Most moms know the struggle of receiving unsolicited parenting advice. It comes at us hard, fast, and often, like a fighter jet in a Tom Cruise movie from the '80s. On the opposite end of the spectrum, however, are the unexpected words of encouragement and the compliments that we sometimes get from strangers, acquaintances, and loved ones. These kind words stay with us, I've noticed. In fact, a number of moms shared the best compliment they've ever gotten on their parenting, because the good stuff tends to stick with us (and usually gets us through the tougher mom days ahead).
My favorite parenting compliment came from a stranger at a restaurant when my son was in that stage that's still half-baby, half-toddler. We had a full table with him, me, his dad, and his grandmothers from both sides of the family. Plus, we were celebrating a birthday, so it wasn't exactly a short and quick meal. He wasn't acting up or being fussy, but he did demand a lot of attention, and us adults had to take turns letting him walk around in the lobby, entertaining him in the various ways that one does in a nice restaurant in which you really don't want to make a scene.
At the end of the long, and somewhat tiring meal, an older woman came up to me. I half-expected her to say that he'd been distracting or that our constant game of jack-in-the-box was disruptive to their meal, but she actually marveled at him and said it was clear that "he is so loved." As you can imagine, I had warm fuzzy feelings for days. With that in mind, here's what some other moms had to say on the same topic: