I am in Las Vegas for a little R&R...much needed and much deserved (according to my hubby). He had to travel here for a work conference, and my mom is graciously staying with our little men.
I bought a People magazine at the airport, mostly to save my pool chair when I'm swimming. In the May 2nd edition, they have a piece entitled Say Something Beautiful. They asked celebrities, "What's the most beautiful thing anyone has ever said to you?"
They interviewed twelve celebrities. Eight of those commented that the most beautiful thing they had ever been told was one of two things: that they were a good mother or that their kids were well-behaved in a specific situation.
This made me think. Pre-motherhood, I was worried about me. How was my day going to go, what would benefit me, how can I do better/be better, etc. Motherhood shifts that focus. After you have kids, your life is no longer your own, your body is no longer your own, your schedule is no longer your own. Many women get lost in motherhood and spend time and money later "finding" themselves again. With motherhood, comes a shift from ourselves to our littles.
Some of my most recent proud moments are when my kids held their "ish" together in public and when complete strangers notice or comment.
I was just in downtown Seattle this week. Walking with Crew (or any toddler for that matter) is like walking with that dog from Up. Squirrel!!!! You know the dog. So distracted by everything. Crew is notorious for not watching where he is walking and not walking in a straight line. He almost walked into an older lady and Crew (two years old) looked up at her and said "sorry lady". Not prompted, all on his own. (We are working on the "lady" part.) Now mind you, Crew spends much of his day apologizing to someone. He is a bruiser... And he's two. On the flip side, I was shocked. He is two! He apologized on his own. She stopped, turned on her heels and said, "He is a very polite boy. You have done an excellent job with teaching him manners." I thanked her and walked away feeling so proud. Of Crew and of Brian and of myself. Is he like that all the time? Not even close. But in that moment, he was. And she noticed and I was proud.
Back to the People article. Motherhood causes some profound mental shifts. My life is about my kids, and being complimented on my abilities with them or their behavior brings a lot of pride.
There are thousands of blogs, posts, quotes, and articles about moms not being competitive and not bullying each other. While that is great and all good, wouldn't it be easier to just give a mom props when she deserves it? It takes two seconds. And yes we are a generation that is swept in social media and don't have nearly as many actual human interactions as before, but if someone stopped me to compliment me or my kids, would I be pissed that they stopped me? No. Absolutely not. And I don't think you would be either.
My challenge to you is to stop that mom, compliment her, and watch her face light up.