…I need it. Just a little here and there, but I definitely need it. Being a Mom is hard work, no doubt and hearing just a little validation from the outside world brings me up from the depths of meltdowns, blow outs, time-outs, sibling fights, and overall exhaustion.
Over the last few weeks my youngest, who is now 15 months old, started staying, “I love you” (It sounds more like “lub jou”). Hearing that from any of my children is validating, most of the time. Now all four of them can say it! When working very hard to make them a special treat, or just continuing on with daily activities, if feels awesome to look down at a child tugging on my pants and have them gaze up at me with adoration and say, “I love you.” Out of the blue, unprompted, it just feels good. They seem to know when Mom has just about had it for the day, and a loving look with a sweetly said, “I love you” can put a smile back on my face. It can erase frustration and subdue my own mounting meltdown. They just know when I need an “I love you.” That being said, some children spew this phrase as a way of manipulating a situation. Muttered at a time of punishment it doesn’t negate the offense, but it builds confidence in myself that I am I’m doing the right thing by following through and they still do love me.
Trips out to the store, doctor, or anywhere can be daunting. I mentally prepare myself for meltdowns and dig down deep for my patience to kick in high gear. There have been many times where an outing was overall very good. My hair hasn’t been pulled out of my head, and sweat (even during cold winter days) isn’t forming beads on my forehead. These times people have noticed and said something to me. I always get the usual, “boy you have your hands full” and “wow, you are busy!”, but on occasion I have heard, “they are so well behaved, you are doing a great job” or “you can tell that they are good children, keep up the good work”. That freakin’ rocks when I hear that! Just the validation I need for a while.
My Husband is a good egg. He helps with the children the moment he steps in the door and is awesome at pitching in with cleaning or whatever needs to be done around the house. He supports me. Not always, he’s not perfect (and I’m far from it too) but the majority of the time, when I need it he senses it. He’ll wrap his arms around me in a strong, loving embrace and tell me I am doing a great job. He understands how hard days are and sees the effort I put forth in loving, teaching, and keeping up with the kids and house.
When talking with friends and acquaintances about—what else but—being a mom and our children, they encourage me and I try to do the same for them. We trade parenting tips and lend support when needed. It’s the support that helps in validating. When I am dead tired, averaging 3 hours of sleep for the month it feels good to hear another mother say, “I understand what you are going through.” We understand each other and know we are going through the same things. It’s hard work being a Mother, and we need validation to ensure our confidence that we are doing the best we can.by