Saturday, September 3, 2016

What You Should Say to a Mother With Small Children

Sometimes, when I’m out with the girls alone in public, there is a fellow mom who says just the right thing to make me feel better when Rose is throwing a tantrum, or Heather is tired and fussy. Please try not to be one of the people who say something rude that I mentioned in my last post. Be one of these people, say one of these things.

  1. “You’re so lucky.” A few weeks ago I came across a Scary Mommy post about a mother with three boys at target, on a particularly difficult afternoon. Another woman walked passed her, smiled and said, “You’re so lucky.” The woman didn’t stop walking, she just kept going. She made the mother’s day. We mothers are lucky.

  1. “They’re so cute.” This comment goes extra far if the children are screaming. What mom doesn’t like being told the children she made from a couple of tiny cells is cute (especially if they are crying to the point of having a splotchy face, like my my girls inherited from me).

  1. Say “Hello” to the screaming toddler. Most toddlers will stop screaming if a stranger says hello. When someone says hello to Rose while we are grocery shopping she usually forgets why she was mad and will calm down at least for a little while. I wish more people would say hello, most of them just stare.

  1. Compliment her. Any compliment will go a very long way. Everyone loves compliments. Someone telling you they love your messy up-do is awesome.

  1. “You’re doing a great job, mom.” This was the most helpful thing anyone ever said to me. Heather was one maybe two months old. Rose, Heather, and I went to Chick Fil A for lunch. We ordered our food, found a table, and I set Rose free in the playplace and sat down. Seconds after I started eating my salad, Rose got overwhelmed by the number of big kids playing and lost it. She didn’t want to listen, she didn’t want to sit and eat, she didn’t want to play. I decided we were going to leave. As I wrestled to put Rose’s shoes on with little Heather in the sling, a mom at a neighboring table said, “You’re doing a great job mom.” It was exactly what I needed to hear. I was doing a good job. Somehow I managed to pack up our food, and drag Rose out to the car. I remember crying in the car because being a mom is hard. That mom’s comment made things just a little bit better.

If you can do something to make a mom’s day better please do it, even if it’s a short comment in passing. Being a mom is hard. Everyone needs to be told they are doing a good job, even if they feel like they are failing.   

Thanks for reading!

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