Tag Archives: encouragement

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day gets a bad rap. We hear so many people praising their angel mothers and we wonder if that title could ever apply to us. No, we finally decide. I’m not as perfect as this man’s mother. I’m no angel. I don’t deserve any praise.

We are way too hard on ourselves. At church today, Brother Rick McAlister noted that no one said anything about a mother being perfect. “Because there’s no such thing as a perfect mother,” he continued, “and it’s a good thing, because there’s no such thing as a perfect father or perfect children, either. But every family has the perfect mother for them.”

Normally when I hear that kind of platitude, I dismiss it just as easily as I would the praise of angel mothers. I’m not perfect, and I’m keenly aware of how far short I fall. Especially right now, two months after my fifth child is born, I’m sleep deprived and snappier than I should be. But when Brother McAlister said that, I knew immediately that he was right. I don’t know what about me—trying to ignore the long list of faults that immediately pops up here—makes me the perfect mother for Hayden, Rebecca, Rachel, Hazel and Benjamin, but I do believe that Heavenly Father has a plan. He didn’t assign us to families by throwing darts. He hand picked each parent and each child.

Yesterday, my visiting teacher shared this video with me, and I loved it:

The talk is “Because She Is a Mother”. I quoted it in a Mother’s Day talk here which I still love. Still feeling inadequate? Maybe it’s time to change the measuring stick.

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Encouragement!

One of my goals with MamaBlogga is to offer mothers (including me!) encouragement. After all, in our day jobs, we don’t get enough encouragement: there are no gold stars for good diaper changes, no certificates for a good game of dress up, no nice emails from the higher ups when you force yourself to get out of bed for the fourth time in the last two hours. (Although I’m suddenly considering making an incentive chart just like that!)

All right, we get the picture. We all know how tough and thankless motherhood is, and rehashing it doesn’t help! But encouragement can mean different things to different people. What do you find encouraging?

One of my favorite little encouragements comes from a funny source: Hayden. For over a year now, I’ve been working on sending him more positive messages (no idea whether this is effecting better behavior, but I shudder to think what he’d be acting like if I weren’t doing it!). And now he’s picked up the habit. Today, for example, I told him . . . something? and he replied:

Oh, thank you! That’s so polite!

It wasn’t polite (and I laughed, which is even less polite!), but his little praise did make me happy. And at least I know he hears me!

What do you find encouraging? A smile? A kind word? A “we’ve all been there” story? A “one day you’ll look back on this and laugh” (or “you’ll forget all about this in glossing over the negatives of nostalgia”)? How can other mothers help to encourage you?

Photo by Duncan C

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Proud sponsor of moms

So I’ve been watching the Olympics (is it just me or does it feel like the entire coverage have been TiVoed?). Who hasn’t? And I’ve noticed there’s a big emphasis on parents, especially moms. There’s the shots of the moms as their children cross the finish lines, coverage of Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette’s devastating loss this week, Julia Mancuso’s “Thanks, Mom” on a commercial (and I think there are others), and probably biggest of all, there’s P&G’s slogan:

Proud sponsor of moms

The ads are super cute, but that slogan gets me. What does THAT entail? Do we get cash for slapping a P&G logo on our diaper bags? (I wish!!) Free cleaning supplies?

Of course not. While this isn’t a Motrin-gate-worthy ad, it does bug me a little. If we moms choose to use P&G products, we pay for that privilege. The slogan is just designed to capture more of our dollars. We’re certainly not getting anything out of this relationship (that we haven’t paid for).

Meanwhile, around here, we’ve been trying for years to accomplish something real for moms. We’ve worked to encourage one another and other moms and remind them how special they are and how important—vital—they are, no matter how thankless their job (or their families).

I haven’t always done the best job, and I know I’m not the only one doing it. I’m grateful for all the support I’ve gotten through this blog over the years. Sometimes it feels like I’m the only working for this, and I’m getting tired of waving this banner.

But I feel like we—the ones in the trenches—have to be our own sponsors. We all have to find our own ways to be happy, we have to find our own satisfaction—we have to make that choice.

What do you think? What does it mean to be a “sponsor of moms”?

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Why Moms Matter on Blog Talk Radio

We’ve been talking about how mothers are important ’round here, and we’re not the only ones. This month, Blog Talk Radio started a new show called Why Moms Matter. As soon as I heard about this show, I had to jump on the chance to get to know more about it (and promptly lose the email several times in spam filters and the haze that is sometimes motherhood!). Danielle Smith, one of the hosts, answered my questions and told me a little more about why they feel moms really do matter:

Why DO moms matter?

Moms matter because they are the soul of their families. They almost always put everyone else first and are willing to take the burnt piece of chicken, the smallest piece of cake, and the least comfy blanket. The forfeit their time, their energy, their sleep for the good of their family. And they do it willingly—not to be a martyr. Every day, Moms do a million ‘ordinary’ things that combine to make them the ‘extraordinary’ people we know and love.

What’s the hardest part for you in convincing individual moms that they matter?

The biggest challenge—moms don’t see anything ‘special’ or ‘unique’ in what they do daily. They certainly know they love their families and they know they would do anything for them, but it is hard to see those traits as ‘extraordinary.’ Most moms feel that they do their job, with love, but recognition makes them slightly embarrassed.

How can mothers support one another and show or remind each other that we all matter?

In the most simple ways—tell them! Or hold a door open for a mom you see struggling with a stroller, smile with understanding at a mom struggling to calm a rowdy 2 year old at the grocery store, offer words of advice and encouragement. You would be amazed how far a ‘I completely understand what you are going through’ will go.

How can fathers & others support moms and show that they know moms matter?

In much the same way mothers support each other. Words of encouragement are priceless. Being married to a man who appreciates the sacrifices you make, the bottoms you wipe, the noses you blow, the Dora you endure—that is priceless.

Sounds like they know what they’re talking about, eh? The new Blog Talk Radio show Why Moms Matter strives to give us moms more of the recognition and love we deserve. The show also highlights an ordinary mom with an extraordinary story every week (with profiles of these moms also available on ExtraordinaryMommy and WhyMomsMatter.com). To nominate a mom (“mominate”?), visit MomFaves.

Hosted by Danielle and Josh and Rebecca Unfried, Why Moms Matter airs Fridays at 12:30 Pacific on Blog Talk Radio. Tune in for the encouragement and support we all need (and be sure to listen to old episodes)!

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