Tell a Friend: You Are a Good Mama

I was working on a longer post for today, but things got chaotic, so I’ll have to run it another day. But meanwhile my sister sent me this beautiful post about telling your friends—and even strangers—that they are good mothers. It made me realize that while I’m always admiring my friends’ parenting styles, I rarely say that kind of thing out loud. And it means so much to hear, right?

So to all you mothers out there: You are a wonderful mama. :)

P.S. Six words to say to your child, and do your eyes light up when they walk into the room?

  1. Hi Joanna! Please say hi to Jeremy from Matteo (Idiada) and Susana

    Tamara’s post inspired me to write a message to all moms about keeping it real. Here it goes.

    If you’re a mom, there’s a high chance that you know only too well how difficult life can be when you have a newborn baby. Suddenly your life is transformed and things that used to be so simple now seem like insurmountable challenges. Take going to the supermarket, for example. You manage to get yourself looking semi-decent and out of the door for the first time since you brought your little bundle of joy home. Proud of your accomplishment and happy to finally breathe fresh air after what can only be described as a period of house arrest, you fully relish your little moment of freedom… “moment” here is the operative word. It’s not long until baby wakes up with a frantic cry, letting you and the rest of the world know that she’s not happy. Baby is not happy! Panic! It’s been 45 minutes since she last ate. What was mom thinking even attempting to go grocery shopping?

    You try again and again for the next couple of days (or weeks, or months…) to slowly get yourself back on your feet. Until one day it finally happens. You. Are. Out.

    Suddenly you find yourself surrounded by trillions of moms nonchalantly going about their business with their newborns in tow. Sometimes they even have older kids as well. “How on earth do they manage?” you wonder. These moms either have toy babies in those car seats, or they are just much better at playing mummy than you are. Perhaps it’s just that their newborns are really good at adapting to family life you tell yourself.

    Your newfound confidence quickly goes down the drain. The more you talk to other moms, the more it seems that you are the only one who seems to be having a hard time functioning. Clearly, the moms you meet shower, brush their teeth, brush their hair, put make up on, etc. You, on the other hand, find it difficult to get dressed before noon.

    Why does it seem so much easier for the other moms?

    Here’s the deal… it’s not.

    We all go through our period of vulnerability (to say the least) when a baby is born and brought into our lives. No matter how well you prepared in advance and whether it’s baby number one, or baby number 15. There’s just so much going on inside your body and out that sometimes it’s just too hard to function in a manner than remotely resembles your past life.

    Some women put on a brave face because that’s what the world wants to see, a happy mom. Some have no choice and need to get back on their feet ASAP. Some have really ‘easy’ newborns (I testify, they do exist). Some are fortunate to have a great support system around them. Some are genuinely more talented at balancing it all and keeping a positive attitude… and then there’s everyone else.

    If you fall into that last category, then you are, like me, bound to feel insecure when interacting with the other moms who make all this seem like second nature. Why? Because they appear to have it all figured out; meanwhile you are struggling to achieve the basics like brushing your teeth or fixing lunch. It can certainly make you doubt your ability to be a good mom. But there are two things you need to know. First, it’s never a good idea to compare yourself to others—you don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. Second, even if it seems like forever, infancy is just so finite. Once it’s over you’ll feel like a pro at mothering… at mothering a baby, at least. And who knows, you may just miss it.

    Until then, let us moms be less perfect and more real!


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  3. Hi,
    I would like to know wich carrier your are using for little Anton?
    Thank you

  4. thankyou Joanna and you too! iam wearing my baby too in BOBA:) and aslo in scarf Je porte mon bebe.

  5. My mother, sister and I were eating lunch the other day next to a woman with three beautiful children. We overheard her lovingly discipline and praise her kids. She was so calm and sweet that we had to thank her. Her face just lit up. (And just as importantly, so did ours.)

  6. This totally applies to anything in life – I think any compliment you’d want to hear about yourself, a friend would want to hear about herself too. Thanks for the reminder that we can all cheer each other up with little things!

    from Madeleine blogs

  7. My friend would often say to me “you’re a good mother,” sometimes out of the blue, when I had my first young ones. I was thinking about how encouraging that was to hear the other day.

  8. Such a sweet reminder of how to celebrate and encourage our little ones! Thank you as always for sharing your life lessons and famly to inspire us all.

