Being a mom is hard work, and this past year has been a doozy. Moms everywhere have had to be innovative, adaptive, and flexible for almost every aspect of their life. Any free time mom use to have was crowded out by having everyone at home together. It’s no wonder moms feel overwhelmed and exhausted. However, no matter how tired you are, if you are a mom, you keep going because you love your children and put them first.
This Mother’s Day it’s important that we reflect and give mom the support and gratitude she deserves. You don’t need an expensive gift or anything extravagant to tell mom how loved she is. Keep it simple and use your words. I have five things your mom needs to hear from you.
1. You are doing a great job. Every mom doubts her abilities at some time, and this past year, many moms doubted their ability to keep it together. If you’re a grandparent or child of a great parent, tell them what a great job they’re doing; your acknowledgement means the world to mom. Dads - paying attention to your child’s mom and reassuring her of what a great job she is doing is the key to marriage success.
2. Your child is lucky to have you, and you are enough. There is pressure on moms about screen time, discipline, virtual versus face-to-face school attendance, and making themselves available. Remind your mom that her love is enough. Kids don’t need stuff, they need you. Dads - reminding your child’s mom that you are grateful she is the mother of your children helps her feel appreciated.
3. It’s okay to not feel okay every day. No one said being a mom was going to make you ridiculously happy every day. Being a mom is hard work, and it’s normal not to enjoy it every day. Telling your mom friends that you are there for them to listen and be supportive helps her know she is not alone. When parents take time each day to talk and be heard about each other’s struggles, the marriage gets stronger.
4. You don’t want a perfect mom; you want the mom you have. Moms are often hard on themselves. They compare themselves with other moms and feel inadequate. Reminding mom about what you love most about her and how much you respect her for her values and strength will help mom feel like she is raising a child with awareness and compassion. When husbands notice positive characteristics of their wife and point them out, communication and intimacy improve.
5. Let me help you get a break. Step up and ask mom how you can help her take time for herself. A hot bath or getting her nails done can help her take care of her emotional and physical needs. Self-care is important to our well-being. Offer to make breakfast, pack lunches, or whatever it is mom is doing that someone else could do. A survey asking what moms wanted most this Mother’s Day was simple – moms agreed what they wanted most was a break. Dads who ask their wives frequently, "How can I help," are happier in their marriages than those who don’t.
Our moms are our source of strength, love, and encouragement. Asking ourselves where we’d be without our mom is a great way to encourage and remind ourselves to pay attention to our moms and their needs. She puts us first every day – let’s put her first today and always.