In my darkest days as a parent, there were very few people who really supported me with their words and demonstrated empathy. And the words they said, honestly made all the difference to my healing and recovery from the thick fog of darkness I felt I was in.
Not everyone knows what to say to a mother who is struggling, and some people can do more harm than good (as was my case with a few friends).
That’s why I created this list. Because well intentioned people sometimes struggle to know what to say. It can be daunting. Yet empathy is a key component to helping someone through a difficult time.
Therefore, whether you’ve had a rough day, week, month or year, or you know someone who is struggling – then this is my gift to you (most of these can be used for people who are not mothers too!).
Words have the power to change lives, build bridges and start the healing process.
Use them wisely.
30 Things To Say To a Struggling Mum
1. You are loved
2. This is shit (or something less profane). You will get through. I don’t know how, but I’m with you.
3. One day at a time
4. This too shall pass
5. Self-care is not selfish
6. We all make mistakes
7. Me too
8. You’re doing better than you think
9. “Imperfections are not inadequacies. They’re a reminder that we’re all in this together.” Thanks Brene Brown!
10. Forgive yourself
11. Motherhood is hard
12. You are not failing
13. Cut yourself some slack
14. It’s so hard, your feelings are valid
15. Take time out to recharge, let me take the kids
16. Nobody can do what you can do for your children
17. You’re incredible
18. I believe in you
19. Frozen pizza is still dinner
20. You are perfect for your family
21. The laundry can wait. Rest.
22. It sucks, it’s so hard. I hear you.
23. I don’t know what to say but I can sit here with you and hold you (or drink coffee with you).
24. You will get through – one moment at a time.
25. How can I support you?
26. Your breath is your best friend. Remember to breathe.
27. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You’re not weak, you need support.
28. It’s ok to not be ok. However, I’m with you in this not okness (yes, it is a word!).
29. No mother is perfect. We all have our struggles.
30. I’m with you.
Not all of these will be appropriate all of the time. Be selective. Read the other person’s body language and really listen to what they’re saying (not what’s in your head). And if all else fails, go to number 23 and sit in silence and hold them. Don’t be afraid to enter their darkness and pain.
Empathy isn’t about bringing a person out into the light, it’s about bringing your light into their darkness.
In order to do that we can’t be afraid of ‘going there’ because it’s about their needs, and not our own fear of sitting with them in their pain.
Love Megan xo
Here’s two ways I can support you further:
- Let’s get social! Connect with me on Facebook and Instagram
- Grab my free e-book ‘Seven Ways in Seven Days to Inner Self Care’
PPS. Here’s a PDF you can use if you wish to download as a reminder. xo
30 Things to say to a struggling mum