For all of my readers who are now grandmothers, I want to encourage you in how you can help your grown daughter (or daughter-in-law) who is now a mom. Because I’m not in that place, personally, I asked my friend, Carrie Dedrick — who blogs at basicmillennialmama.com — to share with you, as Mother’s Day nears, how you can bless your daughter who is now a mom, herself.
Here’s Carrie, to share from her blog and her heart:
To the first-time mom, motherhood can be scary. You hear horror stories of colicky babies who refuse to sleep, overtired toddlers who have tantrums in public, and sassy preschoolers who sound more like teens than 4-year-olds when they speak to their parents. Thank goodness we don’t go through this parenting journey alone.
When I had my daughter, my husband and I didn’t know what we didn’t know. I had been around children my entire life, but those kids weren’t MINE. Now, the responsibility to bring up a child to be happy, healthy, God-honoring, and kind was on our shoulders.
But we could still ask for help. We could seek guidance from those who had walked this road before when we didn’t know the answers. Thankfully, that is exactly what we did.
My mom has always been my friend and confidant but having a daughter of my own took our mother-daughter relationship to a whole new level. As the proud new mom of a beautiful baby girl who stole my whole heart, I began to understand the unfailing love my mom must have for me.
I relied heavily on my mom for guidance those first several months, and continue to lean on her for parenting help today. As a young mother who is in the trenches of toddlerdom, I can say from experience that these five things are what I most needed from my mom:
1. A Listening Ear
Many women process their thoughts and feelings verbally and I am one of them. It would be impossible to count the number of times I’ve called my mom to talk about my daughter. When she was teething, I called my mom. When she was sick for the first time (and second, and third, and every time really), I called my mom. Whether my daughter has made me frustrated, or excited, or tired, or you name it, I call my mom to process my feelings about parenthood. And she listens every single time.
2. A Vote of Confidence
Remember when you used to cheer on your daughter at her dance competitions, softball games, choir concerts, swim meets, or whatever other activity she did? Well, she still needs your words of encouragement. If she is exhausted, tell her that this will pass. If she is angry, tell her a story about her toddlerhood that made you angry at the time… and that you can now both laugh about years later. You can also give her uplifting Scripture verses to read to remind her that she is not on the journey of parenting alone.
If you’re local, you can back these words up with free babysitting, a coffee treat, or a salon gift card. But in many cases, just your kind words are what she needs the most.
I can’t imagine a better gift than a well-cooked meal. Homemade or store-bought, it doesn’t matter. But giving your grown daughter the gift of not having to worry about what is for dinner tonight is a beautiful thing.
If no one has created a meal train for your expecting or new mom daughter, please take this on yourself. No, you don’t have to make all the meals yourself! Just create an account with a site like mealtrain.com or takethemameal.com so that your daughter will have dinners planned by friends and family in town for weeks (or months!). And the bonus of all this is that friends and family usually enjoying stopping in to say hi and meet the new baby!
I remember one instance in particular when my mom gave me the priceless gift of sleep. It was Thanksgiving and I had an almost 1-month-old. My husband and I were hosting the holiday because it wasn’t practical to travel with a baby so small (also my mom’s idea). Unfortunately, my daughter chose the night before Thanksgiving to not sleep at all. Instead, she cried and refused to be comforted and I sat and rocked her in the nursery all night long.
By the next morning, I was in tears. There was so much meal preparation that I wanted to do but I was so tired that I couldn’t function. My mom told me to go back upstairs and go to bed. She took care of meal prep (much better than I ever would have done – cooking is not one of my gifts) and looked after the baby as well. I was able to sleep for a few hours and felt like a totally different person. That gift of sleep has not been forgotten a year and a half later.
5. Love, Love, Love
Since my daughter was born 18 months ago, I have experienced more precious moments than I can count. I’ve soaked up the nights of rocking her to sleep and felt bursts of pride when she said her first words and took her first steps. But one of the most beautiful things to see has been the sweet picture of my own mom loving on my daughter. I love seeing her excitement when my daughter reaches out for her and I know that she will probably cry tears of joy when my daughter finally says “Grammy.”
My mom’s demonstration of love for my daughter shows me that children are truly a blessing from God (Psalm 127:3-5). I am reminded that parenthood is a gift and God has richly blessed my husband and me to take care of this precious little life. That reminder is what I need most.
Mothers of young moms, help your daughters see that they are blessed in the middle of their children’s runny noses, scraped knees, and potty training. Demonstrate to them your love and assure them that God’s love is even greater than a mother’s love. Now that they are moms themselves, they will have the smallest glimpse of how vast God’s love truly is.
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!…”(1 John 3:1)
Which of these can you give your daughter who is struggling to be the best mom she can be? Carrie and I would love to hear it in the comment section below.
For more on how to help your daughter who is now a young mom, see my book When a Mom Inspires Her Daughter or gift her the book, 10 Secrets to Becoming a Worry-Free Mom, both on sale now through May 13.
Carrie Dedrick is a writer, wife, and mom of the world’s happiest toddler (she knows how blessed she is)! She spent 5 years as an editor at Crosswalk.com before moving to the marketing industry. Now she spends her days writing and her evenings navigating toddler tantrums – and blogging in between! Her passion is encouraging other moms in the middle of parenting chaos because she’s right there in the trenches with them. Keep up with Carrie’s writing at basicmillennialmama.com and follow her messy motherhood moments on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.