most significant things we’ll ever do – raising our children – is a really good feeling. And if my experience is normal, it doesn’t happen regularly.
Now occasionally your kids may tell you that you’re a great mom…unless they’re teenagers 🙂 But otherwise, we don’t often get told that we’re doing a good job.
Let me be clear. Any success that we have in any area of life – and maybe especially in parenting – is because of God’s grace. God steps in and loves and corrects and directs our children either alongside of or in spite of us.
But we have the opportunity to build each other up. And I think this is an especially wonderful ministry for older moms, like me, to have to younger ones. And we can include dads in this, too!
So when you see another mom being patient with her toddler or training her child to obey her, say, “Mom, you’re doing a great job.” Or when she comes and asks you to pray with her for her struggling teenager, say, “Mom, you’re doing a great job.“
And when you see that mom who’s where we’ve all been – dealing with the 2-year-old throwing a tantrum because she doesn’t want to leave the playground – say this to her. “Mom, you’re doing a great job.“
Lord willing, I’ll be a grandmother one day. And I can already tell you that there will be some way in which our daughters and their husbands parent differently than I would.
But I want my daughters and sons-in-law to always know that I’m in the background supporting them. I don’t want to judge their parenting, but to encourage them. I want to say often, “You’re doing a great job.“
So in honor of the back-to-school season many of us are in, let’s have a little homework. This week let’s each of us find another mom or dad and tell them you’re doing a great job.
- That Day I Tried to Be a Perfect Mom
- 10 Parenting Tips as Seen in the Rearview Mirror
- 5 Helpful Steps to Parenting Your Teenager Well