10 Ways We Can Help Each Others As Moms

baby crying

Before you read this, and think I am Mother Teresa, I need to start with a confession. It’s pretty bad.


Screaming babies in church make me crazy. I am so sorry if this offends you. I have honestly prayed about it. I don’t know what to do. I am a mom and my babies have screamed. I have tried tuning it out. I have tried literally praying about it while the screaming is happening. I have done it all. My heart pounds. I feel angry. I feel frustrated. I feel judgy. I want them to get up and take their babies out in the lobby so so bad. Ok, it’s out. I said it.


So, there are times I am incredibly generous and helpful and loving and non-judgy to moms. And then there is that. Please forgive me.


The truth is that we moms need each other. We need each other often. We need way less judgement and way more encouragement. When I do this well and we do this well, I see the sisterhood of motherhood the way God designed it. It’s beautiful.


10 Ways We Can Help Each Other As Moms


1. Silence Is Golden

Don’t ever underestimate, the power of a simple nod or smile. The girl with the screaming toddler or teenager with drama at the table. Just remember, that mom is flat worn out. Give her a smile that says “I am not judging you. Hang in here.” It will leave her with just the impression she needs. That she is not alone. She is not failing.


2. Prayer

I noticed a mom in Chick-fil-A the other day and she had tears pouring. I did NOT feel it was right to interject myself into her day or life. Her head was down and she wasn’t making eye contact. I just starting praying for her right there. It was something I could do. Something we can all do.


Mom soothes a crying baby

3. Less Judgment

I try to remind myself of this every time I hear a baby screaming in church. What if this was her first time back? What if she needed to hear the message way more than me? What if the screaming toddler in the restaurant was sick? What if the mom had a newborn and just tried to get out for the first time in weeks? We don’t know anyone’s story and if we did – we’d probably cry with each other instead of rolling our eyes.


4. More Encouragement

I find myself doing this all of the time. I give unsolicited feedback or advice. Kind of like this blog post. Who asked you lady? You know what is received well everytime? Sincere encouragement! No one wants advice from a stranger “enjoy these years, they will go fast” or “Have you tried a pacifier?” Just smile and say, “She sure is cute!” Or, “You are doing a great job!” Just yesterday, I saw a mom with a screaming toddler at Panera Bread – we exchanged the sweetest smiles. I wanted her to know that I wasn’t judging her and she was going to make it. When I was walking out, I could see her head sinking so low. When I got to the car, I wrote this note and went back in and slipped it on her table and just ran out.



I have no idea what she thought, but I heard her say “awww” as I was leaving. I hope she felt a huge hug from God and reassurance that she’s not alone. The hard days are hard.

(PS – Yes, it is totally weird I took a photo. I promise it was a sincere moment and not staged. I wrote this after it happened – after seeing your huge response to the moment. I wanted to share with y’all as usual and my girls. When I start a much needed therapy group called Bloggers Anonymous – this will be something we cover. How to live your life without taking photos of every move.)


5. No One-Ups

Another common mistake we make is the old one-up. To relate to another mom in public we tell a tale. Or, try to relate – but it feels more like a one-up. “You think that’s bad – one time I…” Or, “Well, girls are wild… but try taking 4 boys to a restaurant…” Try one of the other tips before the one-up. It’s a sure deflater.

Multi-tasking mother

6. Consider Your Approach

Sometimes our offer to help can actually insult. I’ve had this happen before. When we see a mom struggling and we offer to help – it somehow suggests she isn’t doing it well. I have changed my wording a little. If I see a mom wrangling nine bags and three kids onto a plane by herself, I whisper to her (because it’s about the help not about you helping), “I have traveled with little ones before. You are handling it so great. Just know I am right here behind you and so happy to do anything you need.” She normally nods and says, “No thank you.” But then a minute later smiles and hands me a bag. We don’t speak much but she knows and I know. She is so able, but the help means the world.

Pregnant woman with a suitcase and a bag is going to vacation


7. One Simple Question

The most effective question I have ever used with a friend or stranger is this, “How can I help?” When we begin to make assumptions – it gets tricky. Just simply ask in their state of distress – How can I help? If they freeze up – then you can suggest. Can I carry a bag for you? Can I get you some napkins (during a massive spill)? Can I call someone (during a fall or accident)?


8. Simple Serving

We have a radar as moms. We see things. They can either frustrate us or prompt us to serve. Just yesterday, it was raining and there wasn’t a place to put my Publix cart and just as I was CLEARLY scanning for a place to go – a lady looked at me and kept walking. I wanted to scream, “HELLO MA’AM – don’t you think you could take this for me so me and my child don’t get soaked?” And because I’m anti-leave-cart-in-lot-girl… and training up a kind adult we walked in the rain all the way up to the store. And, I told Larson, next time we go to the grocery, remind me to take someone’s cart back in. Look out for each other. The chances are good – that as you are going in – someone is loading and needs an extra hand. This is just one example of many. Don’t let the frustrations get you down – let them prompt you to serve others. It will be contagious in your community

shopping cart sitting alone in a parking lot

9. Compliment Her

One common theme among moms – we think we look terrible all of the time. True story. But it’s actually not true. I saw my friend Nicole this morning who is seriously a smokin hot momma. I texted her (on the verge of creepy) and said, “That color looks great on you!” Just take one second to remind your friends that they are looking great. E-V-E-R-Y woman in America can be reminded. When you think it, share it.


