Moms are the heart and souls of our families. They do a million things and more. They are real superheroes. My mom did so much for me growing up and still does. But what she did for me that is probably more powerful than any one single thing is the internal voice she sewed deep inside of me that continues to replay in my mind every single day. It started as her voice but has become my own and it is my super power. She planted within me over the years a true sense of confidence and helped me to grow a strong sense of self all with her amazing words. This is what she said:

You are beautiful – She said this mostly when I did something kind, made good decisions, showed independence and strength of character. Also, when I was sweaty, dirty, messy, and working hard. She taught me that beauty lies truly inside of me, and in my positive actions, not my appearance.

You will be a great mom – I remember hearing this throughout my life. It wasn’t like she was priming me to have children, but she saw something in me then that I pull on now as an adult every single day of my life. I can honestly say I have felt run down, exhausted, worried, and unsure of what to do at times, but I have never doubted myself as being a good mom.

I am so sorry you feel that way – My mom always wanted to know my feelings. Even when she didn’t know why, or couldn’t understand why, she still always had great empathy. Empathy breeds empathy, and we know that it is one of the most important skills for children to learn in order to have successful and positive relationships in life. And good relationships build great confidence.

What do you want to do? –  My mom never told me what to do. When she seemed to think that I might be wandering astray or about to make a not-so-awesome choice, instead of challenging me or controlling me she showed me her trust and confidence. She let me know that my thoughts and feelings were important by asking me about them.

You’ll do the right thing – When trying to figure out what to do, my mom also told me she trusted me to figure it out. Decisions are so important for self-esteem, and my mom never second-guessed my decisions. She let me be in charge of myself. She was there to catch me when I fell, and was always on my side.

Invite your friends over – My friends were always welcome at our house. Friends would actually come over even when I wasn’t home because they knew my mom would invite them in and offer them a snack. In this open-door policy, she taught me not to worry about the tiny details of how clean your house is and how fancy your meal is. You just welcome people.

I’m praying for you – My mom seemed to have a rosary attached to her fingers while I was growing up, and still does. She didn’t offer a quick sentiment, she really prayed for me! She prayed for my boyfriends, she prayed for my friends, she prayed for my friend’s friends, their parents, and their extended families! She taught me to pray for my children, which has given me great peace, and my children an increased sense of peace and security as well.

I love you – of course all moms say this, but my mom said it all the time. She said it like, if there were better things she could say to let me know how she feels about me she would, but I love you is the absolute tops and sorry there isn’t something more, because it seems just a little too small in comparison to all her actual love for me.

You go have fun – When I was a kid there was always fun, play, and laughter. My grown-up heart seeks those things out when life gets big and heavy. My mom still says this to me when I drop my kids off at her house for a sleepover. She shoves me out the door and tells me not to worry about a thing. Then she wants to know all the fun things I did while she took care of my kids. She gets joy out of my joy. She tells me in this simple way that I am not a burden, I am a joy. My kids are a joy. It makes my heart swell, like I really am doing a good job.

I am so proud of you – What a gift to grow up hearing that someone was proud of me, no matter what. I grew up believing that I could be proud of myself. And I am. Thanks Mom.

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