Tell someone what they need to hear

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If you’re not a mother yet, you probably won’t understand what I’m about to say, if you are, I hope you know exactly what I mean.

Being a mother is such a blessing. Sure, everyone here on this planet is here because of their mother. It’s nothing unique, but that doesn’t make it any less special.

It’s like I’ve gotten to hit the “reset” button on my life and start it over in a new perspective. I don’t mean I’m living my life vicariously through my daughter, I mean I have an excuse to do everything all over again with her.

From playing with bubbles, and tossing a balloon around the house, to smelling the bluebonnets in a field of wildflowers, or tickling her until she’s helpless with laughter (at least once a day); these are the moments I want to remember. Moments I can remember now that I’m older.

They’re times she’ll probably forget at her young age, but ones I’ll capture, cherish, and share with her someday.

Recently Hallmark came to my town to talk to bloggers about our passion for writing and doing what we do. They fed us breakfast and shared their Moments and Milestones and “Tell them” campaign. When they started I was jumping up and down inside going “YES! I do this!” but the longer I was there the more I realized there are a lot more people aside from my daughter who need to know how much they mean to me.

The idea is that everyone has something to hear. For instance, I would like someone to tell me that it’s Ok that my house is messy. That their house is messy too and that we all need a break from cleaning every now and then. Is that so much to ask? If someone told me that every day, I’d feel so awesome.

We watched some videos about this campaign and I like a dork, I went home to watch more because they seriously gave me goosebumps. Watch this one! It’s super short but if you’re sappy like me, it’ll hit home.

Awww! That little girl on the diving board asking for you to tell her she can do it. I imagine that being Lil’ J years from now looking for me on the sidelines for reassurance.

I think of things I’d like to tell my daughter every day. Things I hope to remember to tell her again and again when she’s older and can understand. Every day I capture a moment with her, and I share something about herself, or wisdom I want her to remember on my 365 Moments blog. I’m hoping to print and bind it all in a coffee book for her someday. I’ll have to make two.. One for her and one for me. (By the way, you can also upload your own photos on their mosaic, they’re picking some to be featured in their magazine.)

I always think of all of the things I want my husband to tell me: Why he loves me, that I’m beautiful, that even though I’m far from a perfect wife, he loves my imperfections. But the men and father’s in this video made me stop and think of all of the things he’s probably wishing I’d tell him… 
That he’s a wonderful father, the man of my dreams, and thank you for working long, crazy hours in a pretty darn demanding job to provide for us, that I’m so proud of him. That I pray for him every night, and that I support him no matter what. Sure, I tell him those things. But not enough.

I’m going to try a little harder to tell the people I love what they mean to me, and what they need to hear. I challenge you to do the same. Of course it’s great to tell them face to face but that’s not always easy or possible. You can send a text message, and email, a letter or a card. If it’s hard for you to say things in your own words there are oodles of things Hallmark offers that can help. We were gifted a bag with examples of things like this, like a little rose that opens and closes with a push of a button. On the inside it says “You are the heart of our family.” Lil’ J claimed it but I helped her share it with Daddy.

We’re about halfway through the year but I’m going to make a new resolution to tell someone close to me something they need to hear. Like my mom. Sure, I talk to her about once a week if I’m lucky (I need to do better at this) and she knows I love her, I tell her every time we are hanging up. But oh how much more it would mean to her if it were the first thing I said when she picked up the phone, and not the last.

My best friend needs to know how much I miss her. Because I really do. And my Heaven-sent new friends here in Texas need to know how much of a lifesaver they’ve been through all of our transitions. And you! People who actually take the time to visit my blog and see what’s going on in my life… Emily, who messaged me the other day about my most recent post, another Emily who tweeted me and told me my 30 days plan (in 7 days) worked on her husband too, and everyone else who’s ever emailed me about my blog, or left a comment sharing your thoughts, wisdom, laughter, experiences… THANK YOU. I try to write back and tell each of you how much it really and truly means to me that you take the time to not only read, but respond… But I know I’ve missed far too many of you. I’m going to get better about telling each of you personally what that means to me.

After the even Hallmark wrote to me and said I could do a giveaway for some of the items they treated us to at the event. My favorites were the Blooming Expressions flower I mentioned earlier, and the Christopher Interactive Story Book and Storybuddy. I rekindled the habit and started reading her a story every night (my husband and I alternate) before bed. She LOVES it. We let her pick out a book to read and this one is one of her favorites. She holds the bear while I read the story and at the end of each page he’ll add his little two cents. It’s so cute! (He also sleeps in her crib now).

Side note!: Speaking of their books, we got a Mommy and Me recordable story book, so she can still hear me read to her while I’m away, and I definitely plan to get one more for my husband to read to her while he’s away at work. My heart breaks a little when I’m getting her ready for bed alone after several nights of him being home and she reaches for the door, and says “Daddy?” This way when she makes that request while he’s working, she can still have him read her a story. In case you haven’t heard of those recordable storybooks you can check them out there! I’ll probably make one a part of his Father’s Day gift.


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  1. Thank you.

    I’ve been planning on writing my BFF a letter for days. I need to just do it. (And actually send it, instead of letting it sit around the house forever when all I have to do is put a stamp on it.)

    Also, it’s okay if your house is messy. I figure if my house can be cleaned in an evening after the kids go to bed, it’s clean enough, even if it’ll take a lot of work to do it.