  9. This is a great post. My husband and I don’t have kids yet but he is a child and family psychologist and we often see people with their kids doing all the right things, especially when the kid is being a handful!!! I guess i would feel weird saying something to them, but im always so impressed!

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  11. You all have such beautiful smiles!

  12. My boys are in high school now, but I’ll never forget one evening when I was losing it with a baby and a two year old and my ex was working late–Again! I put the baby in the backpack and the other in the stroller and headed out to push away my frustration. It wasn’t going well and at some point I think the 2 year old ended up in the pack and the baby in the stroller, but we passed an older woman and she stopped me, took in the boys and me and said “What a good mommy.” She made my week.

  13. So simple, and yet in the everyday hustle & bustle (or sometimes chaos!) of raising our kids, rarely do we ever take the time to tell our friends and those we admire that they are great mothers. Thanks for the reminder.

  14. you’re beautiful, joanna!! and a wonderful mama!! :)

  15. You are so radiant. Are you sure you have a newborn and a toddler?

    • I was thinking the same thing!

    • I was thinking the same thing!

  16. agreed, we all need to hear it. I tell my friends {and sometimes strangers} all the time. It is especially nice to hear when you are in the middle of a really bad moment.

  17. This is such a lovely photo of you and your boys. A framer for sure!! Lovely post and such a beautiful reminder. Thanks for this.
    Cheers to you friend,

  18. I read that post last week, and it’s so true. You’re a good mama, Joanna! Thank you for sharing your babies (and your joys and struggles with them) with us :)

  19. Thank you for sharing this link! Such an inspiring read, I am going to tell all of my momma friends what a great job they are doing! An you too are a great Momma!

  20. I was flying to Hawaii many years ago when my son was 18 months old and the flight was a but turbulent so we had to stay in our seats. My son was over tired and could not get to sleep or settle down – I tried everything, I had several people turn and give me the dirtiest looks. When we got off the plane, an older lady came up to me and told me what a beautiful job I had done with my child and I just burst into tears. That meant the world to me to hear that! xxoo

  21. Earlier this year I was on a flight with my baby who was then about 8 months old and my older one who was under 3 (I flew on my own with them) and a lady who had been sitting behind us said to me after the flight “your children are so happy and well behaved that it’s easy to see what a wonderful mother you are”. I nearly cried…I was so taken aback by the niceness of her comment. So why did I only now, after reading your post realise that I never say it to my friends? I’m going to correct that! And… you are a wonderful mum Joanna :-)

  22. You look beautiful Joanna! You’re a great mother. :)

  23. You are a good mother!
    At my age, and if you keep making babies, I might be reincarnated as your tenth child. lol

  24. What a lovely encouragement to give one another! I’m expecting my first and hope that someone will tell me this when I’m overwhelmed with the mayhem of new motherhood.

    I’m also curious what carrier you’re using for Anton? As I prep for my little one, I love all your tips and Product advice :)

  25. Well said. It would make my day to hear that from another mom, so I’ll work on doing the same. And YOU are a good mama, Joanna!

  26. Cheers to that! You are all wonderful, beautiful mothers! Let us all spend more time to appreciate what we DO have, and how grateful we are to live our lives! Good morning, from Texas!

  27. Thank you! :-) And you are a wonderful mama too! And a great person generally!

  28. i will, thank you for the prompt. and like other commenters have said, i will say it to myself as well, it’s all to easy to look around (especially at the seemingly perfect mamas in blogland and real life) and feel like you’re not doing that well. you, me and all the other mamas are doing BRILLIANTLY, caring for our littles and loving them every day. HURRAH for us all. and those ‘perfect’ mamas, they’re doing brilliantly too, even if they aren’t quite as perfect as i might think, the imperfection (the hidden piles of laundry, the dust under the beds, the occasional frayed nerve) makes them more brilliant in my view. PS: i also tell my own mum that she was and is a fab mum and how much i appreciate her (she’s not really into that kind of chat but i tell her anyway), it would be so nice if my boys said the same to me someday. x

  29. Thank you:) You are a good mother too!

  30. Thank you so much for beeing such na inspiration. Beeing a mother of a 2 years old, I’ve loved to read about “You are a good mama”.
    Congratulations for having such a beautiful family!
    Love from Portugal. Mariana

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  32. A few months ago, one of my customers was a young mother with 3 children and i told her what a beautiful family she has. She really appreciated it.

