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20 Things All Mothers Need to Hear

20 Things All Mothers Need to Hear

You never know how strong you are until you have no other choice but to be strong. 

Take a moment to step back from your life. You don’t get much time to do that these days, so treat yourself for just a minute.

When you step back, what do you see? Craziness? Fogginess? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. You’re right there with all of the other exhausted new mothers who have no idea how they will get through another day with only two hours of uninterrupted sleep.

It’s okay though; you have a beautiful baby to owe all of the craziness in your life to, and that somehow makes it all good.

There are times though that it seems as though you’re not making it. The baby may be crying uncontrollably, your boobs are sore, and you just want to sleep. It’s in those moments that you should take a step back, take a time out, and remember YOU ARE SUPERMOM.

1. You Created a Human Being

Do you get how huge that is? Your body is the one that grew your baby from a tiny cell. It’s your body that gave a human life. It’s all you. You are the one that went through the pain. You’re the one that is still recovering from the trauma. You completed one of the most sacred and important tasks there is.

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2. You Are a Good Mom

First things first, you ARE a good mom. Your baby is healthy and happy. You’ve got the two most important things about motherhood covered. Even when things are hard, remember that you’ve got this!

3. You Rock It Without Sleep

The Sleep Foundation recommends that adults (26-64 years) sleep 7-9 hours a night. After you stop laughing, realize that you’re rocking it as a mom on only a fraction of those hours.

Don’t believe you’re rocking it? Well, are you stumbling over to your baby in the middle of the night? Are you feeding your baby? You’re awesome. When you’re especially exhausted tell yourself this, “I take care of my baby, and I get about the same amount of sleep as my neighbor’s afternoon nap.”

4. You’ve Never Appreciated Your Friends and Family More

Whether you’re a single mother or have a partner to share the joy and burdens with, no one compares to the support and love of friends and family. These are the people that are always there to offer a supportive hand or listening ear. You’re lucky to have them.

5. You Don’t Have to Listen to Every Opinion

Motherhood is synonymous with unsolicited advice. Know that even if opinions are given with the best of intentions, you don’t have to listen to them all. You’re navigating this motherhood thing instinctually, and with the advice of a few well-selected advisors.

6. You’ll Never Stop Worrying

You know the feeling you experienced right after the intense joy of delivering your baby? That feeling was worry and it’s never going away. Just learn to embrace and manage the worry and you’ll do just fine.

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7. You Won’t Ruin Your Child’s Life

Are you afraid that your personal brand of parenting will irrevocably damage your children to the point of no return? You won’t ruin them. No child grows up with the picturesque childhood. Making parenting mistakes is normal and expected. Stop stressing about being the perfect mother and remember that you’re doing your best.

8. Your Mommy Instincts Are Right on Track

You know what cry signifies hunger, sleep or pain; you have your baby’s schedule down pat; you know when your baby has a common cold or something more. Congrats mom, your instincts are right on point.

9. You Have Super Boobs

Whether you’re nursing or not, you have super boobs. Those heavy, slightly sagging breasts of yours have stored fat for your baby, and for those of you breastfeeding, they are providing your baby food. Awesome job mommy!

Go out and find a bra that fits the size you are now – it’s all good. The only person you’re impressing these days is your baby, and he or she could care less what your chest looks like right now.

10. You Care More Than Anyone

Your baby’s life is full of people that love him! That’s wonderful! However, that doesn’t mean that sometimes you’ll just want to be alone with your baby. Why? Because you are always striving to strengthen the bond you have with your baby.

11. You Are Allowed to Feel Overwhelmed

Your life has completely changed with the arrival of your child. Your child is without a doubt the light of your life, but things are different now. Aside from the physical changes to your body and the exhaustion you’re experiencing, the purpose of your life has changed. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed. You’ll grow accustomed to your new life in no time.

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12. You Deserve a Break

You do a lot all day and all night long. You are working harder than you’ve ever worked in your life, and for that reason, you deserve a break.

Allow yourself to breathe sometimes. Go for a walk, get a pedicure, or take a bath. Alone time will make you a better mother.

13. You Can’t Protect Them From Everything

Life is meant to be experienced, mom. That means life for your little one, too! It’s impossible to protect your children from every form of adversity they are sure to face during their lives. We all learn from tough times, and your babies will too.

14. You Are Powerful

Caring for your new baby is the most overwhelming and joyous thing on this earth. You’re able to do it on 4 hours of sleep while managing everything else on your plate. You couldn’t do that if you weren’t a super hero. Even when you feel weak, know that you are as strong as it gets.

