Words of affirmation… go a long way

Let me tell you a little bit about my day yesterday!

The morning went fairly glorious.  Kids played for an hour with playdough at the kitchen table- peacefully.  My baby girl took a good morning nap during this time- & I actually brushed my teeth before 10 o’clock.  It was lovely. I was sure it would be a good day like the previous two days.

Somewhere between cleaning up the playdough & lunch my nerves were done.  A two year old that constantly wants & throws fits when his needs are not instantly met can cause a mama to go a little nuts. 

“I wannnnntttt a benana (banana), Mama”

I get the banana- he’s disappeared.

from another room he’s crying because he wants something else- that he cannot have.

He comes back to the kitchen screaming that he “waaaannnntttsss aaaaaa benana NOW!”

Wow- did he really just talk to me that way?

yep.

During all this I have a fussy (teething) 1 year old (to be), a puppy out of her “area” running freely about the house, & a 4 & 6 year old running chasing one another through the kitchen- screaming gleefully.

Don’t you just feel like pulling your hair out sometimes??

Add endless amounts of sleepless nights- for all sorts of reasons.  Too low dose of my fish oils & my app on my phone ringing to let me know that mother nature should be visiting within a day or so.

By the time my husband got home for lunch I was at my wits end. 

Why?! Why?! Can’t I be the mother who is patient, gentle & kind— always.

Why am I so unpredictable? 

I decided to call my (previous) midwife & ask her some “fish oil questions”.  She called back, but had to let me go shortly thereafter to talk to her daughter (who had had back surgery that day- totally understandable).  I basically started giving up.

No one had time to talk to me.

I get very few encouraging words from outside of my home.

I just needed to be affirmed as a mother.  Just something.

I sat down during naps & started youtubing some Sally Clarkson talks.  Sally is my role model.  I love her because she’s not perfect- she doesn’t try to be, but joy floods over me as I read her writings or listen to her speak. 

There was on particular talk that I had seen before, but never watched it.

“The Myth of a Perfect Life” was the title.  And it’s just Sally talking for about 10 minutes or so… about how we as mothers never feel we measure up.   We believe there is a “perfect life”- we have this imaginary image of other mothers out there who have small children as well- who miraculously do everything right.  Their houses are always immaculate, good homemade bread is always baking, children are clean & never get dirty, their floors in their kitchens never look like mine, organized pantries, the list goes on & on… (just look on pinterest- really.)

Her point was – it’s not like that.  We are all struggling.  Life is NOT perfect.  There are messes & there is sin.  This world is NOT supposed to be heaven.  Why do I think it’s supposed to be?! She said, “your kids are not out to get you when they mess up or cry or whine or fuss.  They’re just being kids.  They’re not all sitting around plotting against you.”  Boy, it feels like that sometimes.

I felt some encouragement in listening to her talk in her dear sweet voice- assuring me I was not alone.

My midwife calls me back finally.  We talk about the fish oils & in fact I was about 4,000mg BELOW the therapeutic recommendation.  She then starts saying words of affirmation that I needed so desperately to hear.  She knew little of what my “issues” of late were, but she assured me that I was normal.  That GOD in fact loves me.  And that I’m doing a good job.  That’s so nice to hear when so often those around either say NOTHING or say things they shouldn’t.  And you know what else?!  She asked if she could pray with me right then on the phone.  She began praying- and the words she prayed over me meant more than anyone can imagine.  When I got off the phone- I felt so uplifted.  I felt strength.  I felt like I could make it.

Sometimes we “young mothers” or mothers of “littles” need that affirmation that we’re doing a good work.  That doesn’t mean that you have to approve of everything we do in our parenting.  It means that you believe in us.  This is a very hard time we’re living in. We’re constantly doubting our selves… we need to be lifted up.  Sometimes that means stopping & praying with us & encouraging us.  WE NEED THAT!!!!

Do me a huge favor?!  Tell someone they’re doing a good job!  Call them.  Stop them in the store (or in the line at the post office).  Write them a card.  You have no idea what kind of day she may be having.  It may be the hope she needs to make it through the day.

7 things to encourage a mother of the “Little Years”

1. Tell her she’s doing a good job.  I can’t tell you how important this is to young mothers.  Especially when you’re in a restaurant or store & maybe your child(children) isn’t behaving perfectly.  Some times instead of glares… just tell me it’s okay & you’re doing a good work.

2. Ask her if there’s anything you can help her with.

3. If you’re in her area call or text her & see if you can drop off a cup of coffee or something she likes. Some days this would be so lovely.  My husband is good at surprising me from time to time like this 🙂

4. Take her to lunch. My husband gives me “breaks” often.  Sometimes it would be so nice to go out with a wiser lady who would encourage me in my walk with the LORD.  And offer good sound advice on motherhood.  Not offer formulas etc., but just encourage me. 

5. Send her a card- just because you were thinking about her & wanted her to know someone was praying for her.  This lifts my spirits more than a lot of things.

6. See if there’s a household job you can help her with every now & then. CAN I GET AN AMEN!!!!

7. If you have teens- encourage them to be a help to a mother of little ones… without charge (ironing, folding, dusting, bathrooms).  I have found that many teens are willing to “help out”… if you offer them enough money.  But we’re on a budget.  If I could afford a house cleaner then I would get one.  I will raise my children to work- to serve others out of the love in their hearts for that person & their family- not for cash. 

Do you have any to add to this list?