How to Help Mommies
Susie Caron © 3/25/16
This morning I was thinking about the many Mommies and Daddies who struggle with some kind of disability, frequent illness or chronic disease. It isn't easy to be a Mommy or Daddy. The work of raising children never ends. It's 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. How do Mommies and Daddies do it, if at the same time, they struggle with health issues of their own? Is there anything we can do to help them?
I have a few good friends who are raising children and coping with health issues like these. I am in awe of them because they must be doing a good job of coping while parenting. Their kids are happy and they seem to know how much they are loved and how well they are provided for. That's wonderful, but what about Mom and Dad? Are their needs being met?
My kids are adults, but I live with some degree of pain every single day, due to Rheumatoid Arthritis. So, I know something about physical difficulties, which are often accompanied by mental challenges for getting things done each day. I was feeling particularly poorly yesterday and struggling to do anything constructive. Then I thought about one of my Mommy friends who is dealing with health issues. I wondered how she was doing, so I asked her in a private message.
She responded and we chatted for a while. I did not plan to 'burden' her with how I felt, so when she asked, I answered briefly then we chatted about other things. I just wanted to connect with her and find out if she was feeling better. After our chat ended, I felt much better and the rest of my day went very well and I hoped hers did too. Then I realized I'd felt better just because I connected with her.
So I wonder about the many parents who deal with health problems while raising their children. It cannot be easy for them.
Have you noticed, people with health difficulties usually don't ask for help?
Do you know why?
It's because they don't want to bother friends and family members for 'things they think they can do themselves', (even if it takes longer and is more difficult than it might be if they were healthy.)
But there are things anyone can do that take only a little time and effort. It's the connecting that's important. Just by making a small effort you can play a huge part in lifting the hearts and spirits of Mommies and Daddies who struggle (even if it's not with health issues, but other issues.)
If you'd like to do something for your friends, but when you ask they say 'I'm fine." Then you may like this little list of ideas for what you can do to 'help'. Your tiny acts of kindness may be the source for lifting their spirits, providing encouragement, or support. You could be the reason your friend gets through another difficult day, and feels just a little bit better. Caring contact is more important than anything else. They just need to know you see them and you care.
List for ideas to connect and 'help' Mommies and Daddies
1. Phone, chat, or text your friend. Ask "How are you feeling today?" Let him or her talk. Just listen and don't give advice.
2. Send an "I'm thinking of your today." email or e-card.
3. Offer to pick up or take the kids to school, sports, or other events.
4. Going for groceries or errands, call and ask, "What can I pick up for you."
5. Offer to take the kids for a play day with your kids.
6. Invite him or her to come over for coffee or lunch.
7. When you drop in, and find your friend working on something, pitch in and help.
8. What can you add to this list? Post it for us in the comments.
Don't worry. Few of the people I know who struggle with illnesses want to 'burden' their friends. So they won't start leaning heavily on you if you do some of these. But, don't wait for 'someday', do something today, while you can and Above All - Connect.
Twee' means you and me
Taking time to care for our friends.
Life’s a Struggle
Susie E. Caron © 3/19/16
It’s a struggle to be nice
Calm, peaceful, serene
When all the world about you
Seems bent on being mean
It’s a struggle to be myself
When I’m often told I'm not
And others look right past me
Without a caring thought
Life’s a struggle
We all know it
But it’s worth it
You must know
And I hope to touch your heart once
Or maybe twice, before I go.
I am with you in this struggle
And see every effort that you make
I’m walking right beside you
And know every breath you take
I will help you in your struggles
See you through each and every one
I will hold you in my arms Dear
As each struggling day is done
And when your time is over
For struggling on this Earth
I will bring you safe to Heaven
To the Home of your new birth.
Where all your struggling ceases
And New Songs we shall sing
In Praises to our Savior
Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
I’m The Mama!
