First off, I feel so blessed that I got a fantastic Mom. Someone who believes in me more than I sometimes believed in myself. I have to admit that I sometimes wanted her to be a top executive or take me on big trips or have long hair. Things kids wish for!
But I was given exactly what I needed.
She drove me to one of my 7 sports almost every day of the week. Sometimes picking me up from one and showing up with some food for me to eat on the way as I changed in the car. Then drove me to my out of town competitive soccer games where I'd sleep all the way home.
Her selflessness is apparent to me now.
I refused to eat sandwiches, which probably drove her crazy, but she just kept offering me alternatives.
I've no idea how she could be so patient.
I’m now a Mom. I did experience the ever-looming guilt in the beginning of not doing enough or being enough. But I got over that because I'm realistic and I’ve designed my life to be at home with my daughter a few days a week. BUT I can’t escape the personal judgment to be as selfless as she is.
Maybe you also had a great Mom and now feel it’s hard to have dinner made every night from scratch, or to come up with educational activities for your kids, or to teach all of life’s lessons without raising your voice.
Or maybe you feel you got the short end of the stick and you feel your Mom wasn’t the World’s #1 Mom.
Either way if you’re a Mom I’m sure you’ve experienced society’s acceptance of telling you how to parent. You know what I mean! That unsolicited advice! Where you stand in line at the grocery store and then think - Oh crap here we go again… my favorites include:
- “Oh little one, are you upset because your mom isn’t listening to you?” (What I wish I had said. - Nope. She’s crying because I didn’t let her eat the chocolate bar she took from the shelf, or the cookies she pulled off the display or the hairy Cheeto she found on the floor.)
- “Oh she must be hungry because she’s crying. Have you fed her lately?” I can’t repeat what I wish I had said.
- “You really need to keep your daughter closer to you. I could have hit her with my shopping cart.” (What I wish I had said - Really? Drive better.)
You know, seeing her with my daughter does teach me so much. How to love more, play more and really put my child front and center.
But she replied in an email,
“Hey, thanks for the lovely card and words and also the art work from Bailey, so cute, did you have to sit a long time for her to do it or does she like to draw? You are an amazing Mom Diane and need no help from me.” Love Mom
- “You are an amazing Mom.”
- Or “You’re a loving Dad.”
- Or “You’re a great boss.”
- Or “You’re a wonderful sister.”
- Or “You’re such a giving friend.”
There are so many. But here’s the simple formula: You are a (adjective) (title).
Don’t put anything after – it just muddles the power of it and gives them an excuse not to believe you!
So even if you usually buy gifts for people for special events think an acknowledgement as a gift of words. It’s easy to send in an email or a text and even make a phone call to say it. Friends and family love them, and so do strangers.
And hey! Maybe you could give one or two to yourself this week as well. What do you really want to hear? Or what do you really want to tell someone else? Why not give them a shout out by acknowledging them today?