Where Do Moms Go To Hear “Thank You”?

Two little words (image from www.afamousartist.com)

Two little words (image from http://www.afamousartist.com)

I  know I shouldn’t blog when I am in a bad mood, but I promised myself it would be acceptable this time, because I plan to channel my grumps into something positive.

Let me sum up my bad mood thusly:  Someone in my household went on a fabulous golf trip.  For argument’s sake, let’s say it was my husband.  Outlaw Mama, for her part, was hoping that when he got back from his faboo vacay several things would happen:

1. There would be tears of gratitude (from Hubs) for all the hard work I did keeping our children clean and fed and expelling tree nuts from their nostrils while he frolicked on the fairway;

2. I would get a fancy souvenir from the majestic Pacific Coast; and

3. I wouldn’t have to lift an unmanicured finger to do a damn thing for the rest of the week, once he got home and was “on duty.”

Guess which one of those happened?

If you guessed NONE, you are correct. If you are now picturing me prostrate on my bed sobbing because “no one appreciates me” (or “appreciates the staggeringly amazing things I do for this family”), you know me well .  If you are also picturing me curled up on the floor saying, “just because I don’t bring in money doesn’t mean I don’t work really hard,” you, too, can claim intimate knowledge of how my mind works.

While this pity party has been humiliating somewhat useful — for example, my skin looks great from all the crying– it has gotta stop.  Not because I am above self-pity, but because it’s taking too much energy.  And I need to save my energy for the Lance Armstrong-Tiger Woods post I am hoping to write.

So, here’s how I am lifting myself out of the morass of self-pity:

There will be no more waiting around for my  husband to thank me and whisper the words of praise that I so desperately crave.  Not holding my breath for my kids to say it either.  Nope.  I’m just going to say it to myself, and then I am going to say it to others, who may not hear “YOU ARE AMAZING AT WHAT YOU DO” nearly enough.

We’re going to call them affirmations.

Here’s mine: “When Jeff was out of town, I did a great job handling the kids’ morning and evening routines by myself for hundreds of several days.  I didn’t drop a single F bomb in their presence. And I did a great job supporting him having a grand time on a special trip.  I was not perfect, but I was as close as I may ever get.”

Now, here are some affirmations I am giving out to others: (These affirmations are not meant to disparage the families of these wonderful women; rather, I offer them on the slight chance that they may want some props for the hard shit they do that no one notices.  You know, just in case.)

A Teachable Mom, you do an amazing job of supporting your daughters’ relationship with your husband.

Larks Notes This, it’s marvelous how you balanced being honest and being human with your kid, especially in the post about the invitation for extreme exercise.

Moments of Exhilaration, your love for your daughter and your support for her wide range of experiences came through in your Homeless Crackers post (and every other one too).

A Grand New Mom, you balance so many things, and I think you are doing a great job wearing all the hats you do.

Welcome to the Motherhood, you are so brave to let go of your job and to transition into full-time motherhood.  GO YOU.

Stephanie Saye, raising two boys and writing books and blogging while your husband travels (for work and play)– it’s not easy.  I bet you do more things in a day than I could count.

Naptime Writing, your post about the positive performance review from your son brought me to tears; I want to piggy back on his comment and say, you are a good writer.

Just Begin From Here, you are both brave and creative bringing that bunny to Greece for your daughter. You are a good mommy.

Reedster, you can call yourself a Bad Mother all you want in your satirical pieces, but I am on to you.  You are the real deal. Your kids are lucky.

Snaps and Bits, you, wonderful you, with that Pet Cube! If no one has said it to you today, THANK YOU for all that you do.

Dose of Reality, I wouldn’t forget you. Thank you! I hope your family is saying this to you all the freaking time.

Running From Hell with El, you do lots of the same things I do, but you run 10 miles in the morning before I step foot out of bed. You are amazing.

Michelle Longo, I just know your husband and son say thank you all the time, but in case they forgot today, THANK YOU.

I’d Rather Sit On the Couch, I am just getting to know you, but I’ll go out on a limb and say you are a fantastic mommy and THANK YOU for all that you did today that no one is thanking you for.

Fractured Family Tales, you deserve a Thank You, a hug, and a gigantic sock monkey to punch.

Whisper to Scream, thank you for all that you do that no one sees; thank you for the light that you shine on us.

Joyce Polance, you are a brave mom who teaches me about letting kids have space when they need it.  Thank you.

* * * *

If you would like an affirmation for yourself or someone you know who could use a big, fat THANK YOU, let me know. I’ll add to this list as long as there is an Internet.  Also, if you have any tips on how you boost your spirits when you want to hear a thank you or some props for your hard work, what do you do? Where do you get it?  Is there an app for it?

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57 thoughts on “Where Do Moms Go To Hear “Thank You”?

  1. Wow, It’s a mom love fest! Because if we don’t thank each other, who the hell is going to? NOBODY, apparently. Thank you so much for the shout out – and to so many of our Yeah Write buddies, I can only say: Yep, that. Looking inside all of your worlds each week helps the whole journey feel a little less difficult. Not right this second, of course, when the kids are screaming and H is on his iPad, but other times, I’m sure 🙂

  2. You have got to be the most thoughtful person around.
    I sincerely hope that you are able to break out of your bad mood. You’ve got a whole lot of supporters on your side and I am one of them.
    xxoo
    I know you’ve been busy, but I am still playing with the idea of a real life story site! Maybe that will cheer you up!

    • Oh yes, I am never too busy for a good idea. Yes yes yes. Thank you for the affirmations. My friends say that guys aren’t good at saying Thank you and kids aren’t either. So who the hell is going to say it to me? I go to the drug store just so the clerk will say ‘thank you for stopping by’ to get deodorant and peppermints.

      Appears my bad mood hasn’t lifted yet, but soon. A few more peppermints and I’ll get there.

  3. Very nice. For the first time in years, if ever, I told myself the other day that I am doing a great job doing whatever it is I do. It was a wonderful feeling.

    • Exactly. After begging my husband to say Thank You, it didn’t feel so super swell to hear it after badgering him all morning. The truth is, maybe he was saying in words and actions that didn’t look how I wanted them too. But this morning, I was all about wanting to hear it MY WAY in the words of my choosing. So, yes, I have control issues, but I am working that in my favor by taking control of this. And take that, Mommy Wars, in the psychological warfare of parenting, I got lots of great mommies on my squad. Shit, I am losing this metaphor but I am not against mommies, I need them. They know how to say THANK YOU and I appreciate you.

  4. So….I’ve been told by my husband it’s “impossible” for me to give affirmations. I’m gonna’ prove him wrong. You freakin’ rock. I even avoided the F bomb because you’ve done such an awesome job of it this week. So, when is YOUR vacation sans kids?

    • Great question! I did get two weekends away this summer, for which I thanked EVERYONE involved profusely from my husband to the ticketing agent at United to my hotel concierge. I am a great thanker. My husband would say I am impossible to affirm as well, and he’s probably right. But when I am in this mood, I just want him to keep trying.

  5. And in an instant my mood is lighter. It’s been a long week and I needed this. THANK YOU. Honestly. Thank you for being you. Thank you for posting all these great mamas – I plan to spend tonight cuddled up to the computer and reading the work of some great ladies. Did I mention – thank you??? Cause thank you.

  6. I truly appreciate your shout out. And can I just say that one of the highlights of my day is reading your blog? Every. Single. Day. I think you are incredible as well as incredibly talented and I consider you a close friend (even though we’ve never met, which I’m sure isn’t creepy at all).

    • Oh, I had forgotten we hadn’t met yet! I totally think of you as a close friend and someone who totally has my back. Nothing creepy about on line friendship. Thank you got the affirmations. Thank you!!!

  7. My two year old repeats everything do I have been known to whisper affirming things to her just so i will hear a, “good job mommy” or “thank you mommy. She doesn’t know what it means, but I wil take it any way I can.

  8. Getting a shout-our from you is the highlight of my day. It’s been a shit week and you made me forget all that. Thank you for including me in such fantastic company. i read many of these fabulous people already but it’s clear I have more to discover..so thank you for that too!

  9. My totally crazy one is I just want the hubby to say thanks for being the maker of food for our baby. Just ONCE. Although to him he is like let’s just give her formula. So I just need to say way to go me. And when she is awesomely successful later in life… I’ll know why. 🙂 btw… I don’t really believe the bf’ing versus formula will make her wildly successful. Unfortunetly there is some actually parenting that has to happen.

    • So. With. You. I always wanted that from my husband. He’s so great in every way and I still wanted these specific affirmations around breastfeeding. Oy. I get it.

  10. I don’t have any kids and I thoroughly enjoyed this. What a generous soul you are to send out those affirmations. So I say to you, Thank You! for being who you are. I also enjoyed your Man Named Joe post on the challenge grid.

  11. Oh my word Christie, THANK YOU for all you do!

    I sure needed this tonight because yeah, there is not a lot of thanks from the fam. They just don’t think about it!

    Plus, I had a shitty early evening with my car just dying in the middle of a busy street, waiting, the tow truck. At least the cop protecting me from angry drivers was cute–but I was old enough to be his mother, I think. And it was 845 before I got any wine, on a Friday! So you totally reversed my bad mood!

    I feel so special being on this list! I really look up to you and the others that seem to have yeah write nailed. I’m learning so much but my writing needs work and you are such a great example of doing it right! You are definitely much appreciated! Cheers 🙂

  12. Mama, you 100% deserve a huge thank you and a huge cyber hug for this one. Damn near made me cry. You are awesome. It’s so hard what we do, what ALL of us do, and most of the time it is thankless. Seeing that you all are going through similar stuff most of the time and realizing we aren’t alone really does help. I’m honored to make your list with some great writers and from all I’ve gathered so far, great women.

    I can’t say this enough: I would be nothing without this community here. You all mean more to me than I can express.

  13. Ach, we never get the thanks we deserve! One of my favorite expressions is: Nobody notices what I do until I don’t do it. 🙂

  14. Thank you for choosing to efface yourself so you can be there for your family. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to leave the You who was respected, paid, and impressive to be the You who feels unappreciated, fallible, and unmoored. But your children will know. Your husband is awash and testosterone and I hold out no hope he will know. But luckily for us, you are blogging like a CRAZY person, and so WE know. And we get to thank you for your energy and empathy and insanity, all of which give us hope that we will make it through the day.
    Thank you for being you, even when this new you is not the you you want to be. We’re all somewhere hovering around the same conundra of choosing those-who-will-thank versus those-who-won’t-but-need-us-anyway.
    I don’t remember how old your kids are, but I can tell you this: when they make those little handmade things in school for Mother’s Day? TOTALLY DOESN’T MAKE UP FOR THE LACK OF REGULAR THANK YOUs. Consider yourself warned that you might need retail therapy before, during, and after that bullshit holiday that they never do right.
    (By the way, we’re married to the same blind, ungrateful S.O.B. who *does* know but has no idea how much we need a constant ROAR of awe directed right at our emotionally wobbly bits.)

    • I am hiding in the bathroom laughing at this wonderful gem of a comment. I keep thinking, “hey, people, I used to have an expense account. I used to be somebody.”. It’s weird how this is so up for me– these need for showers of recognition and affirmation. I remember sometimes feeling it at work, but then thinking, who cares?– once I got my paycheck.

      Thanks for the warning on the handmade doo dads from my kids!!!

  15. Oh man do I ever know how you feel sometimes. Being a stay at home mom is monumentally hard and I feel like people look at you and think “Wow, what the hell you complaining about, you watch soap opera’s all day and eat bon bon’s!

    So my girl, as so many lovely ladies have said. You are amazing!! And so is any undervalued mom out there (which is pretty much everyone of them!)

      • Lol. We can all be. It’s easier to judge others than ourselves. Motherhood is hard, and you never know if you are doing it truly “right” so it’s easier to look at other mom’s sometimes and think “well she’s definitely sucking at this”. 😀

  16. I think it’s been about 14 years since I heard the words “thank you” come from under this roof, directed to me. I’ve resigned myself to this reality. Great post!!

  17. Boo, I’m late to the party – serves me right for willing myself to stay away from blogging this week! An altogether fantastic post and a big thank you for including me in this fabulous list of affirmations – I need every one I can get. And what great company! Thank you! Will you write a post tomorrow about how much I let go on control for the dinner party tonight? I haven’t let go at all, but if I know you’ll affirm me in public, I’ll start now! 😉

  18. “There will be no more waiting around for my husband to thank me and whisper the words of praise that I so desperately crave. Not holding my breath for my kids to say it either.”
    We’d be dead by now if we held our breath that long.

  19. This was a beautiful gift you gave all of us, because like me, i’m sure all of us feel completely and utterly flattened by everything in life from time to time. (For me, it’s about every day.) In fact, I just explained to my husband why i’m so adamant about going to yoga, walking, biking – because if I don’t, life will suck me up. So when i exercise, I at least stay a few inches in front of its snapping jaws. and that’s also why I have a lump in my throat while reading this. I’ve been too damn tired to manage my blog over the last 24 hours, but this one drew me back in. And that’s what good friends do for each other — they keep us going and bring us back to the surface when we feel ourselves starting to drown.

    So is now a good time to mention how insanely jealous I am of how you manage to publish such amazing posts every single day? How on earth do you do that?

    • Oh my insightful and fierce big sister! I want to be as protective of exercise as you are. I think that’s healthy.

      As for my posts, I assume one day I will just burn straight out but til then I am just letting it fly.

      Thank you!!!!!!

  20. well.. let me thank you for the moments of entertainment and laughter that I get from reading your blog posts. It really is a nice short break… whether in line at the school waiting to pick up my kids.. or in between patients… It is a quick read that really is a bright spot in my day. Thank you!

  21. Awwww, see. You’re good people. Thanks for the shout out. And this is such a great idea. Support from fellow moms is so key because you know who ‘gets’ this whole mothering gig? Other moms. And you know who else like really, truly gets it? No one else. So yay, you, for being a positive force!

  22. How in the hell have I not left my comment yet? Damn kids demanding to be fed this weekend. Anyway, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. It means more than you will know to be among this company. I will now practice my thank you speech in front of my mirror with my hairbrush as microphone. 🙂

  23. Oh my!!! Thank you for your thanks! I don’t know that I can claim fantastic, but we’re getting by. I would have lost my mind if I had to take care of two kids all by myself while my husband went on vacation. You are a saint and a super woman all wrapped into one! Seriously. I’m sort of losing my mind just thinking about having to do that.

  24. I’ve been lurking here and enjoying your blog since meeting you (briefly, in the back of a crowded session) at BlogHer this year, and the direction this post took surprised me. Awesome. Thank you for showing me a great way to work through my own self-pity.

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