Have you noticed how the best things in life usually come through sacrifice and hard work? You have to climb the mountain to enjoy the view. You have to train long and hard to complete a marathon. You have to practice hours and hours to master an instrument.
Motherhood, from what I hear, is like that. Hard, yet rewarding. You have to change a lot of diapers and handle a lot of tantrums to raise children who live for Jesus. Mother’s Day is past, but that mom across the street or in your small group still has mouths to feed, bums to wipe, and tiny feet to chase after.
Even though you’re not a mom, you, too, can play a part in shaping the next generation by making a difference inside one household, for one mother, one day at a time.
I know there’s not much left of summer, and all you want to do is swing on the hammock, sit by the pool, or find a cozy spot on the couch with a book. I get that. In fact, I wholeheartedly endorse making plans to relax some. But don’t forget the mamas (including your own!) who are also in need of hammock time.
Here are some practical tips for investing in the next generation by giving the moms in your life a helping hand.
1. Offer to babysit for free.
Even if you’re saving for a car or raising funds for a mission trip, you can sacrifice an evening of your time to give a mom a break. Trust me, the rewards far outweigh the sacrifice.
2. Clean her kitchen while you’re there.
At the very least, clean up after yourself when you’re done making lunch for the kids. Wait until the kids are down for bed or entertained by a movie, then pull out the dustpan and broom and start sweeping!
3. Offer to come help with laundry.
I promise she won’t feel insulted. Even just thirty minutes of folding clothes is a tremendous help to her. She will love you forever!
4. Offer to sit with her kids at church.
Most parents haven’t sat through an entire service since their doctor said, “It’s a boy/girl!” If you attend a church where kids stay in the service, offer to be an extra set of hands to hold the baby or to make sure the toddler isn’t scribbling on the Bible or to take the four-year-old to the bathroom for the third time in twenty minutes.
5. Do life with her.
Pick a day, and devote it to being with her family—to help, yes, but also to glean. Meaningful conversations and life lessons happen when you’re picnicking at the park, observing how she disciplines her kids, or while peeling potatoes alongside her in the kitchen. Been looking for an opportunity to be mentored? This is a great way to do it.
6. Do you drive? Pick up groceries for her.
Pushing a cart full of kids through Walmart is not on her list of favorite things to do. I promise. I’m not even a mom, and I love it when a friend offers to shop for me!
7. Surprise her with a special gift or treat.
Her favorite Starbucks drink. A small bouquet of flowers. A dark chocolate bar with almonds. Who doesn’t love a “happy”? Even something simple can go a long way in showing you care.
8. [Your Idea Here . . . ]
What other ways can you encourage moms you know? Leave us your ideas for how you plan to help a mom out. She’ll be your biggest fan!
Originally written for LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com