15. You Need to Give Your Body a Break

You feel disappointed with your post-baby body and it’s really getting you down.  Instead of feeling sad, understand that you grew a human being in that body of yours. Look at it with pride because you did an amazing thing!

16. You Should Be Insanely Proud

You made a human being. Your little baby could grow up to be someone that saves people’s lives or rules a nation. You never know…and you know what? It all started with you. If it wasn’t for you, your little baby wouldn’t be on this Earth right now. Good job mama!

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17. You Appreciate Your Own Mom More Than Ever

You finally understand the struggle she went through! Now that you’re a mom, you understand and appreciate your own more than ever! And you tell her every time you call her in the middle of the night with another question about the baby.

18. You Are Doing Great

Sometimes you might feel like giving up on this whole motherhood thing. Don’t worry – all moms feel like this at one point or another. Just know that you’re giving your baby love, a safe and happy home, and a caring family, and that’s more than enough.

19. Your Child Loves You

You know that almost unbearable love you feel for your child? You child loves you just as much. Loves you even when you ran the bath a little too cold, loves you even though you served cereal for dinner two times in a row this week, loves you even when you’re frustrated.  So never worry about whether or not your baby loves you.

20. You’ll Figure it All Out

You might not get all of your parenting questions answered until the day before your last child leaves for college, but you will get it all figured out. Parenting is a long and winding road with plenty of ridiculous twists and turns. And if you ask any mom, she’ll tell you it’s the only ride worth all the trouble.

Featured photo credit: Mother with her baby playing with pet on the floor at the kitchen at home via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on December 4, 2020

How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

We all crave constructive feedback. We want to know not just what we’re doing well but also what we could be doing better.

However, giving and getting constructive feedback isn’t just some feel-good exercise. In the workplace, it’s part and parcel of how companies grow.

Let’s take a closer look.

Why Constructive Feedback Is Critical

A culture of feedback benefits individuals on a team and the team itself. Constructive feedback has the following effects:

Builds Workers’ Skills

Think about the last time you made a mistake. Did you come away from it feeling attacked—a key marker of destructive feedback—or did you feel like you learned something new?

Every time a team member learns something, they become more valuable to the business. The range of tasks they can tackle increases. Over time, they make fewer mistakes, require less supervision, and become more willing to ask for help.

Boosts Employee Loyalty

Constructive feedback is a two-way street. Employees want to receive it, but they also want the feedback they give to be taken seriously.

If employees see their constructive feedback ignored, they may take it to mean they aren’t a valued part of the team. Nine in ten employees say they’d be more likely to stick with a company that takes and acts on their feedback.[1]

Strengthens Team Bonds

Without trust, teams cannot function. Constructive feedback builds trust because it shows that the giver of the feedback cares about the success of the recipient.

However, for constructive feedback to work its magic, both sides have to assume good intentions. Those giving the feedback must genuinely want to help, and those getting it has to assume that the goal is to build them up rather than to tear them down.

Promotes Mentorship

There’s nothing wrong with a single round of constructive feedback. But when it really makes a difference is when it’s repeated—continuous, constructive feedback is the bread and butter of mentorship.

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Be the change you want to see on your team. Give constructive feedback often and authentically, and others will naturally start to see you as a mentor.

Clearly, constructive feedback is something most teams could use more of. But how do you actually give it?

How to Give Constructive Feedback

Giving constructive feedback is tricky. Get it wrong, and your message might fall on deaf ears. Get it really wrong, and you could sow distrust or create tension across the entire team.

Here are ways to give constructive feedback properly:

1. Listen First

Often, what you perceive as a mistake is a decision someone made for a good reason. Listening is the key to effective communication.

Seek to understand: how did the other person arrive at her choice or action?

You could say:

  • “Help me understand your thought process.”
  • “What led you to take that step?”
  • “What’s your perspective?”

2. Lead With a Compliment

In school, you might have heard it called the “sandwich method”: Before (and ideally, after) giving difficult feedback, share a compliment. That signals to the recipient that you value their work.

You could say:

  • “Great design. Can we see it with a different font?”
  • “Good thinking. What if we tried this?”

3. Address the Wider Team

Sometimes, constructive feedback is best given indirectly. If your comment could benefit others on the team, or if the person whom you’re really speaking to might take it the wrong way, try communicating your feedback in a group setting.

You could say:

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  • “Let’s think through this together.”
  • “I want everyone to see . . .”