10. Hug It Out

This is probably best reserved for your friends vs strangers, but just hug it out people. Sometimes, we just need a good ole hug. Sending one your way.


You are an awesome mom. Hang in there. I mean it. You’re gonna make it. One step at a time. Chin up my beautiful sister. xoxo

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    1. Yes – it feels good to come out of the closet with one of my biggest pet peeves. stick around after i have more coffee. you just never know what i’ll share. 🙂 my friend – one of your spiritual gifts is hugging. you really should work at walmart and just hug people as they come in.

  1. I love that we should “probably” not hug strangers, haha! I think any kind of effort – smile, note, awkward comment – means a lot. I get “you’ve got your hands full” a lot, which is a little weird to me because I have 2 kids 2 years apart. The most normal thing ever. But I think they’re trying to say, “I remember little kids are a lot of work and I want to be encouraging,” so I appreciate it!

    1. i agree – that comment is so common. such great intentions. but i feel like i’m mostly in control too. just keep smiling sister. i wonder what they would say if they saw us on the bad days.

  2. Oh, my goodness! Such wise words, Courtney. How many times I have been the one who spoke “those” words or who rolled her eyes in church. Especially now that my kids are nearly grown, I am that one who wants to share my words of wisdom. Thank you, thank you for giving me a NEW perspective. You have encouraged me to think before I speak and act when I want to be “helpful.” And today when I go to the grocery store, I WILL take someone’s cart for them. 🙂

    Love you, friend!


    1. if there was ever a human that i’d love in public – it’s you. i KNOW you have been tender and gracious and like an angel. keep being you sweet wendy! xoxo

  3. Thanks for being so open and honest. And thanks for reminding me (Why can’t I remember these things?) to “do to others as I would want done unto me”. This Sunday morning when that baby cries in church, and causes me not to be able to pay attention to the message, I’ll pray that God will quiet my judgy heart and spirit and I will pray for the parents of that baby, that they will receive what God has for them.

    1. me too. like i said – still working on that one. and if they ever have a volunteer role – for carrying out the babies and walking them in hallways – i might sign up. jk.

      1. My grandparents went to a teeny tiny country church. There was a grandfather aged man who had appointed himself crying baby remover..member, visitor, whatever. Lol.

  4. Thank you for this post Courtney! As a mom with 5 kids – 3 to 12, I can relate to one being on the receiving end of the not so encouraging words and looks. Also grateful for the ideas on how to help those who are in the shoes I’ve been in. Blessings to you!!

    1. aw, jill. i hate you received the looks. 🙁 the ones you help and encourage will appreciate it so so much!

  5. Keep writing. I’ve been reading your blog for a few years now. Bought the book. Love your realness. If I had a blog, I would create it just like this one. Thanks.

  6. Thank you for this post. Re: #3 – I was raised a Catholic and learned very early that silence was not golden, but required…clearly indicated by most Catholic churches being equipped with “cry rooms.” As I began to have my own children, I tried to keep them in the main area as long as I could. I felt it was important for them to experience the rituals of our faith, and I thought as long as they weren’t having a complete meltdown it would be ok. However I quickly learned, again, that even if your baby is making those precious cooing noises that parishioners were still annoyed, and they had no problem directly darting nasty looks your way or saying something not quite under their breath. My husband and I are military and we have moved quite a bit and therefore we have been to many Catholic churches, and this was our experience of every Catholic church we became members. Recently, on what we feel will be our final move, we decided to become members of a Methodist church that emphasizes community, fellowship, and the fact that the children are the future of the church. As part of his opening prayer each week, the Pastor prays for our children and emphasizes the importance of their little voices – cooing or crying. I can’t explain what a relief it is to finally be in the company of Christians who don’t make me feel guilty about bringing my children to church or make personal attacks on my parenting skills by darting nasty looks or passing judgement when my child makes the slightest noise.

    1. This is awesome. I am so thankful for your story and that you have found a place!!! wonderful! And I will remember your name and face and story the next time a baby cries and keep myself together in church. 🙂

  7. I love this practical and thoughtful tips! Thank you! And thank you for your honesty at the opening of the post. 🙂

  8. I think any kind of effort – smile, note, awkward comment – means a lot. I get “you’ve got your hands full” a lot, which is a little weird to me because I have 2 kids 2 years apart. The most normal thing ever. But I think they’re trying to say, “I remember little kids are a lot of work and I want to be encouraging,” so I appreciate it!

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