I am fairly certain I would not have survived becoming a mother without my mom and my husband’s mom.
The day of Noah’s birth was one that we had all been waiting for and praying about for a very long time. I had struggled with infertility for over 4 years, so my pregnancy was a complete gift from God and we could not WAIT to meet our little miracle.
I had to stay behind for a bit to recover from my C-Section, so Mr. B. bid me and my stitches goodbye and followed the basinet down the hospital corridor to the nursery.
Later, he told me that the second he turned the corner with baby Noah in tow, my mom and his mom literally leapt out of their chairs in the waiting room and came running down the hall to meet their grandson for the first time.
I had the best time imagining that moment. Two grown women in pantyhose, purses flying, heels slipping on the linoleum floor as they skidded to a stop at Noah’s side… That is the picture of a grandmother’s love right there!
And they have not stopped rushing to our family’s side since.
Since Mother’s Day is around the corner and we are celebrating moms, would you like to know how my mamas do such a good job leading, blessing, encouraging, and loving on me and my kids in this season?
It’s really simple — THEY KNOW WHAT I LIKE and then they look for opportunities to do the things that I like for me and my family.
It helps that I basically like everything and have no shame in admitting that I NEED ALL THE HELP I CAN GET. It takes a village, people. **But PLEASE make sure your child feels the same way before you implement any of the below ideas. The key is truly in getting to know what your child/child-in-law likes best. I don’t want any one of you precious mamas to try any of these ideas before you have communicated with your child and then proceeded to be respectful of their wishes.**
Whether you live close by or far away, have grandkids yet or not, here are 5 amazing ways that mamas can show kindness to their grown-up kids…
I seriously thought about ending this list right there because this is BY FAR the most wonderful gift that my parents and in-laws give to me. Free babysitting with no strings attached. Both sets of grandparents just adore our boys and consistently provide them with amazing experiences and memories. Because of them, Mr. B. and I have been able to go on date nights (super important), have short vacations, attend events without kids in tow, and sometimes just get away to the grocery store alone.
Say Nice Things
This mommy/wife thing is so much more difficult than I ever expected and it is good for me to have regular, life-giving words poured into my soul so that I might stay focused on the goal of taking what I have been given and honoring the Lord with it. Sometimes my mom just looks at me and says, “I don’t know how you do it,” and those words just wash over me like a healing balm! I mean, I don’t know how SHE did it/does it! My mom is my absolute hero, so hearing these words of approval and affirmation bolsters me to keep carrying on. She also mails me the sweetest cards and sends me encouraging text messages often.
Clean Her House
When I was pregnant with Noah and too
fat huge to move, my mom cleaned the ceiling fan blades for me – a task I despise and avoid on a regular basis. That simple act has stayed with me forever! Another time, my MIL asked if she could stop by our house to pick up the boys’ hampers so she could wash their clothes. I about lost my mind with sheer joy knowing I wouldn’t have that on my weekend to-do list. My mom and dad once mopped our entire back porch and cleaned the toilet in the boys’ bathroom (which is basically a petri dish of bacteria and diseases). As I said, I have no pride. I am just so thankful for the help!
Leave mints or small chocolates on your older child’s pillows for them to find after they get back from a date night. Place a new scrub brush for the dishes by the sink (I don’t think I have ever bought one of these for myself!). Bring a new roll of toilet paper or paper towels or a package of paper plates with you whenever you visit. Surprise your daughter or daughter-in-law with a new top, piece of jewelry, or small gift card to her favorite store. Once when Jethro finally got home from the hospital and I was knee deep in medical things and pumping, my mom showed up and took me out to get my nails painted. She had prearranged the whole thing with my hubby! It was SOUL-filling. Today, whenever my mom is in town, I can always expect to find happy surprises around the house after she leaves. Pay attention and have fun being a fairy godmother!
Groceries and Meals
My mom and I use the Find Friends app on our iPhones to creepily keep track of one another. 😉 Last week the boys and I stopped at a restaurant to grab dinner and try to wait out traffic. My mom saw we were at the restaurant, so she called and paid for our meal over the phone. When we were finishing up and I asked for the check, the server announced that my mom had taken care of it and I about fell out of my chair. It was really magical. Other times my MIL will text me while she is in BJs or Costco and ask if there is anything I need. I don’t think I have ever said nothing. She has also been known to bring over extra batches of spaghetti or homemade mac and cheese on occasion to lighten my load.
I regularly call my moms for prayer. Many times this has been while I am hiding in the bathroom and near a breaking point. The bonus to this is that they usually offer to babysit not too long after our prayer intervention. 🙂 But in all seriousness, I love the way my mom and MIL pray with me and for me. Often my MIL will tell me that the Lord woke her up in the night just to pray for our family. What a comfort. What power!
A few years ago Mr. B. was out of town for an extended period of time. When he is not around to balance my crazy, I am pretty quick to thinking the world is ending – especially when the kids are in bed and I am left alone with my thoughts.
There had been a case of lice discovered in the preschool wing where I work, so naturally, my head was itching REAL BAD. I turned to Google for photos of what lice looked like and before long I was 100% convinced that my hair was infested and I needed to shave it all off immediately.
I called my mom. My parents lived about 20 minutes away at the time and after hearing me go on and on about my lice, my mom said, “Julie, we’re coming over.” (It was after 10:00 pm.)
Sure enough, my mom and dad showed up as promised and they carefully searched my head for the millions of creepy crawlies I was sure were living on it. They assured me that there was nothing but a little bit of dandruff and a little bit of glitter and my dad offered to drive me to the local 24-hour pharmacy to buy some Head and Shoulders.
This story is weird, but I will never forget the way they dropped everything to come out and check on me and my imaginary problems.
Isn’t that what being a parent is all about? Your job doesn’t really end when your kids move out and marry and start their own families.
There will always be opportunities to show them kindness.
Even if it means washing a bunch of dishes, babysitting for free, or checking your grown adult child’s head for lice.
Are you blessed to have grown-up kids? What do YOU do to bless them?