Being a mom is full of joyful moments, selflessness and unconditional love, but moms can also feel under-appreciated and often invisible. We are the referees in a fight, the doctor for a skinned knee, the counselor on a bad day, and a law school negotiator when they don’t want to do what needs to get done. We may never graduate from the “school of law”, as the negotiations get tougher the older your kids get. We wear all these hats and rarely get the acknowledgement, because life moves on and we have little ones counting on us to lead the way.
Moms, can I just tell YOU how amazing you are! Look at all the jobs you do! Stop for a minute, smile and feel proud, you deserve it and you are appreciated!
With Mother’s Day approaching, how can you show appreciation for your mom, your significant other or any “mother figure” in your life? Learn their love language and shower them with that.
The five love languages are:
1. Words of affirmation: verbal compliments that express love and appreciation
2. Physical touch: long hugs, cuddles, holding hands and back rubs
3. Quality time: focused and undivided attention spent together
4. Acts of service: “Let me help you,” any act that eases the burden of responsibility
5. Receiving gifts: Physical symbols that reflect thoughtfulness and effort
I often find that I give others what I love receiving, such as encouragement and compliments. What does your mom give to others? Lots of hugs and snuggles? Undivided attention when spoken to? Do they love helping or giving gifts? Watch them over the next week and I bet you will discover their love language.
We can also appreciate our mom “friends” by being real with each other. Last week, three of my four kids were fighting and crying at the same time in front of all the soccer parents. It was out-of-control chaos. In that moment, I felt invisible and like I was having an out-of-body experience. I said “I am not ok and feel like I am failing”, OUT loud, in front of the moms. In the midst of my vulnerable moment I felt real, seen, and I didn’t care because I knew another mom somewhere on those bleachers may relate and feel a sense of gratitude or appreciation (and if NOT that’s ok too!). When we have that connection, there’s a deeper appreciation that we are not alone and an understanding that hard days happen to all of us. We may have different parenting styles, but we all struggle at times and can relate that it’s a tough job.
Need some ideas to show appreciation?
- Words of affirmation: It’s all about the “WORDS”. Write a quick note or stick post-it notes around the house to share things you SEE and appreciate.
- Physical touch: Play with their hair, give them back rubs, sit by them on the couch while you talk about the day.
- Acts of Service: Have her car detailed or clean it yourself. Make dinner or breakfast or make her cup of coffee. Make her favorite treat.
- Receiving gifts: Bring home a bouquet of their favorite flower (find out what it is, if you don’t know). It doesn’t always have to be roses. The grocery stores sell simple colorful bouquets that are sure to brighten her day in a vase on the counter. The sky is the limit on this one.
- Quality time: Mute your phone, put it down and listen to her. Go for a walk, go run errands together, or take her on a “date”. We like getting fancy for a date night at Applebee’s…or anywhere! Just take us.
As Mother’s Day approaches (or really any day), the simple gestures using her love language can be the biggest gift to her.