At first I was thinking about posting all the items I love and use as a Mom. I had a big list of fun finds and cool gadgets that I was sure would hit the spot with many moms reading this post. Then, I took a step back and thought about the dinner I had last night with my little boy.
We had been very busy all day, and although I had pulled everything out and was ready to cook dinner- I really did not feel like it. We ended up eating dinner at a restaurant instead. Yes, I know. Lazy mom.. guilty!
When we sat down, Hunter acted as most 3 year old do: loud, giggling to whining then back to giggling, and grabbing everything under the sun. I was constantly talking to him about how we needed to use our inside voices, not to touch the butter knife and fork, and that we didn’t need to drink the whole applejuice box before dinner arrived. It was time for a distraction!
First, with the mini magnetic drawing board he had, we drew animals. He would ask me to draw an animal- I would do my absolute best since I’m no Picasso- and then we’d laugh about how well he thought the drawing was. This went on for 10 minutes, and when we both couldn’t come up with another animal that he knew and I could draw, we moved onto sounds.
We quizzed each other on the sounds of animals: “What animal sounds like this?”, Hunter would ask and I would say my answer. We laughed after every one. This was the highlight of my day and we hadn’t even eaten yet. 🙂
After we finished dinner and we waiting for the check, a little elderly couple that had been sitting behind us stood up to leave. The gentleman walked off to speak to his waitress whom they knew from their church (yes, I was eaves-dropping..) and his wife stopped for a moment before joining him. She turned to me and said, “Mom, I’ve been listening to you through our entire dinner. I hear you teaching him [Hunter] manners, and how to act properly. You don’t see that anymore with young moms. You’re doing a wonderful job. You are a good mom.”
I looked up at her and tried to brush off the doe-eyed look my face was giving off and thanked her. When she left I felt a strange ache in my heart that didn’t hurt. It was validation.
If you were to ask my what my greatest accomplishment was (as I’m sure most of us would say), it is of course being a mom. Being a good one is of the utmost important job I’ve ever had, and ever will have. I feel in my own heart and mind that I am a good one, which can be hard when life keeps chucking lemons at you and makes you wonder. However, when you have a complete stranger stop you and tell you so- even when they’ve only seen you or heard you for less than a day; less than an hour- that is validation that you are doing a good job.
That’s when I started thinking about Mother’s Day. It’s so cliché to say that it’s not about the gifts we get, but it’s the truth. Here are five things all moms want on Mother’s Day.
1. Verbal or Written Acknowledgement
This is aimed toward immediate family such as a spouse and children. When we hear from our closest loved ones that we are a “Good Mom” it our hearts melt. It makes us feel good to hear that our SO believes we are great moms to our children. And, when our children say it to us- at any age- we want to burst out in tears of joy. Being acknowledged for being your mom, and a good one at that brightens our souls!
2. Outside Validation
Just like my sappy little story at the beginning of this post, we want to hear from outside sources that we’re doing a good job. It’s not necessary for our happiness or a key ingredient to being a great mom but it certainly helps! When an outside perspective is given from someone that is not close to us we feel validated in being a stellar mom. And, not to be rude, but if this praise comes from someone we respect and hold in high regard, the added validation makes us feel extra amazing!
We want to be appreciated! Moms have a tough role as a recent study has shown that what we do is the equivalent to working 2.5 full time jobs! It’s a running joke (but true!) that moms eat last, get the least amount of sleep, clean the most, etc. Heck, even our bodies deal with stress as we loose and gain weight when growing babies! We simply want to be appreciated for all that we do. A genuine “thank you” goes a long way!
4 . Sharing Memories
I didn’t realize it until I became a mom and my son started (even at 3!) to share memories with me. He said to me in his broken toddler English about how I was his “favorite person in the whole wide world”. This is something I have said to him on many occasions and it made me smile instantly listening to him try to hard to repeat it.
On that note, adult children who recall favorite memories with their mom bring back the feeling of being acknowledged as a good parent. While giving gifts is not what the day is about, small tokens with memories attached to them are the best kind of gifts.
5. Unconditional Love
This goes without saying, but showing unconditional love to us is without a doubt the most precious gift to give. Sharing memories, acknowledgement and appreciation are all ways to show moms how much you love them, but sometimes it’s the smaller everyday things that mean the most.