About a month ago, Tom, the girls and I were at a birthday party for Tom’s grandson. It was a family/friend party and the kids were running around, flipping on mats, wrestling, etc. You know, all the usually things kids do when they get together.
I was sitting next to my step-daughter-in-law’s grandmother (that was kind of like saying I heard a story from the cousin of my best friend’s sister-in-law’s neighbor’s grandson, wasn’t it?)
Anyway, this woman and I were making small talk and she glanced over at her granddaughter, who happens to be my step-son’s wife. Let’s call the granddaughter/wife K. K was sitting with her oldest child, the birthday boy, as he opened the presents people had brought to the party. They were reading each card before he opened the present attached.
It was a sweet moment between a mother and her child.
K’s grandmother leaned over and said to me, “She’s such a wonderful mother. Her children know so much love and yet they also understand boundaries. She makes them mind while reminding them of her love every day.”
I hope with all my heart that K’s grandma tells her this. It’s great that she whispers it to distant relatives at parties but I hope she’s says those words to K.
Every mother deserves to hear that someone out there thinks she’s a wonderful mother.
Honestly…I’ve never actually heard those words from someone close to me.
I doubt myself as a mother every single day. I worry that I’m too lax, too strict, too lazy, too busy, too tired, too involved, not involved enough.
Sure, I’ve read the words here, from friends and strangers alike, who tell me they think I’m a good mother through reading the snippets of our life that I choose to share.
But those closest to me, my husband and my mother, for example, have never said those words to me. I think (I hope?) they assume I know they think I’m a good mother.
But I don’t know this. I suppose if they thought I was a terrible mother they’d intervene and keep my children safe from me. So I can assume that since no intervention has ever happened, they think I’m at least good enough to keep mothering?
I don’t know.
What I do know is that mothers need to hear these words. They need those closest to them to say the words, “I think you’re a wonderful mother.”
We moms are often so hard on ourselves. The voices in our heads are so shrill and uncompromising. It would be nice to mute them every once in a while by hearing from those we trust, those we respect that the voices are wrong, that we’re doing this important job well.
If you know a really great mom, please tell her. Tell her how great she is, tell her how much you admire and respect the job she’s doing raising her children. Let her know that you see how hard it is and that she’s amazing just because she keeps doing it day in and day out.