4. Ask How You Can Help

When you’re on a team, you’re all in it together. When a mistake happens, you have to realize that everyone—not just the person who made it—has a role in fixing it. Give constructive feedback in a way that recognizes this dynamic.

You could say:

  • “What can I do to support you?”
  • “How can I make your life easier?
  • “Is there something I could do better?”

5. Give Examples

To be useful, constructive feedback needs to be concrete. Illustrate your advice by pointing to an ideal.

What should the end result look like? Who has the process down pat?

You could say:

  • “I wanted to show you . . .”
  • “This is what I’d like yours to look like.”
  • “This is a perfect example.”
  • “My ideal is . . .”

6. Be Empathetic

Even when there’s trust in a team, mistakes can be embarrassing. Lessons can be hard to swallow. Constructive feedback is more likely to be taken to heart when it’s accompanied by empathy.

You could say:

  • “I know it’s hard to hear.”
  • “I understand.”
  • “I’m sorry.”

7. Smile

Management consultancies like Credera teach that communication is a combination of the content, delivery, and presentation.[2] When giving constructive feedback, make sure your body language is as positive as your message. Your smile is one of your best tools for getting constructive feedback to connect.

8. Be Grateful

When you’re frustrated about a mistake, it can be tough to see the silver lining. But you don’t have to look that hard. Every constructive feedback session is a chance for the team to get better and grow closer.

You could say:

  • “I’m glad you brought this up.”
  • “We all learned an important lesson.”
  • “I love improving as a team.”

9. Avoid Accusations

Giving tough feedback without losing your cool is one of the toughest parts of working with others. Great leaders and project managers get upset at the mistake, not the person who made it.[3]

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You could say:

  • “We all make mistakes.”
  • “I know you did your best.”
  • “I don’t hold it against you.”

10. Take Responsibility

More often than not, mistakes are made because of miscommunications Recognize your own role in them.

Could you have been clearer in your directions? Did you set the other person up for success?

You could say:

  • “I should have . . .”
  • “Next time, I’ll . . .”

11. Time it Right

Constructive feedback shouldn’t catch people off guard. Don’t give it while everyone is packing up to leave work. Don’t interrupt a good lunch conversation.

If in doubt, ask the person to whom you’re giving feedback to schedule the session themselves. Encourage them to choose a time when they’ll be able to focus on the conversation rather than their next task.

12. Use Their Name

When you hear your name, your ears naturally perk up. Use that when giving constructive feedback. Just remember that constructive feedback should be personalized, not personal.

You could say:

  • “Bob, I wanted to chat through . . .”
  • “Does that make sense, Jesse?”

13. Suggest, Don’t Order

When you give constructive feedback, it’s important not to be adversarial. The very act of giving feedback recognizes that the person who made the mistake had a choice—and when the situation comes up again, they’ll be able to choose differently.

You could say:

  • “Next time, I suggest . . .”
  • “Try it this way.”
  • “Are you on board with that?”

14. Be Brief

Even when given empathetically, constructive feedback can be uncomfortable to receive. Get your message across, make sure there are no hard feelings, and move on.

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One exception? If the feedback isn’t understood, make clear that you have plenty of time for questions. Rushing through what’s clearly an open conversation is disrespectful and discouraging.

15. Follow Up

Not all lessons are learned immediately. After giving a member of your team constructive feedback, follow it up with an email. Make sure you’re just as respectful and helpful in your written feedback as you are on your verbal communication.

You could say:

  • “I wanted to recap . . .”
  • “Thanks for chatting with me about . . .”
  • “Did that make sense?”

16. Expect Improvement

Although you should always deliver constructive feedback in a supportive manner, you should also expect to see it implemented. If it’s a long-term issue, set milestones.

By what date would you like to see what sort of improvement? How will you measure that improvement?

You could say:

  • “I’d like to see you . . .”
  • “Let’s check back in after . . .”
  • “I’m expecting you to . . .”
  • “Let’s make a dent in that by . . .”

17. Give Second Chances

Giving feedback, no matter how constructive, is a waste of time if you don’t provide an opportunity to implement it. Don’t set up a “gotcha” moment, but do tap the recipient of your feedback next time a similar task comes up.

You could say:

  • “I know you’ll rock it next time.”
  • “I’d love to see you try again.”
  • “Let’s give it another go.”

Final Thoughts

Constructive feedback is not an easy nut to crack. If you don’t give it well, then maybe it’s time to get some. Never be afraid to ask.

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Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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