As one preparing to be a mom and as a friend and family member to many new moms, I'm currently standing right in the wind channel of parenting advice. Everyone I meet is eager to tell me just what being a mom entails, and I've come to the realization that no matter how much I read, ask, or prepare, I will never know what its like to be a new mom until I'm actually there.
Through my own limited yet growing experience and in talking with many, many new moms, I've weeded down what I believe are the four most important things any new mom needs to hear. So, if you're close to a new mom, listen up: although us new moms and moms-to-be are inexperienced and have much to learn, here are the four things we really need you to say.
"Motherhood Is Amazing"
We all know motherhood is hard, and no one knows it better than a brand-new mom experiencing it for the first time. Since she's already wading through exhaustion, worry, pain, etc. 24/7, the last thing she needs is others dwelling on the negative or telling her, "Just wait until he's a teenager."
Of course, if she wants to talk about the hard stuff, lend a listening ear, but remember that what a new mom needs to hear is enthusiasm, encouragement, and awe over this wonderful adventure she's embarked on. Gush with her about all the beauties of motherhood and about the sacredness and importance of her calling.
In April 1999, President Nelson quoted a First Presidency message saying, "Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels."
When you see a new mother, make sure to remind her of this glorious truth. She is an angel, chosen by God to take care of one of His precious spirits sent fresh from heaven. Remind her that God knows her, imperfections and all, and that despite her limitations, she is the mother her children need.
My sister-in-law, who just gave birth to her first child a few weeks ago, said, "When I think about how incredible it is that such a big spirit was placed in this little tiny body and that I get to be the one to take care of her and teach her about the world, I feel overwhelmed with gratitude from the Spirit."
Another young mother wrote to Elder Holland, “Through the thick and the thin of this, and through the occasional tears of it all, I know deep down inside I am doing God’s work. I know that my motherhood is an eternal partnership with Him. I am deeply moved that God finds His ultimate purpose and meaning in being a parent, even if some of His children make Him weep.”