  33. Thanks Joanna! My husband tells me this when he comes home from work and sees me with our daughter.

    Also, what carrier are you using?

  34. Joanna, what a great reminder there are a couple of good friends I need to affirm with the good mom title!

  35. I’m calling my parents now to tell them what great parents they are.

  36. Wow, Joanna, you don’t know how much your post meant to me. You are a wonderful mama yourself! Thank you! It’s just what I needed. Being a new mom (I had my baby girl less than 2 months ago) can get so overwhelming, and it’s so nice to have someone just say that I am a good mom. It’s so inspiring, and it’s encouraging me to do an even better job in the future :)

  37. when my little girl was 6 weeks old, colicky, having the most terrible witchy hour one could imagine – after trying out everything (rocking her for nearly 5 hours, taking a stroller walk, singing, nursing, you name it) – i felt i was failing on being not even a good mother, but just being a mother. I sent a msg to my friend, who already had 2 kids, mainly to ask for any possible advice i could have missed. And what she said made me so much stronger not only on that terrible night, but helped me go through those first 3 hard months. She double checked if baby was fed, clean, warm – and after that she said “You are doing a good job. You are a great mom”. Those words of her belief in me made me stronger and i can’t thank her enough for that.

  38. Thanks Joanna! You’re a wonderful mom too.

  39. Tell a friend: You are a good papa! Me and my partner have a two month baby girl. Papas need encouragement, too! :-)

  40. This is such a lovely thing to do. I’m not a mother but I definitely have an admiration for my friends that have children. So thoughtful.

  41. Thank you for sharing this. What a wonderful reminder!

  42. What a lovely idea. My sorority came up with Compli-Monday, a program where you fill Monday (often thought to be the ickiest day of the week) with positive energy and compliments.

    Suppose Anything Goes

  43. Love your lip color! The perfect pop!!

  44. Love your lip color! The perfect pop!!

  45. I loved both yours and her posts! We certainly need to hear, and tell, that we are great mamas.

  46. jm says...

    #you, Joanna, are a good mama!

  47. I have a friend who always knows the right thing to say and she has said this to me many a time. It never fails to reach me where I need to be reached, so I’ve made a concerted effort to pay this compliment forward. Joanna, you are a great mom!

  48. this is meant to be. my daughter’s name is sydney!! :) these products look gorgeous. love the diaper bag and toddler backpacks (ok well and all of it). will have to keep in mind for baby #2!

  49. this could be one of those challenge things you were doing for a while!

  50. this is so true! My stepfather once told me what a great mother I am and how amazing my son is because of that, and I burst into tears. I realized it was something I hadn’t heard a lot and was craving. it’s especially great to hear from fellow mommas! thanks for the reminder. and you’re a good momma too :)

  51. Have you ever listened to the podcast One Bad Mother? I like listening to it even though I don’t have kids–the hosts are honest about the hard stuff, and celebrate the small successes. And they end every episode by telling one another–and the audience–that they’re doing a great job! So sweet.

    Here’s a link if you’re interested:

  52. Have you ever listened to the podcast One Bad Mother? I like listening to it even though I don’t have kids–the hosts are honest about the hard stuff, and celebrate the small successes. And they end every episode by telling one another–and the audience–that they’re doing a great job! So sweet.

    Here’s a link if you’re interested:

  53. Thank you, Joanna.
    I had my first baby in February and am finding motherhood to be extremely exhausting and overwhelming. There are some days where I feel like I can barely keep my head above water and constantly question my new mothering skills. Yet at the same time, I am so profoundly in love with my daughter and I know that my heart will never feel the same. Everyday I wake up enchanted with her growth and development and seeing the world again through her eyes.
    I need to remind myself that everyone started out as a new mom once and that it is a learning experience that both mama and baby share with each other. I know we’ve never met, but you telling me I’m a wonderful mama helps me believe it. Thank you. P.S. You’re a wonderful mama, too.

    • The early days are the hardest part! Before you know it, you’ll be one of those experienced mamas who is giving advice to all the newbies. I can tell from what you wrote that you are already a great mama to that lucky little girl!

