Mom walking outside with baby and toddler

Parents Reveal the Most Heartfelt Compliments They Received from Strangers

by Lauren Jimeson

As parents, it’s our goal to do everything possible to make our little ones as happy as can be. Many days, we meet this goal. But there are other days that aren’t as easy. It’s those days we often get down on ourselves as parents and start to question if we’re doing this whole parenting thing right. (The answer to that question is always “yes, you are!”)

I’ll never forget the first time I took all three of my children out to dinner by myself. At the time, the kids were 4, 2, and 6 months. My husband was out of town for work and while I had all intentions just to pick up dinner from a restaurant and take it home, my oldest daughters insisted we stay and eat there. I questioned their request for a moment, but seeing the joy in their eyes as they asked gleefully to eat dinner, I said okay.

I was terrified as we walked through the front door of the restaurant. Not only was it difficult to take all three of them out to dinner with my husband, this time I was on my own without any help. As we waited for our dinner, I couldn’t believe how well things were going. The older kids had crayons to keep them busy and my youngest had plenty of toys to keep him occupied.

I felt a bit overwhelmed as our dinner came and all three kids were asking for something at the same time. But I composed myself and we ended up having a really nice dinner out together. As we were paying the bill, the woman who was seated next to us during our dinner came up to me and told me I was her hero. She continued to say that I was a really great mom for being brave enough to bring my children to dinner on my own and my kids will always be thankful for those adventures.

Her comment took me by surprise. While I’d known dinner went well, I was sure those around us could see how nervous and overwhelmed I was throughout the dinner. But the truth is, they didn’t see any of that. In turn, they focused on the positive. Those around us saw all three of my children smiling as we left the dinner table. And this wonderful woman felt I needed to be made aware of that. Her compliment stays with me always and it’s one I go back to when the days seem to get tough.

It’s perfect strangers that can give us one compliment to completely turn our entire perspective of parenting around. Strangers that can lift our spirits when we’re having a rough day. We asked fellow parents about times they were given compliments by others - their stories will leave you with a smile.

  • “This summer, I was grocery shopping with all three kids. They were all over the place, curious, asking questions, excited to be helping me. A sweet older gentleman stopped me as I was trying to wrangle the kids and told me I was doing a wonderful job as a mom for allowing them to explore. He also reminded me to enjoy this time, as he misses the times when his kids were young and curious about everything. Our conversation was short but it was what I needed to hear – his encouragement when I felt like my kids were going crazy. It reminded me to enjoy the moments, especially when we feel like our kids are out of control.” – Sarah N.

  • “I was 9 months pregnant with my third child and had just squeezed into my largest outfit that day. After a heck of a pregnancy, (I had severe hyperemesis gravidarum) I managed to drag myself out in public to Costco. As I'm waddling myself across the parking lot a woman runs over to me at full speed. She says, " I want you to know you are beautiful! You are an amazing mother, and you should remember that.” I often remember that moment when I am having a rough day. That woman's comment lights me up and keeps me going.” – Jennifer J.

  • “I took my 1 year old daughter to Panera one morning when I was about 6 months pregnant with my second. I was exhausted and feeling guilty I wasn't doing "enough" with/for her lately because I felt like crap. A lady came over and said, "Your daughter is such a happy little girl, you can tell how much love there is between the two of you". That made my day!” – Brittany J.

  • “One day I was carrying my screaming child home from the library in New York City and a cabbie stopped and asked if I needed a ride, even if it was only a block. It was really nice he offered after seeing my distress!” – Andrea V.

  • “I was at the mall with my then 3, 2, and 1 year olds. It was late and they were losing it, going through the displays and crying. As I was waiting for their dad and trying to round them up, I was feeling embarrassed and frustrated. A sweet lady came up to me and told me I was doing a great job. I really needed that sweet comment.” – Brittany M.

  • “We went out to my birthday dinner and our server brought along another server and said, “I have told the whole kitchen about your kids. Not even adults look at me in my eyes when they speak to me and each one of your kids asked and didn’t order, they thanked me, and I hope to see you guys again.” It was nice to receive the affirmation that I am indeed an overbearing mother.” – Elle G.

  • “I was traveling on a cross-country flight with my 6-month-old baby. As babies often do on planes, she was fussy and cried off and on. I was worried the people around me would be annoyed, especially the man sitting next to us. I held my baby the entire time, rocking her, and singing in her ear quietly for much of the trip which seemed to help. At the end of the trip, the man next to me said, "You're a really good mom." I was surprised, relieved, and grateful all at the same time.” – Maria A.

  • “I love when parents say ‘I remember those days.’ (preferably with a knowing smile!) Its so simple but its a way of feeling connected. Its also a way of relaying the understanding that every parent deals with the same obstacles and its not a reflection of who I am as a mom. It acknowledges that sometimes it doesn't matter what you do- kids melt down and kids scream. Every parent has been there and we are all intimately connected by sharing the experience of being a mom or dad.” – Jenna D.

  • “I remember when Allie was about 2.5, I got a call from her daycare, immediately thinking something was wrong. Turns out it was her teacher, just calling out of the blue to tell me how well-mannered Allie was and she wanted to tell me how good of a job I was doing. My initial reaction was she’s obviously talking about the wrong kid as we were right at the peak of terrible twos and I was having a very hard time with her at home. Once she assured me that it was in fact my daughter she was talking about, I remember having the greatest sense of accomplishment. If my kids can be polite, kind and well behaved when I'm not around, I must be doing something right.” – Kristen F.

About Lauren Jimeson

Mom of three Harlan (8), Avery (5) and Macks (3), experienced Freelance Writer, Publicist, and Social Media Consultant. Her work has been featured nationally in online, print, and television media. Lauren is passionate about sharing her experiences as a mom and everything in between.

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