A few weeks ago Daniel and I went to a meeting at some friends' house. Because they didn't have a lot of extra space, we hosted all the children and two babysitters at our place. The babysitters often help out with these get-togethers and they have watched our boys several times. When they arrived, one of the first things they said was, "We LOVE watching your boys."
Given that some days I don't want to watch my boys, this was astonishing. I was rendered speechless. Now that I've had a few weeks to savor it, I've realized that the straightest route to encourage a mom is to enjoy her children. Compliments are nice, but genuine enjoyment is harder to dismiss. When people tell me that one boy is smart or the other is sweet, I am grateful that the pair managed to cooperate for the ten minutes that the person spent with them. I do think the boys are smart and sweet (thinking that is part of my job description), but I also know they are quite capable of being a host of other things. When a person spends an hour or more with the boys and can't wait to see them again, I am encouraged.
So, if you know a young mom and you spend any amount of time with her kids, the best way to bless her is to love her angels. When they wipe jam on your pants and sneeze in your coffee, when they throw themselves in the middle of the floor screaming because Mom said "no," when they take twenty minutes to find their shoes and put on their coats, do your best to grin and bear it. When they crawl up in your lap with a picture book or bring you their favorite toy to "share," enjoy the moment. You love a mom when you love her kids.