“You are such a good mom.” Those words were medicine to my tired heart. They were Tylenol for my splitting headache. Motrin for my annoying cramps. And serotonin for my dejected mood.
Six simple words strung together were all I needed to hear. I just needed to be seen for everything I was trying to be. Recognized for the role no one is ever fully qualified for. Complimented when my inner voice was critical.
Being a mom is exhausting. It’s demanding. It’s never-ending. It’s not always rewarding. It’s not always pretty. It’s hardly ever restful or uneventful. Accepting those truths doesn’t wish away motherhood, but it does mean we need support.
We need to hear encouragement. We need to give encouragement. We need each other.
The medicine my heart needed was administered by my own mother. She knew because she had been there. She is still there—still mothering me even as I mother my two.
Her words stopped me in my tracks for two reasons. One, because I hadn’t realized how much I needed to hear that. And two, because a great mother was showing approval to, what I felt, was a subpar mother.
But I’ve come to realize that the really good moms are the ones who never feel good enough. They recognize their shortcomings. They want to be better, to do better. They admire the way that mom talks to her kids. The way that one interacts with her son. The way that one instills self-confidence into her daughter. The patience and creativity that one has. We compare because we want to be better. It doesn’t make it right, but it does make sense.
What we really need to hear is “you are such a good mom” from our peers. From the ones for whom we have so much respect. We need medicine that only other moms can give.