The First Mom Monday

I’m a whole lot better at mommy-hood with others by my side.

Others like you.

So here’s what I’m thinking…

I mentioned before that I’ve been writing a book for moms. One of the things that inspired me to do this was the encouragement I saw among moms in the blogging world…

One mom would post about her child being sick, and she’d be flooded with words of hope and comfort. Another mom would post about the birth of her newest baby, and she’d be showered with congratulations.

I love when people come alongside each other like that.

We moms need it.

And I want to do something around here that will spread more of that encouragement.

Which is why I’m starting what I’ll call Mom Mondays.

At the beginning of every week, I’ll post something related to mommy-hood, with the hope that it will entertain, inspire, or encourage you as a mom. It might be a personal story, a parenting article, a tip or idea, or it might be a guest post or feature about one of you. (In fact, if you have a mom-tale or mom-tip you’d like to share, email me and let’s talk.)

I’d love it if you’d spread the word about this to others, too.

And let’s make this interactive. Comment and share your thoughts, a story, or your heart. And stop back by so you can chime in again and we can bounce things off each other.

If you’re not a mom (or if you’re a dad), you’re more than welcome to join in. You never know what comment or story, what thought or idea, will inspire who, whether you’re a parent or not.


To kick things off this week, I thought I’d share something that happened to me not too long ago. Even though it starts off sounding like a story about cooking for kids, it’s not. It’s really a story about how the words of one person can make a difference in the life of a mom…

You might remember I posted about my picky eaters a while ago. Not long after that, I came up with a plan to try to help the situation.

Every week, my son and daughter are responsible for going through our recipe books, picking out one meal each that they think sounds good, then being the “head cook” for that meal during the week.

The plan has meant setting aside time to help them read through cookbooks.

And it’s meant longer trips to the store.

And a messier kitchen on the nights they cook.

But it’s also meant finding some dinners that they really like. And that they probably wouldn’t have tried so cheerfully if they weren’t the ones who’d picked them out and cooked them.

A little while after we started doing this, we all went to Starbucks one morning. We brought a couple of cookbooks with us because we were heading to the grocery store afterwards and needed to pick out what we were going to make that week.

My kids flipped through the pages, looking at the pictures, asking questions, and deciding.

And deciding.

And deciding.

Until finally, they made their choices.

“Good job,” I told them, “These are going to be tasty.” I marked the pages and groaned inside as I scanned the long list of ingredients. Because even though the new plan was helping to expand my kids’ tastes, it was turning out to be a lot of work.

And that’s when the woman at the table next to us stood up and came over.

She put her hand on my shoulder and leaned down. “You’re a good mom,” she said.

I smiled, confused. “Thanks.”

“Is this something you do all the time, with the cookbooks?”

I didn’t know she’d heard us. I explained to her what we’d started with the meals.

“I think that’s great,” she said. Then again, “You’re a good mom.”

I could barely respond.

Honestly, I felt like I might start crying.

Her compliment meant a lot to me.

Because it was affirmation that sometimes the more time-consuming choice or the more inconvenient choice for us as moms is the best choice for our kids.

And because, sometimes, when we’re wondering if all the effort we put into things is worth it, we need to be reminded that it is.

I was thankful for that woman’s kind words that morning, and for the fact that she took the time to come over to me.

Because it made a difference.

It really did.

So how about you?

Has there been a time when the compliment or affirmation of another person made a difference for you?

Or was there a time you were able to encourage another mom?

I’d love to hear about it…


  1. What a fantastic idea! You have to prepare meals anyway so why not involve your children?! What special memories!

  2. What a good idea and thanks for sharing that story!When we first started at our church – where the children stay in the service, our son was 2 1/2 and we were constantly up & down with him as he would not sit still or be quiet. We felt embarrassed as other kids seemed so much better, though we were assured that none of the children got that way without plenty of training!After lots of training, our son learned to sit through the service (still wiggly of course!) and more than one parent took the time to say how they had noticed the change and we were doing a great job with our son. It had been a long difficult training process, so it was so nice and encouraging to hear some compliments!

  3. Thanks for sharing, Lisa. I remember feeling embarrassed too when our kids were babies and they'd make noise in church or at restaurants. But now, when I see other kids being noisy or not sitting still, it doesn't bother me at all. Kids just do that sometimes. I'll have to remember, the next time I see parents feeling embarrassed or stressed, to pass on a few nice words.

