“You’re Doing Great, Mama” and Other Things I Wish I Could Tell You


Motherhood is dang hard! Even though we are all going through similar experiences, it can feel incredibly isolating. We are always telling ourselves that we aren’t a good enough mom or that we shouldn’t be doing certain things.

We’re our own worst critic, aren’t we? 

My 3-year-old has tantrums often when we are in stores, the most recent of which was at Target. I was trying to explain to him that I wasn’t going to buy a $40 dinosaur. I tend to not be as patient when we are in social settings because I’m worried about what others may say. But this time was different. As I was trying to calm him down, a woman walked by and whispered, “You’re doing great, mama.” I looked up and smiled and tried to hold back the tears. That is the only thing I needed to hear at that moment!

Before that, my son threw a tantrum when we were trying to leave the library. My son was upset because he wanted to stay and stare at the fish for an hour. I was trying to walk out the door while carrying my baby in his car seat in one arm and balancing a stack of books and drag my toddler with the other. I was obviously struggling. A woman came up and asked if she could help me. Being embarrassed and stubborn, I declined her help. But she persisted and grabbed the books from my arms and held my toddler’s hand. She helped me to the car and told me that it will get better. She too had kids that would have meltdowns at the library and is finally to the point where she can go without any tears from her kids. She gave me a hug and went back in to do the things she needed to do. 

We are really all in this together, aren’t we?

If I could whisper in your ear when I see you struggling with toddlers, babies, or teenagers, this is what I would say:

  • You really love those kids, don’t you?
  • You’re doing better than you think you are!
  • I love seeing moms who can laugh with their kids!
  • Wow, your kid loves you!
  • You got this, girl!

I hope next time I see a struggling mom I will be brave enough to whisper some encouragement. It’s hard enough when we think we are doing this all alone. Let’s create that village with all the moms that surround us on a daily basis.

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Kayla has lived in Southeast Idaho all her life, growing up in Shelley, going to school in Rexburg, and now living in Idaho Falls. She is married and mom to a sweet little boy. She has a degree in child development and loves working with children, but especially loves being home with her own child. She loves spending time reading, running, sewing, and laughing. Her family loves spending their summers in the mountains camping and going on rides in their side by side. Ever since having her little boy she is in love with talking about birth and motherhood and loves hearing other women's stories.