It’s a new year, and although you’ve probably already broken all of your resolutions, you can still redeem yourself — by complimenting a mom.
If you know a woman who’s a mom, whether she’s your mom, your wife, a friend, co-worker or acquaintance, chances are, she doesn’t hear enough how fabulous she is. Here’s your chance. (MadeMan.com recently posted on the best ways to compliment a woman, so try out these tips for the non-mom in your life.)
However, be warned that all compliments are not created equal (telling a mom how much character and charm her messy house contains, for instance, will likely not get you sent home with a plate of freshly baked brownies). Here are the 5 best ways to compliment a mom:
1. Mention her body
Don’t ever mention a woman’s body. Ever.
However, there is one exception. Whether she’s due in a month, had the baby last week or a decade ago, it can never hurt to tell a mom how good she looks. Even if she doesn’t — because regardless of whether she just gave birth yesterday or last year, she’s been dealing with kids, and they suck up lots (if not all) of her time and are her priority over everything else (and knowing what counts is deserving of some sweet words, even if it’s in a roundabout way).
2. Praise her kids
It’s nice and all when a mom hears that her kid is good-looking, smart or funny — and chances are the kid was born that way (uh, particularly the former). But when kids are kind, chances are it’s a reflection on their parents. Tell a mom how impressed you are with the gentleness of her child and you will win a place in her heart indefinitely.
3. Don’t tell her she looks tired
You may think that telling someone she looks tired is benign. But when you’re sleep-deprived, the last thing you need is to be self-conscious about looking tired in addition to feeling utterly exhausted. Don’t mention her shirt is on inside out or that she only put makeup on one eye and not the other (unless it’s something she can actually fix as soon as you tell her) and you can count yourself among her real friends. Sometimes saying nothing is the biggest compliment of all.
4. Tell her she rocks for doing it all…
Chances are she has felt like a failure at some point for trying to do it all and falling flat on her face. Something’s got to give. It just does. No mom is capable of caring for her kids, working, cooking, maintaining a home, nurturing a marriage, and (heaven forbid) trying to have some semblance of a life simultaneously and successfully. But the fact that she even tries and succeeds sometimes deserves massive props. Give them to her. Now.
5. …But don’t lay it on too thick
She is hardly the first mom to work hard to maintain her life and that of those around her. Other moms work hard, too. Some even work harder. She gets that she signed up for motherhood and it’s doubtful she thought it would be easy. Your compliment will be more meaningful if it’s specific and sincere rather than if you speak in superlatives.