Motherhood is the most important role on earth and it is up to you to honor and celebrate all the moms you know—except for your own, because she’s the reason you’re in therapy and can take whatever scraps of thanks she gets thrown. Here’s how to value and empower these unsung heroes of the world, unless we’re talking about your actual mom. She knows what she did.
Reassure Them They’re Doing a Great Job
Every mother has her quiet moments of insecurity and doubt about how good a mother she is and a well-timed word from you can give her the assurance she craves. Be sure to tell moms in your life how well they’re doing. As for your own mom, don’t bother. All she did was provide you with a role model for a woman managing a family and a career. You could have got that watching Roseanne.
Tell Them How Important They Are
Mothers pour so much energy into caring for their children but all too often get very little appreciation in return. Take a moment to let moms know what a profound and positive difference they are making to their children’s lives. No need to tell your own mom—after all, she wouldn’t let you pierce your belly button until you were sixteen! Why should she get positive feedback now?
Carve Out Quality Adult Time With Them
Imagine spending all your day with whining, mucus-producing children—gross, right? Now imagine doing that for years on end! A coffee date, dinner at home or even a caring phone call can help prevent a mom from going too stir-crazy. If your mom expects you to spend “quality time” with her, politely remind her that you are busy trying to process all the shit you inherited from her. She can talk to your therapist if she doesn’t believe you.
Offer To Help Out With Chores or Childcare
Most mothers today are engaged in a tricky balancing act of work, childrearing, and homemaking. So why don’t you offer to be an extra pair of hands to take the pressure off? Volunteering to take the kids to the park every once in a while is a godsend. As for your own mother, you don’t even live at home any more so why should you be the one helping bring groceries in from the car when you go back for a visit?
Praise Them For Something Other Than Motherhood
Motherhood is all consuming and it’s easy for moms to lose their sense of identity. Reminding the moms in your life of their many skills and qualities beyond the realm of motherhood will boost their self-esteem and help them reconnect with. If your own mom thinks she deserves praise she can think again. She probably wouldn’t be thankful if you gave her the Nobel Prize, and anyway, her crappy gene pool is the reason your hips don’t work in a bodycon dress.
It’s a crime that motherhood is not more revered in our society, so anything you can do to boost the mood, morale, and confidence of the moms in your life will make all the difference. As for your own mother—what did she ever do for you that was so great, beyond the basic incubating in her womb, breastfeeding, nurturing, tampon-insertion-teaching and emotional support?