  4. Genny- Thanks for stopping by my blog. I definitely had one of those mom experiences (several over the years) when a stranger has come up and said something kind about our parenting, and yes… I have been moved to tears. Just like the effect your story had on me. So many times moms feel like they are in this alone… especially those new to motherhood. It meant so much to me to have a seasoned sweet older mom stop by and say something at a restaurant. It's just the encouragement and little treasure a mom needs to tuck away in her heart.

  5. That is a great idea! I have picky eaters too, so maybe when they learn how to read I can do this. Very cool.I've had people give me a compliment and it does make me feel good, but sometimes it makes me feel bad because I know that I'm really not always that patient or gentle with my kids. Sigh.But you're right. Mommy encouragement is so helpful and I can't wait to be a part of your mommy Mondays. :-)

  6. Hi Genny,Nice to see you back in blogging business!! What a great idea to involve the kids in picking the meal and helping to cook it. This will certainly be something that I am going to try with my girls:)

  7. Hello Dear Friend, it is so good to hear from you and to see what God has laid on your heart. I love this new adventure that He has you on and I love the idea of encouraging people through the things we do each and every day.,We have such an incredible opportunity in front of us if we just stop and see that each day is a precious gift.Do I always remember this…no, I wish I did, but I am learning day by day to stop and really be "present" where He has me.Here's my story;The other day I went to the grocery store where my oldest son (15) works, and in the course of the hour that I was there I had THREE different store employees (Deli guy, Bakery Lady, and Cashier) stop to tell me just how awesome of a boy my son is and that I must be doing something right.As a mom there is nothing that brings more JOY to my hear than my precious boys, so when someone stops me and tells me how awesome they are it makes my heart leap.I can't wait to see what comes up from your New Monday Adventure…this is incredible!xoxo,Melissa in Mel's World

  8. Genny,Gotta love this! I am now going to make this something for our family to do. I know for sure my 10yr old dtr would LOVE it. Thanks Genny….I had an interesting experience a few weeks ago at Michael's (craft store). A mom was having a very difficult time getting her four year old to behave in the back of the shopping cart. He kept annoying his baby sister in the front of the cart, poking and pinching her when his mom wasn't looking. Mom had finally had enough and spanked his hand. Quickly she looked at me and her eyes were almost apologetic. She seemed embarrassed. I made sure to tell her what a great mom she was that morning. Standing there by myself she had no idea I had the experience of four children under my belt. I told her, "Remember, you can tread water longer than they can make it rain." and I smiled to her as I went on to purchase my items. Her smile in return was priceless.

  9. Moms–thanks for sharing! Jessica–I love your honesty. And you know what? I don't think any of us is patient or gentle ALL the time. So you're definitely not alone on that one. :)Mel–What a great story about your trip to the grocery store. You must be one proud mama.And Joanne–I'm going to remember that treading water vs. rain quote. Love it. Thanks!

  10. I can't recal something right now… but mostly cause my eyes are all watery over your story. What I would give to be acknowledged like that. I am just so tired! I have been taking care of my kids by myself for a little bit now and its been a good three weeks since I had a moment away from them and i LOVE THEM SO MUCH but I just need a break!! And I can't get one and I don't want to feel so conflicted all the time… I totally need a "refresh" button on my brain.Anywho… I think this is a great idea and would love to particiapte, even if it is just to comment and encourage other moms!God bless-Amanda

  11. With ten kids in tow twentyfour seven, we get a plethora of comments; some affirming, some dripping in discust. Your idea about Mom Monday has me now mentally sorting through almost twenty years of momma stories and wondering which ones would inspire and liberate the reader and which ones would actually just scare the living get up and go out of you starting a rush on contraceptive pills. Think I'll stick around a while and contribute to pulling the "in His image" greatness out of all you amazing mummas.

  12. What a great idea! I'll try to be back over next Monday to participate!Blessings!

  13. Great story! It reminds me that people are watching you sometimes when you don't know it. If we can remember to be calm and receptive to our kids at all times (or most times), we may just inspire someone else to do the same.

  14. Hang in there, Amanda! I think we all need a break sometimes. Hope you are feeling refreshed soon!And Sande, I'd love to hear some of those stories! I'm sure they would inspire.Thanks for chiming in everone!

