Tag Archives: thanks-mom

Appreciating motherhood

I think we mothers could do better at honoring motherhood ourselves if we had just a little help from the people around us—you know, mostly the ones that we spend the better part of our lives cooking, cleaning and caring for.

Holding our own calling in high regard is next to impossible when we feel like everything we do goes by unnoticed. And, honestly, the people that we work the hardest to serve may never appreciate what we do for them—no, not even if we make our sweet spouses watch the children all week long.

For some reason, this week, Hayden has stopped saying “Daychew” (Thank you) and replaced it with “Daychew, Mommy.” My husband can be really great at noticing and getting a lot of the small things. But usually we mothers have to settle for much smaller or more indirect forms of gratitude.

I think that there are two aspects to feeling this direct appreciation, which we may only get on Mother’s Day. They are: seeing that our families value what we do and seeing a demonstration of their appreciation for this.

I know on the surface, these look like the same thing—but they’re not. It’s not easy, but you can certainly have one without the other: a friend or family member who recognizes that being a mother is important, but never seems to understand why you’re not available at the drop of a hat or just not the same as you were before. Another who praises your mothering skills but derides your choices (to stay home, to breastfeed, to work—you name it).

For us to feel appreciated, I think we need to be able to see that the people who are most important in our lives—the ones that we are nurturing every day—understand that this is an important work, but a lot of work. They see that we have made sacrifices to have children and lead our lives this way.

They see our love in the things that we do for them—and they show their love and appreciation in the things that they say and do for us.

And you know what, husbands, children and family members? You don’t have to do that just once a year.

What do you think—how can our friends and families show us that they appreciate what we do for them? (Or, if it’s an easier question: what do you want for Mother’s Day—and every other day of the year?)

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How can I show a mother that I value what she does?

Thanksgiving was “early” this year (November 22 is the earliest that the US holiday can be celebrated, in fact!). So this week, we get an extra long transition from the season of gratitude to the season of greed giving. A couple months ago, we talked about how others can show you (mothers) appreciation for what you do as a mother.

I think there is a distinction, albeit a fine one, between showing a mother than you appreciate her and what she does for her family and showing her that you value what she does. Naturally, if you truly value what a mother does, you should at least try to show that appreciation.

But sincere appreciation comes from actually valuing her efforts. It’s the thought that counts, right? I mean for this discussion to center less on acts of thanks, and more about the thought behind them—showing an attitude that mothers matter.

So, how can you and I and everyone around us 1.) develop the attitude that mothers matter and 2.) show it?

For the first part: does the world need to be convinced that mothers matter? Yes and no. We all understand that mothers are important. But on the other hand, mothers today feel a lot of pressure not to focus on “just being a mom,” as if “just being a mom” were a lowly, demeaning chore that is beneath any woman of learning or status.

While we may not be able to change the world today, I think it’s important that mothers themselves (and especially SAHMs) be the first to adopt and display the attitude that motherhood is a noble and important (even vital!) calling.

So how can we show we feel that way? Aside from being a real mother to our children, I think that one place to start is to stop putting the word “just” in your job description. You’re not “just a mom.” One of my favorite books on motherhood talks about this, and its title proudly proclaims I Am a Mother.

How do you think other mothers and nonmothers develop and show an attitude that mothers matter?

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How can I show a mother that I appreciate what she does?

Whether you want to show your own mother, the mother of your children, or just a good friend how much you appreciate what she does as a mother, first of all, let me thank you! Moms everywhere could use more appreciation.

Here seven ideas on how to show the mother in your life that you appreciate her:

  1. Write her a thank you note or letter. Be as specific as possible. (Need some ideas? Check out the twenty-nine great entries for the “Thanks, Mom” Group Writing Project!)
  2. Give her some time off. Offer to babysit her children, or arrange for someone you both trust to watch her (or both of your) children and take her out!
  3. Get her a thoughtful gift. Something that she likes is best: however she likes to treat herself. Whether that’s chocolates or a bubble bath. Be sure to include a note telling her to take some time to enjoy herself!
  4. Get her a pretty gift. For the last few years at Christmas, I’ve given my husband a gift list which always ends with “Something to make me feel beautiful.” For some women, this is jewelry, or make up, or nice clothing. For others, it could be a nicely framed picture of her that looks particularly attractive. For others, it could be pampering at home or at a spa.
  5. Tell her what a good job she’s doing. Even the most confident of mothers sometimes struggles with feelings of inadequacy. Those reassuring words can echo back to her the next time she doubts her abilities as a mother.
  6. Pray for her. If you’re religious, you understand what a strengthening effect a prayer of faith can have. Studies have even shown that people who were sick recovered more quickly when people prayed for them—even if they didn’t know they were praying. Imagine what it could do for your favorite mother!
  7. Just say it. Tell her, “Jeanette, I think it’s great that you’re a mom. A mother’s work is so important, and I’m glad that you’re involved in your kids lives that way.”