  54. You, too, are a good mama, Jo! I love the way you write about your children, and even with Anton have admitted that it hasn’t all been twinkly stars and you’ve struggled with sleep and the such like, I definitely admire it. You’re doing awesome :)

  55. It is nice to say to parents of any age! I’m 32 and my dad Is 70. Mom passed away about 7 years ago and while my 3 siblings and I are all adults, I think he is still unsure of how he’s doing. I told him on a phone call last week how much I appreciated what a good dad he was and he was noticeably touched. New parents have more sleepless nights but I think all parents wonder if they’re doing it right!

  56. I’m not a mama but I tell this to my mama friends all the time. Does it mean less coming from someone without children?

  57. I work as a part time Nanny for three different, amazing families and I always make a point to let the mamas know just how amazing they truly are. I’m blown away by the depth of their care and their ability to juggle so many responsibilities all while maintaining warmth in the home. Beyond all that, they just love their littles ones so damn much :)

    I can see their confidence and gratitude soar when I mention these things to them and its always a beautiful reminder to speak kindly and openly to all the hardworkin’ ladies out there! Motherhood just knocks my socks off. I hope to join the ranks someday ;)

    You are a good mama, Joanna!


  58. I love the link to ‘eyes light up’ because I was just working on a piece about how much my child can brighten my mood on the worst days. And you look great, btw!

  59. It is so true! Especially getting unexpected praise from strangers. It is something my mother in law taught me, if you are thinking something nice – SAY IT! So now I never hold back, if that woman behind me in line is stunning I tell her, if the baby is well behaved I let them know.

  60. When my daughter was 6 months old, at the end of a long flight a man walked by while we were waiting for our stroller and said, “Good job mom.” It made me feel wonderful. Even a comment from a total stranger can make your day.

  61. This is so beautiful! I’ll be sure to tell my friends and sisters today. And you are a great Mama, Joanna. We’re 15 weeks pregnant (so excited!) and I’m already stealing all of your baby tips. You’re now our go-to blog advisor “I think we really need this…[ergo, comforter, pram, wrap] – Cup of Jo said it’s the best!” :0)

  62. I was just telling my husband this the other day. If you ever want to brighten my day with just a few words, its telling me I am a good mommy ;)

  63. I had a friend of my mother tell me that I was such a good mommy the other day and it almost brought tears to my eyes. We are all just – doing what we do trying to make the best decisions for us and our children and it’s nice to hear a complement once in a while! Try complementing your spouse too!

  64. Thank you for this post. I think it’s good to encourage others when motherhood can be so hard on one’s self-esteem. You’re a great mother! Keep up the great work!

  65. Ooh I read your posts and I just can’t wait to follow your advice one day, when hopefully I’ll be a mother too!

  66. The simple things are usually the best! It is so nice to hear! Especially when mamas are constantly go go go all day long. It’s nice to hear you’re doing a good job.

  67. Joanna, thank you. I needed that. YOU are a great mom! <3

  68. Ah, I love this so much. So simple but so powerful. It means a lot to hear – even though I don’t know you personally! Thank you! I think all mamas want to hear that but we don’t realize how much. You’re a good mama too, Joanna!

  69. What a simple but incredibly powerful gesture. I love it. You ARE a great mama!!

  70. So true! I’m inspired to tell my two closest friends… right now! Thanks!

  71. Oh! Thank you!! Nice to hear it.

  72. Joanna, you are stunning! Those are boys are blessed to be have such a lovely face to look at every day. :)

  73. I love this. I want to tell my sister this every time I see her but somehow the words never come out. I was waiting in line at customs at the airport a few months ago — for about 2 hours. There was a women behind me with two babes that asked question after question — for 2 hours. She answered every single one, she kept them distracted and she did something I could NEVER do — kept her patience. It was beautiful. So I turned around at the end and said, “You are a good mama.” I hope it made her day. She made mine.

    Oh and, you are a great mama!

  74. I would add: tell yourself! Friday I had a play date with 5! kids. Something about the chaos made me super efficient and authoritative. At the end of the (long) day I told myself I did a good job and just saying it aloud was reassuring.

  75. This is one of my most favorite posts yet! Thank you for reminding me..

  76. Crying. like. a. Mama. So lovely – sent it on to my favorite other Mamas. Thank you for sharing!

  77. Joanna this is so true! So many women judge each other’s parenting skills/style instead of being supportive!
    oh and you’re a great Mama!