  2. Erin Marie, thanks for sharing that! There’s something special about hand-written letters! Let me know how it goes! And thanks for much for making it through this long post 🙂

  3. That it is okay that I am not a perfect mom, but that you appreciate all the effort and hard work I put in on a day to day basis. And I would like to tell someone that they mean the world to me and I miss how we used to be!

  4. This is really inspiring! I think a lot of times there’s plenty we could say to the people we love…plenty we * should* say…plenty they need and would love to hear, but we don’t speak up and we assume those we love know we love them and why. I think I’ll do a little speaking up today, starting with my husband. He needs to hear that I appreciate his dedication to our family. Thanks for the inspiration/motivation to speak up! 🙂

  5. Thank YOU for telling me it’s okay if my house is messy.

    Once I was out on a restaurant patio with my friend and then-13 month old. He was being a little noisy and kept dropping stuff, and these two older men kept looking over…I assumed in annoyance.

    As they left, one of them stopped by our table and said, “I’m an EMT, and I deal with families on a day-to-day basis…I just have to say, you are a GREAT mom. The way you interact with your son is beautiful. He’s so lucky to have a mom like you.”

    I thanked him maybe a little awkwardly but I will never forget that moment. As a first-time mom, I often feel clumsy and frustrated and unsure of myself. Those words, which took him fifteen seconds to say, gave me such peace of mind and utter relief. It also made me realize the immense value kind words can have. Great post, Jenn!

  6. I’d love to tell hubby how much I appreciate him and love him for everything he has done for us and continues to do for us, I’m truly blessed!

  7. I think I need someone to tell me that I’m good at something. Good at being a parent, good at writing, good at keeping my house nice.

    And Jennifer, I’d like to tell YOU that as someone who is younger than I, you truly inspire me! You’re an awesome newscaster in your area, you’re a fantastic blogger, and you’re a gorgeous mom who makes it all look so incredibly easy!

  8. I love your blog, I truly do, you inspire me all the time to keep going. I am over at mommynmeblog and I try to dedicate it to of course my daughter but also to other moms to share the same experiences.
    I think you for letting me enjoy yours as well.

  9. I needed to read this! It made me tear up in fact… I need to tell my husband much more often how amazing he is…I am so blessed!

  10. I know I’ve told you this before but thanks for inspiring me. When I first started thinking about seriously starting a blog, it was your blog that gave me the push I needed. Here you were blogging away about your TTC journey, while I had already delivered my first. Seeing how open you were being gave me the courage and determination to do the same thing.

    Oh, don’t sweat the messy house because you’re not alone. I have a pile of dishes sitting in the sink as I type this at almost 2 AM.

  11. I need to tell my husband that he is amazing – the rock of our family – the one who encouraged me to persue my dream and the love of my life.

    He needs to hear it and I don’t know why we more often than not forget to say these simple heartwarming messages.

    Great post!

  12. I need to tell my other family how much I love them. I tell my husband often, but the other people I care about not as much as I should.

  13. I need to tell me sisters how much they mean to me. We are pretty close and talk often, but I don’t tell them often enough how lucky I am to have them in my life.

  14. I love your blog and wanted to tell you that you are an awesome mom and doing a great job for lil J. I especially love your 365, that will be a family heirloom!

  15. I love this post. Very well said. I’ve got lots of “telling” to do to my husband. I tell my son encouraging words all the time, although he’s only 4 months. I hope I continue to do that.

  16. I need to be reminded that even though I make mistakes, I am still a good mom. And I love your reminder to tell our husbands what they need to hear – I need to tell my husband more often (not only in words but in the way I talk and care for him day in and day out) that he is an amazing husband and father and that I am so completely thankful for his leadership in his home.

  17. Also…that video totally made me cry (but I should add that I’m 21 weeks pregnant too 😉 Thank you for this beautiful post and these much needed reminders!

  18. I’d like someone to reassure me that I’m a good mom, mostly because I never feel I’m doing quite as much as I could or should be doing.

    I’d like to tell my daughters that they are beautiful, smart and completely amazing. That I look at them with awe every single day. That they are loved unconditionally by their earthly parents and their Heavenly Parents. That I’m glad they chose me!

  19. I love this. I love how real you are.

    When Lindsay and I left your town house that fun day in March she turned to me and said, “it’s so refreshing when people are normal.” We live in a blogging age where perfect has become the norm and normal is not good enough. Thank you for being real Jen.

    I just love you.

  20. I have seen these videos around, and they do make you think.

    I have a friend who is coming out of a rough marriage and going through a messy divorce with 2 kids both under 5. She confessed that even though it was hell for her, she fears that she didn’t hold off long enough until the kids were older. It was close to 1 am the other night, but I sent her a text anyway,checking on her and the girls, and letting her know that she is a great mom.

    Sometimes, no matter the time of day, saome people could use a little reassurance.

  21. It’s okay if your house is messy. No one’s house is perfectly clean all the time!

    I need someone to tell me I’m doing a good job as a mom. I never feel adequate enough.

  22. I really love this idea. I am big on trying to remind people of just how great and important they are, but I never stop to think just what words would comfort me in certain moments. If there’s one thing I wish I could have someone sincerely tell me, it’s that everything will be okay and you can’t control everything. As difficult as it may be to accept some things, God is in control and looks out for His children.

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