Cheers for moms

Last week was my daughter’s fall break from PreK.  Whenever she has a break, we try to do something fun for her.  Last week it was going bowling for the first time.  She’s been talking about wanting to bowl for a couple of months.  We frequently drive by a bowling alley near us that has a giant pin atop and brings it up.  So we went.  I printed out a coupon, we rented a lane, got some lovely bowling shoes and picked out our balls.  We set the baby boy up in his stroller with a snack cup full of Goldfish to watch us.  And we were off.

Bowling with a 5-year-old has its perks.  The first of which is bowling with the bumpers up.  My husband and I hadn’t been bowling ourselves in years.  We were saved a few times from gutterballs thanks to those bumpers.  It was nice.  Another perk was watching my children have fun.  Lexiana loved trying her hand at bowling.  We learned a few frames in that the ramp really did make her experience more fun and never once did her ball stop halfway down the lane while using the ramp as it hand when she was bowling without it.  Drake had a great time watching the other people, us and oh-so-many colorful balls rolling around and disappearing.

My daughter loved cheering for us as much as she loved bowling for the first time. Everyone needs a cheerleader sometimes!

The biggest perk, however, was the cheerleading that took place.  I have bowled many, many times in my life.  In fact, I almost forgot how much I used to go bowling until I went again.  We used to go every Saturday morning.  I was in a league thing.  We went as a family and with our extended family.  I have never, though, been cheered on and encouraged as much as I was last week.  That’s not to say that my parents weren’t supportive or encouraging.  That’s to say that my daughter was our own personal bowling cheerleader.  “Go, Mommy!  You can do it!”  “Go, daddy!  You’re doing great!”  And that happened each and every time.  We cheered back for her.  We didn’t try explaining that serious bowlers like it a bit more quiet for concentration, because it was too precious and sweet to put a stop to it (and nobody was close enough to us to be bothered by our noise).

You know what?  Having someone cheer for you with complete sincerity feels really good!  I got to thinking about how everyone needs a little cheering on sometimes for reasons not as celebrated or as obvious.  This is especially true for moms in the trenches.  So, I’ve put together just a few of the shout-outs I have in my head right now.

To the mom who is struggling to stay awake today because she was up most of the night with a sick child or a baby needing to be fed or both, woo hoo!  You go!  You can do it!  You’re awesome!

To the mom who feels like she can’t wrangle her toddler for one more battle on the changing table at the dinner table at the grocery store or anywhere else, rock on!  You’ve got this!  Keep going!  You’re fabulous!

To the mom who is worn to the bone and doesn’t know how she’ll manage getting the kids fed, clothed, packed off to school and then survive a work day, you’re on it!  Press on!  You’re going to make it!

To the mom who’s battles with her teenager are reaching epic proportion with no end in sight, woo hoo!  You’ll get through this!  You’re doing a fantastic job!  Hang in there!

To the mom-to-be who is wondering how she’s going to survive this miserable pregnancy and figure out the whole motherhood thing, yay!  You’re going to make it!  You rock!

To the mom who is looking at a messy house, piles of laundry, hungry kids and a stack of bills needing to be paid and feeling overwhelmed and tired, you’ve got this!  One thing at a time!  You’re on your way!

To the mom who has forgotten what she even likes to do in her spare time because there never is any, hang in there!  It won’t be this way forever!  You are going to make it and you can do it!

To the mom-at-heart who is suffering another broken heart as yet another month passes without a positive pregnancy test, hold tight!  You’re going to make it!  You will survive this heartbreak even when it doesn’t seem like it!

To the mom who is working hard and losing energy on getting help for her child with challenges, you’re on it!  You’re an awesome mama bear!  Keep fighting!

And like any good cheerleader, I’d be remiss to not offer some defensive cheers:

Defense! against discouragement.  Don’t beat yourself up!  You’re working hard; keep pressing on!

Defense! against loneliness.  You’re not alone!  Other mamas feel your pain.  God feels your pain and sees you.  Keep going!

Defense! against weariness.  It’s OK to take any kind of break you can get.  Rest well!

Know today that wherever you are, whatever battles you’re fighting, whatever stage of motherhood you find yourself in that you have this.  Let me be your cheerleader today.  Hold fast to your course.  Stay strong and you will make it.  YOU CAN DO IT!!!  Go, mama, go!

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