Every Sunday at church I am greeted with different showings of love from my fellow sisters. From a casual hello by a rushed mom, arms overflowing with stuff, trying to get her kids seated to hugs from a mom already settled. Each week questions fly about how my daughter is sleeping, what is she eating and friends ooh and ahhh over her and request to hold her. Week after week since my daughter’s birth this has been the usual way I start my Sunday morning.
That is until one Sunday when a sister came over and sat right next to me. She looked me directly in the eyes and asked, “How are you doing?” That simple, innocent question threw me completely off balance. I was not prepared to answer.
How am I? You mean you don’t want to know about my daughter? Wait…. am I falling apart? Can you see me struggling to keep my head above water?
I struggled to hold back the tears and and to compose myself before I showed how frazzled and lost I felt. That simple phrase made me feel like I mattered. I was not just my daughter’s mother in that moment but me, just me. I existed. I was noticed!
This made me think about how many times a mom walks into a room and all eyes look directly at her children. How many times do we not see her? I mean REALLY see her. Why does this happen? I honestly believe we often get excited to see a cute little outfit, or little a cherub face and get caught up in the awe factor.
It isn’t often enough that somebody offers to help a mom, or asks her if she needs an ear or a hug. It seems like a little thing but in that moment a mom wouldn’t feel so alone. For that moment, her burdens would be shared and lightened.
Not all struggling moms look as if they are struggling. I know I personally hide my struggles very well. So why not offer a gesture of kindness to any fellow mom? Here are some suggested ways to offer help:
- Call her and ask to stop by for coffee.
- Offer to watch her kids for a few hours so she can enjoy a few hours alone or with her spouse.
- Cook dinner for her at your house.
- Join her at the park and chat while the kids play.
- Send her an old fashion handwritten letter telling her you have been thinking of her.
We all walk around balancing our own emotional teeter-totters. Most moms (especially new moms) are precariously balancing in their own corners hoping nothing else is added to topple them over. I can say from experience that the simplest gesture makes a world of difference. Next time you see a fellow mom, who may or may not look like she is struggling, ask her how she is doing. Or Can I get you anything? Or how can I help you in this moment? I promise you she will be relieved beyond your understanding.
Who knows the next time your own emotional teeter-totter is feeling unsteady, that mom you helped just might have the ability to balance you before toppling over. She might even become your next close friend.
Debra is a first time mom to her beautiful rainbow baby Skyler, a wife, a blogger and an ordained minister. She enjoys crafting and creating educational fun for her step sons and decorating her home. Find Debra at Crossing New Bridges on Facebook and on Twitter.
A lovely post Debra, being a Mum is so hard, and we are often overlooked when people ask us how the baby is doing, and I am very guilty of hiding my struggles. I have been known to answer the question “How is the little one doing?” by saying I’m fine. Your list of points is brilliant, just having a helping pair of hands, or a cup of tea made for you can make the world of difference. I hope it’s getting easier for you. Claire x #triballove
Thank you Claire! As the days pass life is becoming more manageable. There is some form of schedule. Simple gestures make days nicer.
I love this. We all could definitely use help, even if it’s just a quick text to check in. It’s nice to know someone is thinking of you.
Aw…what a really thoughtful post for moms! Its so true and its so helpful to be really aware of others around us and how we can help – or be helped/supported in day to day stuff. Just that one check-in or coffee can make a world of difference.
Karen | GlamKaren.com
It truly does! I think any human struggling needs to know someone cares. But I remember how isolating and lonely it can be as a mom.
Moms are superheroes! They definitely deserve help whereever we can give them. Great post.
Thank you Thuli. I completely agree that we are superheros. I mean once a baby is born all the new abilities we gain we never new we had are amazing!
I love this, especially the idea about meeting at the park to chat while the kids play. I really feel like play dates are often more for the mom than for the kids, lol.
These are great to remember and everyone will at some point be struggling. It’s important to be aware of it and ask for help if you are struggling.
Some people just have a hard time asking for help. I try to offer right away so moms know I am available.
Children are such easy distractors. I’ll keep that in mind when I see my neighbors with young children. I want them to know that I care about them as mothers, as much as I care about their children.
Terri that is truly amazing of you to care!
I love this post because I can totally relate to it. I am always smiling on the outside but inside you don’t want to know what’s going on. You’re absolutely right, we can all use a little help.
I am right there with you Amanda. I hide things very well. On this particular Sunday I was at my limits. Sometimes the kindest of words helps give a little relief.
Great ideas to really bless a fellow mom. I think taking some time to talk together while taking a walk with strollers or for coffee is always so helpful to just be with a friend.
What a great mom idea. Stroller rides and a talk will be added to my list of simple gestures. Thank You!
Great post and tips. We could all use a little more love as moms sometimes and have preople really see us.
I agree 100%
I love this! I think one of my biggest struggles as a mom is just that it often feels like no one sees me any more.
You’re not alone! I hear so many moms say this.
I love this! I need to meet up at the park more often. It’s hard with the humidity of Atlanta.
Got any fun indoor play places? Or kids big enough for a splash pad/water park? Even pushing strollers through the mall in the a/c or hosting play dates at home can give moms (and kids) a break.
I think that as women we all need to be more supportive of one another. I love the idea of coffee dates, I often invite my mom friends over – I wish they were free more often!
I know! Even stay at home moms are difficult to schedule!
So much yes to this list!!! I will admit I’ve been the struggling mom before trying to balance it all and I would of died from happiness if someone offered to help even if it was only watching my daughter for 5 minutes while I took a deep breath lol…
Sundays are my deep breath days when the kids go to the nursery and Sunday School. I get to do nothing but just listen to the sermon. Best Days!
I think being an ear they can talk to is a really good way to help. Sometimes, you just need to vent, ask questions, gain reassurance, etc. every now and then.
I always try to help out my sisters one is already a mommy of a ten years old and my other sister is expecting her first baby in august and I am always texting them even if its just to ask how their day is going. Begin a mom is no easy task but someone has to do it right. I think I will love being a mom 🙂
You will Leslie! As much as we say it’s a struggle the pay off is even greater. Otherwise, why would moms keep doing this? 😉
Motherhood is the best and most wondrous thing to ever happen to me. Even with the struggles.
What a great piece! I remember almost being skipped at communion because the cup bearer was so busy looking at my baby girl. She was the same person who later wrote me the most kind and compassionate letter when I told her I was suffering from postpartum depression. We DO get caught up in the adorable little faces of our friends’ babies, but gosh what opportunities we have to connect with the new mamas. You’ve laid out some great ideas here. Thank you for writing this!
Oh no! I am glad that she was able to send some comfort during your difficult time. It is funny but this is not the direction I was originally going but I am glad this is how the article ended. Thank You!
Yes, this is oh so true. A lot of us moms just put on a brave face because we want to appear okay.
Yes. However letting others in is important too. Too much of holding in our stressors wear us down.
Being able to help each other out is so important. We go through so much as moms, and lending a helping hand out to a fellow mom could mean the world of difference to them!
So true Cathy!
These are all great ideas on ways to reach out. Sometimes we worry too much about offering the help when people may just be too worried to ask.
Personally I am not a person to ask for anything. However when offered I usually accept the offering be it a cup of coffee or grown up talk time.
Thank you for sharing this Debra. So many of the little things we think won’t be a big deal can really help a mom have a better day.
I completely agree. The little things mean so much more than a grand gesture. I find it less overwhelming that if somebody offers to say come clean my house…..
But then again at this point I would take the help.
It is the small things that count especially with the big changes having a new born. X #bigpinklink
I love your blogs Debra. Such great insight and so easy to relate to.