Confession: mom life isn’t all snuggles and glamour-trips to the grocery store (as if!). Sometimes, we struggle. We question our choices, we make mistakes and we occasionally cry in the shower. But you know what gets us back up again? Well, our kids (looking for a snack) but also the community of moms that surround us. From our own mamas to our best-mom friends to our best friend’s mom, sometimes a few words of encouragement is all it takes. We asked our Red Tricycle staff of mamas what verbal high-fives they’ve had lately, and what they want other moms to know. Read on for their heartwarming answers.

photo: CarinaChen via pixabay

1. You are raising good people.

When people compliment my children by saying things like, “Rain is such a good person,” or “Jude is so compassionate,” it means the world to me. Knowing that my kids are becoming good human beings tells me I am on the right track as their mother…and that maybe I’m a pretty ok human too.

—Annette Benedetti, Portland City Editor

2.You were a good kid (and you are a good parent now).

Lately, my mom has been saying this to me often: “Thanks for being such a great kid growing up.” I’m 30-something now, but when she says that I melt. It makes me think of things that I did as a kid that may have made her feel so reflective and proud. It’s something so simple, yet pretty profound; I’ll be telling my own kids the same thing when they grow up.

—Ayren Jackson-Cannady, D.C. City Editor

photo: skeeze via pixabay

3. Your child is a delight.

As a single parent, I don’t get much validation from other people, so when it happens it really means a lot to me. Charlie did a great job sitting through a two-hour Passover seder last month and a total stranger was seated next to her. After the meal, the woman said, “Your daughter is delightful. You’re doing a wonderful job with her.”

—Sara Olsher, Marketing Director

4. You are actually totally cool.

Just a couple of days ago, my daughter was telling me a story from a book she’s reading, where the dad says to his daughter, “I’m secretly cool.” And Molly asked me why he said that. I said all parents know our kids roll their eyes at us and think we’re a little lame, but we all think we’re secretly cool. And Molly said, “Mommy, I don’t think you’re secretly cool. I think you’re really cool!” And that made my insecure little mom heart grow three sizes, with happiness and relief that my pre-tweens don’t totally reject me. Yet.

—Meghan Rose, L.A. Editor

photo: Andretti via pixabay

5. You are loved. Truly.

My boys are getting older, 10 & 8, and I often feel like I’m just the lunch maker, carpool driver, clothes washer and homework nagger. However, Blake, my 8-year-old, tells me at least once a day, “I love you Mom.” He never says it when I’m doing something for him… it’s usually when I’m sitting at my computer working or watching TV. And EVERY time, those four little words melt my heart and make all of my mom insecurities go away. I know it’s sounds small, but to me it means the world!

—Kristina Moy, Seattle Editor

6. You are not alone.

I always feel so much better when a friend says to me “mine do it too” after I’ve bemoaned a tantrum or an exhausting day of dealing with kids who don’t ever seem to listen. Knowing that my kids aren’t the only ones who get tired or frustrated and act out gives me the confidence to listen, learn and keep trying to figure out this whole parenting act.

—Gabby Cullen, National Editor

photo: TawnyNina via pixabay

7. You’ve given up a lot, and it’s worth it.

I was on the phone the other day with my mother-in-law when she said to me, totally unprompted, that I was really doing a great job as a mom. She told me that she recognized that I’d given up a lot for my family (last year we moved 1500 miles away from all of my friends and family). To be honest, those were words I’d been telling myself (this is great move for your kid!) but it didn’t change the fact that I sometimes felt isolated, lonely and homesick. It wasn’t just that she told me I was a good mom, it was that she acknowledged this emotional sacrifice and it made me feel so much better just knowing that she knew what I was going through. It really brought tears to my eyes.

—Amber Guetebier, Daily Editor

8. You have your whole life to work but your kids are only young for so long. 

My mom always tells me that my children are my greatest investment in life and that my being there for them is the most important work I’ll ever do. It gives me perspective because sometimes it’s super hard to work from home and be a SAHM, but I know there’s nothing else that matters more to me than my relationship with my kids. I also recently heard “you have your whole life to work, but your kids are only young for so long” and it reminds me to really cherish this time with them because it’s so fleeting.

—Beth Shea, Red Tricycle San Diego Editor

photo: Fairyland, Oakland

9. Being different from your kids is okay. 

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daughter, Sophie, is very extroverted and talkative! As an introvert parent and someone is not overly talkative, I struggle with how much I should tell her to keep quiet or not talk so much to other people (especially those she doesn’t know). This past weekend, we were at a neighborhood event and an acquaintance (who is also an introvert) said to me,”Your daughter is so great and funny. I could listen to her all day.” Hearing that made me feel like both Sophie and I are probably doing just fine with our respective personalities!

—Leah Singer, Spoke Contributor

10. Kids are supposed to act like kids (so don’t be embarrassed or stressed when they do). 

I just spent a morning with a seasoned mom of now young adults, and a former teacher. She told me that it’s important to remember that most of the time, our kids are acting like kids are supposed to act, and we shouldn’t be surprised or stressed or embarrassed if they don’t act like a mature adult all of the time. She also told me that she could tell the kids who loved to read and who’d been read to as a child, and that reading to our kids is the best thing we can do as a parent for their school preparation.

—Shelley Massey, Atlanta Editor

What is something that someone—another parent, your own parent or in-laws, your kids or your partner, or even a total stranger—has said to you to make you feel like you are on the right path? Share it with us in a comment below.