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I’ve been a mother for 21 years now. The act of typing that out alone seems strange to me. At times, it has all been such a flash of diaper changing, nursing, potty training, first days of school, holidays, birthdays, and summer breaks. Amid all the highlights and memories are the ordinary everyday days. You know the ones I’m talking about? The ones when it seems that no one slept through the night or everyone forgot their homework or lunch. When naptime is held as carefully as gold and bedtime is secretly anticipated. Because even though you love your kids with every fiber of your being, for heaven’s sake, a small break just to think without interruptions would be stellar, right? You remember that moment when you looked in the eyes of your child and felt you couldn’t love him or her more? Only to find out a few minutes later that he or she had managed to destroy something you thought was unbreakable? While you were in that luxurious 3-minute shower?
Every season of motherhood carries its own challenges. But the early years of motherhood are particularly physically demanding. Although I had an incredible mother as a role model, I found myself often discouraged and feeling inadequate as a young mom. My husband and I had no family living close by and he worked nightshift. I remember reaching out to another mom at church who was a little beyond my place in motherhood. She had no little ones, but she had a special needs child as I did. I admired her greatly and worked up the courage to ask her over for coffee. I was simply hoping to share a cup of coffee and conversation. When she showed up with a bag of recommended parenting books and a stern look of disapproval at the crumbs on my table, I felt a pit in my stomach. Needless to say, I could hardly wait for the conversation to be over and I never asked her to come back. She didn’t understand my world and her visit only made me feel more incompetent. I’m sorry to say that it took a few years before my boldness to reach out to other moms returned.
Today I wanted to share with you my encouragement list as a young mom. These are the small things that folks either did for me over the years or I wished someone would do until I learned better self-care habits. You probably won’t find anything dramatically life-altering on this list of suggestions, but the truth is that life is not always altered by what we do, but how we do it. Want to encourage a young mom’s heart? Check out these ideas!
1. Text her just to see how her day is going. Be patient when it takes a few hours for her to respond. Or let her know she doesn’t have to respond because you know how busy she is, you just wanted her to know you were thinking of her.
2. Drop by her house with her favorite drink, but stay on the porch. Let her know that you don’t have time to stop in (aka “I know you care about your house and it’s a wreck because Johnny just strung out every toy he owns. Therefore, I am respecting your war zone; I’m merely offering a soldier some water on the sideline.)
3. Look her in the eyes and say, “You’re a great mom. You’ve got this!”
4. Notice her efforts and praise them, especially when things don’t look perfect. Which is always.
5. Send an encouraging Ecard and let her know that God is within her; she will not fail.
6. Offer an hour or two of your time to do a chore, run an errand or just sit with the napping little ones so she can run an errand. Alone. Hallelujah. (That’s some preaching right there.)
7. Send a greeting card or small gift in the mail to remind her that her job is invaluable, priceless and God has called her to it. He chose her specifically to mother these littles.
Still looking for the right words? Here’s a message for the young mothers in your life. Feel free to write it down, pass it out and use it to encourage them in their journey.
Dear Young Mama,
You’ve got this; the Lord is on your side. There is no need to be afraid. God has gifted this child or these children to you and he will never leave you to mother alone. Your reward is in heaven. While you can’t know the full effect you are having on each child each day, the efforts you are making to parent well do not go unnoticed by your Heavenly Father. He loves your babies even more than you do and He loves the work you are doing to raise them well. Love on. Pray on. Heaven is going to be such an incredible revelation. I can’t wait to see your replays.
Looking for gift ideas to encourage a group of young moms? Check out our Mother’s Day section to view uplifting mugs, jewelry, home décor, and cards - all filled with the encouraging words of Scripture. Also, be sure to check out these related articles.
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