Monday, March 24, 2014

Tell Them {Mindful Mothering Mondays}

"Your kids are so sweet," she said. "Every one of them. Just nice kids."

We're standing together and my kids are running around with hers, a mix of ages and genders and temperaments. It's been a long week, month, winter, year...but despite that, I can see what she sees. Not perfect people, my kids...not even a little bit. These people who drive me crazy all day long and often keep me up half the night - they're not easy. As hard as I try, our interactions are not always positive. I do my fair share of exasperated eye rolling, big sighs and frustrated "what would possess you to do something like that?" -ing.

But when she says it, I can see it. Suddenly it eclipses the fact that I'm in a gridlock battle with my 10 year old over homework, or frustrated with the sassy attitude of one of the girls. They are sweet kids. Good kids. Nice kids. They are helpful and kind, they are loving and silly and outgoing and inclusive. When she says it, I wonder - when was the last time I told them?

I know that sometimes I view their goodness as a given...and focus on the negative instead. When things go smoothly, sometimes it's easy to ignore, just the base level of expected behavior. I tend to only respond when something difficult crops up. I know that, with everything, there has to be a balance. In church we talk about a Law/Gospel balance. When we talk about our failings, we should always follow up with that cushion of grace that all of us reside on. We're not just free-falling in failure. We've got a grace-net. I want to bring that same grace into my parenting.

 In my relationships, I bloom most in those where I'm built up. In those friendships where my flaws are visible and obvious, yes, but where I'm encouraged to keep on with the good parts. Those friendships spur me on to be better. I bet that's true of my kids, too.

So when my oldest takes the baby up with him to bed and sings her to sleep while patting her back, I'm going to tell him how marvelous he is. When my daughter cleans up the milk the toddler sloshed all over the floor, I'm going to tell her, too. When another Mama tells me my girl made her daughter feel welcome in a new and scary place, I'm going to seek her out and tell her I'm so proud. Not the the exclusion of all else, but to remind them that the good bits are seen - just as much as the not-so-good. And that these little glimpses of the people God created them to be is truly, shockingly, achingly beautiful to behold.

Today, I'll tell them. Over and over and over - that they are seen. Appreciated. Loved.


{It's Mindful Mothering Mondays, a day to take a deep breath and write out your mothering journey, whatever form it takes.  A day to link up for encouragement from others who are in this same phase of life.  A day of writing out the trials and triumphs and what you're learning right where you are, right now. 

You might post recent struggles or thoughts.  Maybe just a picture or a quote.  Or maybe you'll just come here and read the links that others post.  Whatever form your participation takes, this is a day for you.
We are all in this, together.  Together, we can encourage and build one another up, be honest with our shortcomings and strengthened by community to keep fighting the good fight.

I chose Mondays because what Mama doesn't need a little encouragement on a Monday? As such, I'll have the link up ready to go on Sunday night for you to begin submitting your links.

I hope you'll meet with me each Monday!  Here's what to do ~

Link up your post below.  Remember to put the link to the exact post you want to link, and not just your blog url. Include in your post a link back here so others who want to join in can find us!  And visit some other Mamas who have linked up.

Post the community graphic within your post, so people who are reading your Mindful Mothering post can come back here and find the rest of us!

Invite the writers of your favorite blogs to join in!

Share this meme with others on facebook and twitter.  This community is for all moms, and the more that participate, the more we will be able to enjoy!!}

Grab the graphic here:


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  1. Thanks for the reminder Lydia! I know I often fall into correcting the children and forget to remind them that they are doing a good job. It's easy to assume they already know, like you said. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is such a great reminder! Thank you!!

  3. You're so nice. (Just wanted to tell you, too. :) I don't have kids, but this reminded me of one of my favorite things about my mom - how she always has, and still does, tell me and my brothers she likes us, thinks we're good, thanked us for helping out, etc.

  4. Don't we all want to be "seen". I know the number one thing that troubles me about motherhood - is seeming to be invisible. So, good reminder that my children may also feel this way when their beauty and accomplishments go unnoticed.


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