  15. That meal plan is a great idea! And I love what the lady did – it inspires me to be on the lookout for such moments to encourage other moms now. I know how often I feel totally inadequate and can use the uplift…

  16. It is great to see you back blogging again Genny!I am usually towing around my four sons. As my husband is a busy pastor, I am towing them around alone a lot of the time. I know that when I walk into a restaurant, people inwardly groan to see a mom and four young sons enter. By the end of our meal though, i usually have someone coming up to compliment me on my parenting.But it is not me.My boys are really good kids.And we eat dinner together every night, so a restaurant meal is not a stretch for them.Sometimes I feel guilty for these compliments. Often they are a comparison to some other family not having such smooth sailing as me.I'm just so thankful for such compliant sons! (they save their naughty for private!)I feel like there are so many things I am not so good at. But oddly, being a mom, feels so natural to me. I lose it often enough and I yell sometimes. But when I am at work, all I can think of is being at home with my kids. And when the kids are off at school, I miss their presence in our home.I feel very blessed to have such fun being a mom. I try and spread it around, because I know that it is not so easy for others! I cut a lot of moms a lot of slack…because I know that they are doing the best that they can!

  17. Inspiring post – thanks for sharing. As a grandmom now [of 8] – I am on the other end of the Titus 2 verse about the older women teaching and sharing with the younger women. Young moms these days are seeking out for a "Mentor Mom" and I believe it's important to have one or to be one and at my age – to have and be both. I still need another godly woman that I trust – to bounce things off of as I pray through situations I encounter.And I thought parenting was difficult when I raised my kids – but I KNOW it's way harder now with all the 'in your face' stuff that happens today. Parenting takes work and consistency and it's not easy at all. So… any encouragement we can get [or give] is like a pot of gold!Choosing JOY,Stephanie[JESUS – the One I Worhship]

  18. I love this idea because I too, have found so many inspiring, encouraging, and "real" moms out here in the real world of blogging. Just today when I was talking to my sister on the phone I received some much needed encouragement. I think that as moms we all need to have that person(s) who is going to be able to speak truth into our lives, offer words of encouragement, love us no matter what and share in our struggles and victories as moms. Thanks for doing this and I look forward to more!!!

  19. Love the stories and thoughts. Thanks to all of you who've joined in!

  20. This sounds like a wonderful event and I really enjoyed your story. You're so right. As mothers, we rarely get pats on the back, no promotions, bonuses, awards, etc. All of the concrete ways society celebrates and honors a job well done. And to hear affirmation from another adult, perhaps a mother, that you're doing something right, is amazing :)

  21. This sounds great! We moms need all the encouragement we can get! It's great to know we are not in the trenches alone!

  22. You've won one of the copies of Real Moms, Real Jesus! Please e-mail me your address and I will ship it to you as soon as possible. When you visit my blog, there is a contact link below the header. Thanks for your friendship. And thanks for entering.Have a wonderful weekend!

  23. I'm a visitor, but since you said Dad's could comment, I will. Just a short one. That mom who saw you reading the cookbooks with your kids was very perceptive. Think how many of us today just do MacDonald's lunches? How many really teach their kids to cook, no less go through a cook book with them? We just don't have … or take … the time. You did.My wife used to say, "I could do this so much faster by myself" when our two girls were helping in the kitchen. But she took the time to work with them, show them, help them, and at least one of them (the 16 year old) is a pretty good cook now. That is love, for a mom to do that. Good job.You are writing a book on parenting … I'm doing some blogging on parenting right now. Please visit Family Fountain.Good blog, and good job of writing.

  24. Warren,Thanks so much for chiming in and giving us a dad's perspective!

  25. I think your book will be quite useful to moms everywhere. Do you have an agent or publisher yet? I am seeking representation for my first novel as we speak. It's an interesting choice of careers with a one-year-old who is either accidentally deleting pages or in the kitchen eating the cat food…God love her. Anyway, just wanted to encourage you to keep going. I have six children, (two are grown and out of the house) and I use every bit of my experience as a mother to fill the pages with "reality, life, and interesting characters. Good luck. Love your blog.

  26. Thanks, Kellie. I am seeking representation for my book right now too. Best of luck to you!

  27. My eyes filled up just reading that! Affirmations are so important, especially being a mom. I make a point out of being kind to the mom out in public whose children are having a meltdown as that used to be me- heck, it still is some days! We need to go up and say the good stuff, and not just presume that others don't need to hear it!

  28. Encouraging words mean so much, don't they?The tongue really does have amazing power – to heal and inspire and motivate and totally turn somebody's day upside down. Thanks for the reminder to be intentional about speaking words of love and beauty into people's lives.

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