Now it’s your turn: what’s the best way for your spouse, kids or friends to show you that they appreciate what you do as a mother?

(PS: I hope all of your spouses, parents, neighbors and friends type that question into the search engine of their choice and end up here!)

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July Group Writing Project Finale

With twenty-eight twenty-nine awesome entries, I’m happy to say that the July Group Writing Project has gone very well, in spite of my intermittent maintenance as I traveled for my brother-in-law’s wedding (which was lovely!). Without making you wait a moment more, here is the final list of entries:

All of these great entries clearly took time and consideration. Read through them and find inspiration from adults and mothers now thanking their own mothers for everything from hair color and blue jeans to looking forward to spending time with them and creating simple memories. I hope you’ll find someone offering thanks for the very thankless thing that you’re struggling with doing for your children now, wondering whether they’ll ever appreciate your efforts. And I hope that they do appreciate your efforts.

Now, feel free to spread the link love by copying the above list (instructions) and posting it to your own blog. Believe me—they all deserve it.

The Winna!
Chosen at random, the winner of our prize, a $30 Amazon.com gift certificate, is <drum roll>…

Thanks, Mommy! by Stacey @ Look, Mom, Look!

Congratulations, Stacey, on not only winning the gift certificate (again, she was chosen at random!) but also on writing a most excellent entry! The gift certificate will be winging its way to you soon!


Still working on your entry? Even though we’ve awarded our prize, we’ll continue to accept, read, link to and comment on submissions through next week.

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July GWP Days Four and Five

A strong finish for our last two days: eleven great entries for the July Group Writing Project, and once again all these entries are of the highest quality! Again, we have a wide range of thanks for everything from simple memories to Levi’s. As always, read, comment and enjoy!


A simple one for today: thank you, mom, for being such a good example of a stay-at-home mom. When I was little, it was difficult for me to understand that there was any other kind of mom.

But you were never “just” a mom to us. Thank you for proving that you can—and even should—be there with your kids.

Tune in Monday to get the final list and find out who wins the $30 prize!

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Right from wrong

Dear Mom,

Thank you for teaching us right from wrong. It’s so easy these days to let children and teenagers just do whatever they want. I see it all the time. Everything from letting children run wild in public places, trample strangers and ignore basic courtesies to passively allowing teenagers to engage in any behavior they think will make them happy. “Standards are antequated,” everyone seems to say today. “Kids are going to do what they want anyway.”

While some teenagers and children will always do what they want no matter what you say or do, that doesn’t mean that we should just give up and let our children run amuck. Just because a child or teenager wants to do something or thinks that it will make him or her happy in the short run doesn’t mean it’s actually a good idea.

And my mom knows all this. She knows the pressures of raising teenagers today—just six years ago, she had four daughters at home. We didn’t grow up in some idyllic time when it was easy for teens to choose the right. We dealt with pressures and my mother did everything in her power to steel us against them.

And she did quite well. To date, my three sisters and I have yet to make the big, life-altering bad choices that I’m so very afraid my children will make one day. When my mother was asked to teach a class on coping with children who go astray at a church women’s conference, she told me with visible mirth—it was the third year in a row she was teaching a class on something she felt she had little personal experience with.

And it’s not a coincidence. My mom didn’t just end up with good ones. That contributed to this outcome, certainly, but without proper standards instilled in our minds and our hearts, even good children wouldn’t have made the same choices we did. I also think that having these standards rooted in something concrete to us, our religion, reinforced them in a way that an amorphous “you should do this because it’s right/it’s for your own good/I said so” never could.

So thank you, Mom, for what was probably one of the most important gifts you’ve given to us. I know sometimes it was hard and my reactions to the rules (not the rules themselves, as I almost wrote) strained our relationship from time to time. But honestly, looking back, sometimes I wish the rules had been stricter.

Thank you for caring about us enough to work so hard to instill core values in us. And thanks especially for proving to me that it can be done, even in this day and age, and that it’s worth it.

Love,
Jordan

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