Why we should be supporting moms who are doing their best

Feb 25, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. ET
Image: Susan Chiang/Getty Images

What if we all supported and encouraged one another? Seriously, let's set aside all the platitudes, all the buzzwords and heated discussions about how do we do this or that.

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I first want to recognize how incredibly hard it is being a parent. This role is the most challenging and life-changing I have ever faced. We are pulled in every direction, and there are so many conflicting ideas. You read one book, and it tells you to do time-outs. You read another book or listen to a speaker, and they say time-outs will forever damage your child's psyche. I have a playdate with one mom, and she tells me all about how her children are signing and learning their colors before they're two. Another mom tells me signing delays your child's ability to speak.

Every child is different. Every mom is different. Every dad is different. Every family is different. We all thrive differently. We all have different dreams for our lives. We are challenged by different things. What would it look like if we just recognized this and supported one another? If instead of judging or giving advice, we give affirmations?

Some moms thrive with four or five children. Some moms are struggling with one. I am personally hanging by a thread of patience and self-control with two children. Let's build one another up, and support all family sizes.

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Yesterday I was out on a restaurant patio with our kids and sat next to a mom with a 12-month-old. We smiled at each other, and my 3-and-a-half-year-old did a better job of talking to her than I did. Instead of staring at each other wondering how our parenting compares or both praying our children behave well and we look good in public and thinking we probably should never go out again, I wish I had said to her when I left, "Hey! You look like a great mom. I can tell you are doing a wonderful job."

So, next time I see a baby or little kids, instead of complimenting them on their cute outfit or smiling, I want to compliment the mom: Hey, fellow warrior, I see you. I can see you are doing your best. I can see you raising the next generation. I can see you have the same worries and struggles I do. I want to encourage you, because heaven knows since your children are out and about, you are doing your best.

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