Here’s What You Should Do the Next Time You See a Mom Who’s About to Lose It

“Encourage THAT Mom” originally appeared on Real Honest Mom, and was reprinted with permission.

Image Source: Thinkstock
Image Source: Thinkstock

If you have ever been to a public place, you have seen THAT mom, and if you have kids, you’ve been THAT mom. The mom trying desperately to wrangle children and get them to behave. Or the mom that has had it and resorts to yelling or worse, tears. Or the mom that has completely given up for the day and isn’t doing much of anything anymore to tame the wildlings.

Being with children is emotionally draining. Sometimes it’s a relief to just be out of the house. Yes we love our kids dearly and yes, they are gifts from God, and yes we cherish them because we know some can’t have them. But good grief, we are not stone ponies and we have limits. Limits that are pushed and pushed and pushed and it’s exhausting to manage it all perfectly. It doesn’t feel good to be that mom. We know you’re staring.

Do you know the best thing you can do for THAT mom? Encourage her.

If you have air in your lungs, you know a tired mom. You know a mom who is struggling. And you’ve seen it. And often, the best thing you can do for a child is encourage their mother. Anything a mom is feeling trickles down to the kids, good or bad.

One time I was at a grocery store fed up with my almost 2-year-old. An older woman came up to us and started talking to him. Just an innocent conversation, asked him his name and about the character on his shirt, and said he was cute. It completely changed the energy of the situation.

He was shy, but he smiled at her. It redirected him and took the pressure off of me. She winked at me as she passed by. It helped reset things, and we left the store happy. I don’t know if she was doing a mammoth reverse-psychology power maneuver on us or if she was just plain nice, but it really helped me and I was grateful. If she had just given us the stink eye while walking past us, I wouldn’t have felt nearly as good about it.

I also think of my sister-in-law Jenn anytime I think I have problems. She has two school-aged children, and three in diapers. She’s 8 hours from me, so I’m not able to help her in person. My heart really goes out to her, so I put together a care package for her.

Image Source: Audra Rogers
Image Source: Audra Rogers

It had several small items in it for pampering and survival, and a thank you card, thanking her for all that she does for her kids. She said it moved her to tears and she loved it. I know she liked the care package, but I’m guessing the card in it meant the most.

That’s the stuff, people. When we encourage and not tear down. Where we stop fighting over breastfeeding in public and co-sleeping, and whether or not we buy everything organic. We are all surviving motherhood. We are all unique in our issues but we love our kids. Period.

A dear friend of mine knew I was struggling at one time, and she left a simple small vase of flowers and a nice card on my porch. It was beautiful and it meant a lot, and it was perfect. Even simply face-to-face telling someone they’re doing a good job means a lot.

Cool gifts work too! After searching online, I found an awesome Super Mom mug.

Image Source: Amazon
Image Source: Amazon

I ordered several for a group of moms that I regularly meet with at church and had them shipped to my house. My boys and I made chocolate chip cookies to go inside them, and I told them about each mom I was giving them to, and how we go to a big moms meeting because we want to be the best moms we can be. I wrote out small cards for each mom, and they were very well received. (Plus they are large-sized for lots of coffee!) It was also a special time for us at home as we learned about giving. So you can get a lot out of it, too. If you are feeling out of sorts yourself, I promise it will do you a world of good to take the focus off of yourself and encourage others.

So regardless of what you can think of, big or small, please encourage THAT mom. Because you’re that mom, too.

Godspeed, mamas!

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