Our house is filled with the bubbly squeals of our precious granddaughters. Squeals of excitement, squeals of delight, and squeals of, well, many other emotions. At any given moment it takes pretty much everyone in the house to keep them fed, clothed and on a safe path. It doesn’t matter how many or how few there are of us. We’re all in the game.

I’m reminded of all the aspirations I had as a young mother. The books I was going to write. The things I was going to accomplish.

In the end it became a simple battle for a good night’s sleep. And to keep my babies out of harm’s way—mostly harms I didn’t see coming.

Keeping up with the laundry and vacuuming and dusting and dishes and sweeping was just gravy on a good day. And I didn’t have to hold down a job while doing it all.

I remember being grateful for a couple of hours of help here and there. Sometimes even for a day or two. But mostly I was on my own, as are most young mothers most of the time. Because when babies are asking for their mommas, there’s only so much the rest of us can do.

Give moms a break, especially young ones. Give them a smile. Give them encouragement and a look of approval, even if you don’t feel it because you’ve never been in their shoes or because you’ve completely forgotten what it was really like. Most of all, give them help.

If their children are screaming or tearing things apart, marvel at their patience and at the fact that they refuse to shove their children into tight, hard boxes they’ll struggle to break free of someday. If they lose their tempers, think about how your blood boiled the last time someone cut you off in traffic or took your parking space at Walmart or did some other thing you believed was utterly unjust. It was just one moment in time. Mothers are in the battle 24/7. And yes, some fathers as well.

I’m amazed at how much my daughter has accomplished during the past three years as a new mom. With help of course, but mostly on her own. She’s meeting the needs of clients and starting a business to help provide for her little family while keeping her babies safe, fed and emotionally nurtured. She is far surpassing what I accomplished as a young mother. The Proverbs 31 mom has nothing on her.