Encouragement for a Mother Today

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encouragement for a mother featured imageThere is nothing more refreshing than encouragement. During graduate school, I experienced the worst forms of comparison and competition. Then, I entered motherhood, and it was a whole new world of surprising possibilities! From feeding styles and sleep schedules to post-pregnancy weight loss and private school waiting lists (for babies, y’all,) I was overwhelmed by the information coming my way, and by two very distinct and strong realizations—I needed to measure up, and I just will never measure up to some standards.

Enter encouragement.

I went shopping for some newer (alright, roomier) clothes for my return to work after having my firstborn. I felt tired, sad, and unlovely. An older woman started a chat with me in the checkout line. I told her that I just had my first baby, that I was an “older mom,” and that I was overwhelmed by this new experience. She lovingly congratulated me on becoming a mother and advised me to take things a day at a time.

She graciously put my life into perspective. I was able to get my education, enjoy a career, and live a little before having a child. She assured me that my life experiences would give me much wisdom and appreciation while raising my child. By the time I paid for my clothes and bid her farewell, I walked with more pep in my step, with hope and confidence that things would be okay.

The inspiration and strength I have gained from being encouraged as a mother have been like a balm to me. I am certain that this is true for all of us. Why? It is in mothering that we often see our failings, weakness, and doubts. Add in the comparison and competition that exists in the parenting realm, and we are left beside ourselves.  We are raising people, and we worry about getting things right.

Here are a few words and thoughts to encourage other mothers:

You are just the mother your child needs. Often, we try to emulate people that we admire or envy. Sometimes, we feel incompetent in our abilities, and we wrongly think that we have to be different to be better mothers. The truth is, we are equipped to love and raise the children who are given to us. Our experiences will give us opportunities to live selflessly and to adjust to the challenges that come with living. We draw on these things to pour into the lives of our kids.

“It may be possible to gild pure gold, but who can make his mother more beautiful?” -Mahatma Gandhi. In our daily lives, we mothers can sometimes neglect to take care of ourselves. We let go of our hobbies, our health, and the things that caused us to thrive before motherhood. Often, we feel unlovely and unimportant. But, in our children’s eyes, we are most beautiful and incredibly valuable. Never lose sight of this.

You are doing an excellent job. This is a great encouragement to any mother. Those words can strengthen any heart and give fuel to carry on with the tasks at hand. Be generous in letting other mothers know that they are indeed excellent.

“A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take.” –Cardinal Mermillod. We have tremendous influence over our children. They see us as anchors to settle them and give them what they need to face the world. Our presence, words, and actions matter so much to them. It is a privilege we have! We must handle it with humility and respect.

“Great moms like you inspire their children to do, see, and be more.” – Unknown. Mothers need to know that they are making a difference in their children’s lives. It propels us forward on the hard days and in the dry spells when all we see is mundane. It gives perspective and encourages mothers to persevere with grace. Because, hey, our deepest desire is for our children to flourish in life.

Not only can we be dispensers of kindness to those around us. We can affirm others with encouragement. You never know how far your words can carry another person. What words of encouragement or quotes have lifted you in your journey through motherhood?

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