How to Encourage Moms


I don’t know if you saw my weariness, or if you watched me talk to Jack-Jack while he was crying, but I do know that what you did meant the world to me. You were a random stranger that stopped and talked with me. There are things you didn’t know about me. But what you did spoke volumes about the type of person you are. You are a kind and generous person, and you certainly understand how to encourage moms.

How to Encourage Moms


While it is obvious you know how to encourage moms, there is plenty you didn’t know. You didn’t know that I had spent the day with my 90-year-old mother, my 16-year-old son, and Jack-Jack, my 14-year-old son with autism.

You didn’t know that Jack-Jack had his first meltdown today at 11 AM. There were about 10 of them today. He rarely has days like with this many meltdowns, but he was tired, hungry and overstimulated.

You didn’t know that we had been caught in a nasty torrential downpour in Washington, D.C. We were near the Washington Monument. There was no shelter. So I stayed with Jack-Jack and tried to shelter him from the storm, Marcus tried to deal with grandma and the wheelchair.

You didn’t know that in the Smithsonian Museum of American History Grandma spent 2 hours reading every sign and placard in the First Lady exhibit while Jack-Jack tried his hardest to navigate with the excessive noise. The museum was quite crowded that day with many field trips, and kids literally running through the museum yelling.

You didn’t know that we had lunch at 11:30 AM. It was now 8 PM and we were having dinner. That was a long time for Jack-Jack to wait to eat.

You didn’t know that my husband should have been on this trip with us, but couldn’t get the time off work. I made the decision to go without him because time is precious, and if we waited until he could get time off, my mother could be gone. (Did I mention that my mom is 90?)

You didn’t know that I don’t usually drive in big cities. I live in small town USA, and I don’t navigate 6+ lanes on the freeway well.

You couldn’t have known that my love language is words of affirmation, and I literally crave hearing positive things. As moms, we hear when everything is wrong, but we seldom hear when things are great!


Maybe you saw me open my laptop to get some much-needed work done. You might have thought I was a single mother trying to get in a few minutes of work while waiting for my food. 

Maybe you saw the weariness in my face or the way Jack-Jack kept whining and moaning.

You could have overheard my mother talking with Marcus about the price of things for the 100th time that day. Maybe you saw me flash my “mom look” at Marcus when he was losing patience with his grandma. (There is literally 74 years between grandson and grandma).

Maybe you wondered why we were eating so late or noticed that I asked many questions about the gluten-free menu. Maybe you heard me order very specifically for Jack-Jack – no seasoning or sauces, or maybe you saw me grab the barbecue sauce and ketchup off his plate before handing it to him to prevent another meltdown.

I hope you saw the love in my eyes for my children, and I hope you saw how patient I try to be. But most importantly, I hope you saw Jesus in me. Because quite frankly, I could not have done this entire trip without God.

I was scared to drive to Washington, D.C., and I was more than a little nervous about taking my mother through a large city. We were sitting ducks in someone wanted to mug us. Faith said, “You got this. God is with you.”


So, dear sweet lady: When you walked up to my table, and said to my boys, “You have a great mom,” and then you said to me, “You have done a great job raising your boys,” the compliment couldn’t have come at a better time.  I needed to hear something encouraging. We live in a time and place where we shame parents on social media because their kids don’t behave in a restaurant, but we seldom give praise to another parent.

It does take a village to raise a child, but that doesn’t mean the village is responsible to raise my child. What I want from the village is a pat on the back for a job well done. I want the village to encourage my children to make wise choices. We all need to hear positive words of encouragement. Additionally, if we want to raise children who are kind and an encouragement to others, we can read books and watch movies that show those behaviors, but our children also need to see us model that behavior. They also need to see others performing random acts of kindness.

So I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for those words that meant so much to my heart. Thank you for that encouragement that came at just the right moment.


A Weary Mom


So what can you do to help another mother? Can you stop and tell a mom she is doing a great job? Can you say to a mom that is weary, “Hang in there?”

The following are suggestions to encourage moms who are probably overtired and weary:

  1. When. you see a mom alone with her children, compliment her in some way – you are doing a great job; your kids are well-behaved; I remember when my children were that age, and I was tired all the time – it gets easier. In some manner acknowledge that the work she is doing is hard.
  2. Give a nod and a smile to a mom struggling with a toddler or with an older child in the midst of a meltdown. When a child has a meltdown, you feel as if all the eyes of the world are on you, judging you for being the worst mom ever. A smile from a stranger goes a long way.
  3. Print off the following and hand out to moms who look like they could use some encouragement. Download the file here!

Open Letter to a Random Stranger

Do you have any tips or suggestions to add to this post on how to encourage moms you encounter? Have you been the recipient of a random compliment from a stranger? Leave a comment! I would love to hear your stories.

What you did meant the world to mom

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