Susie Caron © 3/4/16
Who’s the Mama in your house? I don’t mean who is called Mommy, Mother, or Mom. I’m asking if your kids know, without any wavering or doubt, that you (and your spouse) are in charge. If you hesitate to respond with a resounding “Yes!” then read this and I’ll show you why you’ll want to take charge!!!
I have a friend I’ve known for many years. She is just a great mom as evidenced by her happy, active kids who are also easy to be around. She told me that when they were little, her children often asked her to play with them. However, her daughter really wanted to play dolls and her son wanted her to spend time building blocks with him. She told me she would respond this way: “I won’t play dolls or building blocks with you, but if you want to play board games, puzzles or paint, then I’m your Mamma!”
I love that statement. “I’m your Mamma.” And I love that she was clear with them, about what she would and would not do. Then she told me this: “It’s good to play with my kids but I still get to be myself.” I love that about her too.
My friend communicated these messages with her kids, verbally but also through her attitude. She made it clear: First that she was in charge and second that she was honest by being true to herself with them.
When she said or indicated “I’m your Mama,” it told them she was in charge.
Kids need to know the parent is in charge.When parents make it clear that they are in charge of their home and confident in their decisions, their kids feel more secure.
She also honored herself, by being honest about what she’d be happy to do with them. Her honesty helped her kids gained the confidence to be honest about themselves too.Kids need honesty from their parents. Parents benefit too by being decisive and clear because it reduces resentment. Resentment can easily damage the parent-child relationship.
Do you make firm decisions and stick by them?
Do you get to be yourself?
It really helps both you and your kids when you do.
Don’t be afraid. You will not ‘mess up’ your kids by making firm decisions, that let you be you, (and perhaps help to save your sanity).
Don’t be afraid that you will ‘mess up’ the kids if you won’t play, or you say the wrong thing.
And, don’t be afraid of your kids either.
When you waffle about being in charge, or being honest, your kids feel uncertain too. That’s when and why they start to take over. They feel an instinctive need for ‘somebody to be in charge.” If you’re not in charge, then they have to be.
Start today to make parenting decisions based upon the clear notion that you are the parent and it’s not only your right but also your responsibility to make decisions about what your kids get to do, or need to do?
Start today to be yourself. (They say everyone else is taken anyway.) Be honest, get real and teach your kids how to be real too. This is also a good time to teach them to be polite and tactful as well as honest.
In everything you do or say, you can teach your kids how the real world works. The world won’t give in to their every whim. You don’t need to either. Parenting decisively and at the same time honoring your own personality, is your job. It’s your right and your responsibility. So give it your best, without fear, and your kids have a chance of growing up secure, confident and real.
Here's an idea for you: Write "I'm the Mama (or Daddy)" on one side of a small card. On the other side write, "I tell the truth." Carry it with you and read it often. With some practice you’ll soon be on your way.
Twee’ means you and me
Working together to take charge and raise secure, honest kids.
PS Are you getting your needs met? Listen to next week's "Building Parents & Good Kids" podcast episode #12, "Mommy Needs" for some helpful suggestions: Click for iTunes
Or here: if you prefer Stitcher Radio:
Susie E. Caron MA,
Author, Blogger, Podcaster,
Christian, Wife, & Mother, helps build parent-child relationships, 1 blog, book & podcast at a time.
Welcome! I recently retired from combined careers in teaching, psychotherapy, and parent coaching to spend more time writing.
When I'm not busy creating books or articles, you might find me looking for dark chocolate or riding my beautiful horse Apple in the woods and fields of Vermont.
These articles are for educational and self-help purposes only and are not intended as psychotherapy.
If you experience unusual symptoms or discomfort please see your medical or mental health practitioner.
No patent liability is assumed for use of the information contained. The author disclaims any responsibility for loss or risk for use or application of this material.
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Blog Reviews & Thank You!
July 13 at 7:17pm ·
Just wanted to say that I love your posts about the different ways to connect/relate/understand your child. It has given me a new approach towards understanding my daughter and allowing HER to tell me how she feels instead of me suggesting to her how she should feel. Thanks Susie!