International Women’s Day: Encouragement for Moms in All Stagesby Elizabeth MacDonald
International Woman’s Day is about uplifting, supporting, encouraging, and loving women. With Women’s Marches and gatherings all over the country, it seems that we are trying to raise awareness and respect for women, but there is little focus on mothers.
So this year, on International Women’s Day, let us also make a point of recognizing mothers - women in every stage of motherhood. It is a selfless journey that can be soul-crushing, all-consuming, heartbreaking, and mind-boggling for years at a time. It can also be soul-awakening, educating, inspiring, heart-fulfilling, and joyous at the same time.
Here’s to mothers everywhere… may we dance, sing, cry, and laugh together on this crazy journey.
Words of Encouragement for Every Stage of Motherhood
The New Mom
Everything is scary and new, but you will adapt, grow, and learn. You are capable. Every time you feel comfortable, your baby will change in one way or another, it is normal. Ask questions. Ask for help. Always trust your gut. The days are long, the bed sheets are soaked with breastmilk, and your hair will be overdue for a highlight and cut, but the years will somehow pass by in the blink of an eye.
The Toddler Mom
Tantrums are awful. Breathe and talk to your child. Hold and love them through this stage of their life. By doing so, you are creating the foundation in which all of their relationships will always stand on. On your hardest days, know that the days are harder for your child. You’ve got this - and don’t ever let anyone make you think that you don’t.
The Second Time Mom
You’ve got this baby stage down, but throwing a toddler into the mix makes for hard days with long nights. Your patience is tested, but somehow never actually broken. Yoga pants are fashionable, and so is your mom-bun. Ordering delivery for dinner is still dinner, and Netflix counts as date night. Things can get challenging trying to take care of two young humans, but know that doing your best is all that they need - a healthy mom leads to happy kids.
The Mom of Many
Playing a referee or ring master can be exhausting. Juggling work in there may seem down right impossible. Somehow though, the sun rises and sets and everyone is still alive to start another day. The chaos may attract looks, but you’ve got it all under control. At the end of the day, the amount of love that surrounds you - even on days when you have doubts - is immeasurable.
The Mom with Young Kids
No longer babies, your elementary kids can now read, write, and question everything you say. Activities have taken over the evenings, with friendships consuming the conversations. Don’t let go yet. They are still young and impressionable. You are their guide and they need you.
The Mom of a Tween
Boundaries will be broken, but respect will always remain - as long as you remember to be a strong guide and lead from your heart. Puberty is near, hormones are flaring, and wine can be bought by the box. Joking aside, your parenting foundation is being solidified. Your tween has so much going on developmentally, and will be secretly looking at you and learning from you. Their words will not come easy. Their mistakes will begin to grow larger than in earlier childhood, but you are still the constant in their life… and you still know more than their friends do.
The Mom of Teens
The time when your baby bird wants to fly, but is not quite ready to. There will be attitude and tears, broken hearts, relationships, and too many life lessons to even imagine. This period of time is the chunk that every adult looks back on and remembers without question. It can feel like a gray area of parenting, but it can be enjoyed. Look back at your teenage years and pull from your past. Learn from your past. It is never too late to change, either. Forgiveness will be needed regularly, as will a reminder that your child is not yet a grown adult. The truth is that your parenting foundation is pretty much complete. Your child still needs guidance, but the core work is done. Never turn down a hug, and always reserve judgement until after your child has spoken.
The Empty Nest Mom
Finding yourself again - without being everything to your children - will leave you feeling confused. But this is your time to trust in your deep rooted relationship and know that your baby will always love you. You did good, and you have earned the title of Friend to go along with the title of Mother.
The season of watching your child become a parent is unlike anything you ever knew existed. That foundation that you laid decades ago? It’s right there, being recreated with your grandchildren. Welcome to the circle of life.