We’ve all heard of the 3 little words everyone wants to hear. When someone says, ‘I love you’ it can make you feel special, valued and, well, loved. But the 3 little words which will make all the difference to a mum’s life are not what you might expect…so what are these three little words every mum needs to hear? And why are they so important?
Whether you are a stay at home mum, working mum, new mum, Grandma or mum to be, these three little words every mum needs to hear can make all the difference.
‘You’re doing great!’
I have a friend and colleague who uttered these three little words to me when I was fairly new to the parenting game. In an instant, I went from feeling overwhelmed and doubtful about my parenting techniques, to feeling boosted and confident – and even a little refreshed!
I suddenly realised that my view of myself as a mum did not necessarily reflect the views of those around me; that the things I was giving myself a hard time about were actually not all that important in the great scheme of things, and, most likely, went unnoticed by others. On hearing those three words, I went from feeling judged in my parenting and negative about my skills, to feeling like I was actually doing okay!
The benefits of using praise and encouragement as a parenting tool are stated frequently:
As parents and caregivers, we are made aware of the advantages of using praise and encouragement to help build up our children’s confidence, but a quick internet search shows that the encouragement of parents is not as pronounced.
So, what happens if you don’t receive a little encouragement now and then? What if you don’t hear those three little words? More than likely, you will place an unnecessary amount of focus on your weaknesses and what you perceive to be the negative aspects of your parenting.
This is a rut that can be hard to get out of and often needs some third-party intervention. So, who can you turn to, to help get you out of the downbeat parenting pit we are all guilty of throwing ourselves into at times? The answer: your ‘tribe’.
Finding your tribe
I read an article a while ago about the importance of your ‘mum tribe’. At first, I was concerned as I thought I did not have a tribe – I do not have a group of ‘mummy friends’ who I regularly meet and catch up with, and I wasn’t one for making new friends when I became a mum.
I soon realised that in fact, your tribe doesn’t have to be a set group and it doesn’t have to be centred around regular physical meetings. Your tribe is the support network that you have built up around yourself, the separate friends, family members and acquaintances that you find yourself interacting with at times. Some may be new friends, and some may be long-standing relationships.
What is important is that you have people you can turn to, to vent to when you are feeling overwhelmed and to turn to when you are in need of some comic relief (or to share your child centred laughs with, because let’s face it the miniature humans can be downright hilarious at times!) Your tribe are those who are there to listen to you when the going gets tough and give you advice and encouragement (some of which you may not even notice!)
So, in these particularly difficult times, when most of us are stuck at home facing a more condensed version of family life, reach out to the members of your tribe, share stories and offer them some encouragement. You may never know the impact you have had on their life, but when they return that encouragement (and they will) you will feel the value of those three little words every mum needs to hear.
And for those of you who are struggling through the challenges of lockdown, or who may not hear those 3 little words every mum needs to hear as often as you need to, remember this is only temporary and rest assured, YOU’RE DOING GREAT!