[An oldie that was first posted on Sacred Pregnancy a few years back. Happy Mother's Day this weekend--soak it in fellow mamas!]
It’s only happened twice now, but already I get the feeling I’ll be keeping a tally in my head and heart for the rest of my life.The first time was two days after my son was born. I was having trouble breastfeeding, and–battered by the crashing waves of hormones inside of me–I can only imagine I looked a bit forlorn. Our nurse put her hand on my arm, looked straight into my eyes, and intensely said, “You’re a good mom,” as if she was willing me to believe it with all her might.
The second time was at the coffee shop I frequently stop at in the morning on the way to drop my son off at his school. After watching the two of us giggle and babble talk in line each day for a month, an older gentleman–a “regular” there–stood up to help me open the door. Casually, completely off-hand, he said, “I just love watching you guys every day. You’re such a good mom.”
It feels silly to hold onto those memories so hard. Objectively, I know that I’m a good mom. My son is happy and healthy, and we have our balance of fun and “civilizing”. But there’s still the quiet voice in my brain that says, “What if you’re not? What if you’re doing this wrong?” Silly as it may be, the random comments of those two people–basically strangers–help put that nagging fear into it’s proper perspective. Because if strangers notice…well, I figure I’m probably in-the-clear.
“You’re a good mom.” In the midst of the “mommy-wars”, those words don’t get said nearly enough. I think, perhaps, we all assume that the good moms out there already know they’re doing well. Or we focus on minute decisions that are different than the choices we would make, and criticize instead.
But it needs to be said–early and often. As moms, we know what a tough gig motherhood is. Making tiny humans into mature, compassionate adults is not easy on a day-to-day basis. Chances are though, everyone reading this knows more than a few people who are doing a great job at it. How about we make today the day we let them know?