With Mother’s Day around the corner, it’s easy to get consumed with planning a special Sunday outing and celebration, making sure to pick up a bright and cheery bouquet, or finding that perfect pair of sparkly studs.
But in all honesty, I think every mother would agree — especially those with little children — that it’s the other 364 days of the year when they really need the most support. When the yummy brunches are over and all the darling preschool gifts unwrapped, the most sleep-deprived among us still have to pack lunches, oversee homework, and perhaps complete their own projects with a looming Monday morning deadline. Oh, and whatever else life happens to throw in the way.
How do we lift up our own community of moms in day-to-day reality? I’ve put together some key ways we can lighten the load for fellow moms in different stages of life, pulling from my own experience in traveling through these seasons. It is possible to be each other’s proverbial “village”!
The New Mom
- Offer to come by and hold that baby so she can sleep. Newborns tend to add as much stress as they do preciousness, so an hour or two of uninterrupted snoozing might just make the "witching hour" that much easier to endure.
- Swing a dinner gift card, if you can, rather than a ready-to-cook casserole (although either will be greatly appreciated). Sometimes a solo drive anywhere, even if it’s just to pick up takeout, can be the sanity-saving time a frazzled new mom needs.
- Surprise her with a brand-new tube of lipstick. Few things feel as luxurious when you haven’t showered in a week.
The Corporate Mom
- Show enthusiasm for what she’s working on (or where she's headed). Being reminded of the opportunities we’re given — whether we feel overly passionate about them or not — can help offset some of the “working mom” guilt even the most confident gal suffers from.
- If you can meet her for lunch, schedule a date. Oftentimes moms who can’t make daytime playground meetups really do envy that woman-to-woman bonding. Plus getting out of the office is always a bonus!
- Decent photography skills? Offer to take some snaps of her and the kids, and deliver them with the best of the batch in a cute frame. Being able to gaze at a nice family picture on her desk, can do wonders on long days.
The Overwhelmed Mom
- Take that woman’s children and send her for a deluxe pedicure! We all desperately need to press the reset button every so often. And it’s especially sweet when it comes with candy pink toes.
- Set a reminder to send her a really funny or encouraging text a few times a week. A hilarious meme and kind word can be just enough to keep trekking into the final dinnertime stretch.
- Leave some lavender- or eucalyptus-scented cream by her kitchen sink the next time you visit. Not only will she remember that you cared, she’ll be transported on a virtual vacation with each glorious sniff of her hands.
The Grieving Mom
- Let her know she’s “seen.” This could be a simple as a text to the effect of “I’m not sure how to best support you, and definitely don’t want to add anything more to your plate in trying to be helpful, but just know you are not forgotten or unseen.”
- Send flowers. Whether she’s grieving the loss of a parent, friend or marriage — flowers are a non-invasive way to show up.
- Offer to take her on a walk, whether you actually talk or not. Connecting with nature and breathing in fresh air, are critical for healing.