The Gift of a Mother’s Words


tired woman smiling in bed with covers pulled up to her chinLooking back on the early years of motherhood, many memories are a bit foggy. I learned to navigate my days on shockingly less sleep and inhale meals over the sink. It’s no wonder I now find it difficult to recall significant moments from this blur of a season.

Life, as I’d previously known it, was flipped upside down. But on the wild ride of new motherhood, one memory of my own mother clings to my very being and has been a driving force for over a decade.

While nursing my newborn son and fighting back tears of exhaustion, my mom stood in my closet putting away laundry. She gave me the knowing smile of a seasoned veteran and gently said, “It’s such a wonderful and difficult time. You’re doing a good job.”

Those words spoken over me felt like perfume to my senses. They shook me from my fatigued haze and made me keenly aware of the new life in my arms. With renewed purpose, I marched on in my role as “mom.” As the years go by, I’ve experienced numerous points in time when raising children has brought me back to my mother with similar frustrated tears. Somewhere in our conversation, she will say the words, “It’s such a wonderful and difficult time. You’re doing a good job.”

The phrase infuses life as I walk my motherhood path. I encourage us, as a community, to use it as a balm to our fellow moms who face all-too-familiar challenges along their own roads. 

Encouraging words shared by one mom can help others.

When Moms Feel Alone

It’s a funny thing. You become a mom and, suddenly, you are never alone. You are surrounded physically, mentally, and emotionally. Babies sleep on your chest. Toddlers hang from your legs. Kids grow and their long limbs take up more room on the couch. The noise level ranges, but rarely are our homes (or minds) quiet. And in all of the action, we can feel isolated as moms.

Sometimes we’re just so stinking tired from those babies we adore. We don’t have an extra ounce of energy to connect with the outside world.

Other times, we’re immersed in wildly specific needs for our very unique little (or big) ones. We let ourselves believe no one could relate to our situation. We carry on, untethered, to a support system. “It’s such a wonderful and difficult time.”

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When Moms Doubt Their Ability

It can be difficult to trust our maternal instincts on a good day. The parenting manuals were lost in the mail, and someone forgot to install the safety nets. There is no dress rehearsal. We are smack dab in this parenting life. We are hit with a myriad of everyday decisions to care for our children.

Top that off with those highly personalized needs I mentioned previously. It can be hard to make decisions. We love these kids at a level we couldn’t fathom before they arrived on the scene. And we know we have the potential to impact a child’s future! We are bound to doubt ourselves as mothers. “It’s such a wonderful and difficult time.”

When Moms Drown in Opinions 

I remember as a kid, feeling sorry for my mom when my grandparents came to visit. The older generations threw around opinions like confetti. Thoughts on food, schooling, clothing, disciple . . . it was fair game in their eyes. For a woman trying her best to raise her children, unsolicited advice can invite waves of discouragement. Older generations will always have their thoughts to “share,” but parenting in the age of the internet is an entirely new beast.

We have access to a vast array of opinions on parenting. It’s too easy to get lost in social media’s cacophony of voices. Maybe we use social media to take a few minutes to ourselves. But we can walk away from our screens with those voices overpowering what we know to be true of ourselves. “You are doing a good job.”

When Moms Are in Information-Overload

Both a blessing and a curse, our world is ripe with information. Books, podcasts, and documentaries on any and all subjects are at our fingertips. We carry the latest news in our pocket. Need a statistic on . . . anything? Pull out your phone and read until that universal feeling of panic sets in. We know too much! And knowing too much can create a sense of fear when raising a child in an already scary world. “You are doing a good job.”

What my mom said to me one summer afternoon while hanging a shirt in my closet echoes loudly as I walk the often lonely and discouraging road of motherhood. But she reminds me it can also be a beautiful road. One I am capable and called to walk. Her words are a gift. Gift them to a mother in need today.

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Ashley is from Hurst, and though she’s flown the nest a few times now, she always seems to boomerang right back to her hometown. Her latest stint took her family to Chicago for the last four years. While Ashley, her husband of almost 16 years, her son and daughter loved life as honorary Midwesterners, Texas called, and it was time to answer. Though her children are in upper elementary school, Ashley found her groove as a stay-at-home mom and is not eager to give up the title quite yet. You can find her putting in the miles all over town with her “doggy clients” as a Rover walker and caregiver. (Dogs talk back less than children.) Ashley is often the loudest mom at the ball fields but comes in peace with the best snacks. She recharges with a run around Hurst, a ride on that stationary bike everyone’s talking about, or on a patio with a margarita and her very funny husband. Ashley has written for local mom groups, church and is a returning writer for Fort Worth Moms. Her husband hopes she will stick to more pieces on motherhood and less on disappointing stays at grimy hotels.


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