One of the first difficulties I encountered as a Stay at Home Mama (SAHM) was the lack of feedback I received for a job well done (NOT to be confused with all the feedback I DO receive when I’m not meeting my kids’ immediate expectations). Of course, (you all know the routine) you see your babies’ smiles, hear those blissful giggles as well as the random, stop-you-in-your-tracks, “I love you, Mommy!”s … but I’m talking about the, “May I speak with you for a moment?” type of intentional positive feedback from my former supervisor that would send me skipping back to my cubicle `a la Fraulein Maria, with both feet kicking in the air. It just doesn’t happen enough anymore.
During this morning’s playdate at the park I offered a quick piece of unsolicited (or was it?) advice about how we introduced potty training, and my friend responded with a casual, “That’s a good idea.” Typical exchange between two mamas? Yes. But it wasn’t the way she said it that made me think, you know, you’re right, it really IS a good idea — it was the way I felt after she pointedly directed that comment my way, making EYE CONTACT even, in regards to one of MY suggestions. I could have skipped/pushed a stroller/held my toddler’s hand right to the parking lot singing, “I have confidence in…”
Now it’s possible my friend didn’t REALLY think it was a good idea. She may have been making small talk, or simply agreeing with me as we were already packed up and parting ways. But if I wanted to hold on to a compliment like that (like I did) I could. In fact, I think I will.
So much of my job as a SAHM is thankless. Yes, it’s a choice we’ve made, and No, I wouldn’t have it any other way … but every so often, I would love to hear a completely unsolicited, “You know, you handled that meltdown really well.” Or, “I’m proud of you for making such a sacrifice.” Or, “Hey, that’s a good idea!”
I promise I’ll do the same for you.