Life as a mother, particularly a stay-at-home mother, can get a little lonely. We have the constant company of our sweet little ones, who aren’t necessarily sweet all the time. But there isn’t a whole lot of interaction with friends and peers, and many days we go to bed and realize that other than with our immediate family members, we haven’t had a real conversation.
I know, for me, some of the days can feel lonely. And even though I know deep in my heart that my work at home is significant, I can start to feel pretty insignificant.
But I realized not too long ago that my work is not just in the home. We have incredible opportunities to make a huge impact on someone’s day and someone’s attitude.
Mother to mother, this is something that we can do for each other.
A couple of months ago, my mom and I were driving back to South Carolina from Indiana with the boys, and we stopped at a restaurant to have lunch. The hostess was an attractive, friendly woman about my mom’s age. She walked us to our table and limped the whole way there. I let her know we’d need a high chair and as she limped away from us to go get it, I said, “Can I get that for you? I’m happy to do it.”
She stopped and just looked at me, then said, “It’s my pleasure to get it. But thank you so much. No one has ever offered to help me before.”
I don’t know why she was limping, but it wasn’t hard to notice that she must have been in pain. And I honestly couldn’t believe that no one had ever offered to help her.
I’m not telling this story to pat myself on the back. There are plenty of times when I am completely oblivious because I’m too busy with what I’m doing to even notice what’s going on. But the kind woman’s words stuck with me, and I decided to make it a point to be more observant. I want to take the time to notice other people, and be considerate.
It made me feel better, and the woman told me it made her feel better. The look of appreciation on her face would have made anyone’s day.
There are so many mornings when I’m doing drop off at school that I just feel like I’m in a daze. I know what it takes us to get ourselves together and out the door in the mornings. But imagine the possibilities if I just put a smile on my face.
If I pass another mom in the hallway, what does it do to her day if I smile at her, or say hello. There’s a strong possibility that she had the same kind of morning that I did.
When I’m unloading my kids and see another mom struggling to get hers unloaded, how can I impact her day just by offering to help?
Because that little smile or that wave? It says, “I get it. I’ve been there.” And don’t we all just want to feel like someone understands?
Maybe I’ll be a little late for my next stop. Or I’ll spend ten minutes talking to another mom in the hallway when I could be halfway finished with my first errand. But it’s okay to slow down a little bit
We have no idea what people may be struggling with. But if I consider my own struggles and the things that caused me to lose my patience or the things that got my day off to a rotten start, it’s likely that other moms were right there with me.
In this year when I’m saying “no” and focusing more on relationships, I’m committing to take time to notice people. I’m taking time to offer a helping hand to someone. Or just offering a smile and a wave. Or just a quick text to say that I’m thinking of you.
I don’t know about you, but the times that I get a text from someone saying, “You’ve been on my mind today,” my day is made. Someone was thinking of me. And I want to have a positive impact on someone’s day that way.
We have so many opportunities for great significance outside of our own homes. And most days, all we need is a little bit of adult interaction and the realization that we did something to positively impact someone’s day.