The Two Words Every Mom Should Hear

Family, Personal Growth | 20 Comments

You probably already guessed them:

“Thank you.”

Why? Because they have what I’ve come to believe is the hardest job on the planet.

You don’t truly realize it until you witness it firsthand. Over the years, as I have watched my wife, Polly, become a mother, I’ve finally witnessed the incredible challenges that come with being a mom—the crazy schedules, never-ending to-do lists, and dwindling amounts of sleep.

Whenever anyone asks Polly what she does for a living, she gives the perfect answer: “I don’t know,” she says, “but I do it all day.”

When I was a speaker for the Women of Faith conference, I was able to talk to moms all over the country, and they all seemed to encounter the same three main problems:

  • They were way too busy all the time.
  • They spent their days bogged down by stress.
  • They felt too tired to really enjoy the full breadth of what life has to offer.

I would usually offer the best advice I could, but I never felt like I had a great go-to solution to any of those three problems. After all, what do I know about being a mom?Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine

I’m writing this now because I’ve finally found what will—from this day forward—be my go-to recommendation for moms who are feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, and tired: the new book by Crystal Paine, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life

In case you’re not familiar, Crystal is a wife, mother of three, and founder of the wildly popular blog (another great resource for all families).

If you’re spending most of your day tired, stressed, and overwhelmed, there is only one thing that can fix those problems—a plan. And that’s exactly what Crystal’s book provides, a simple 9-strategy plan that you can apply to make your life easier.  

Even though this book is geared mostly toward moms, I—as a husband and dad—found there to be a ton of useful information for me as well! Here’s why:

  • The book is full of practical strategies that can positively affect not just moms, but the entire family. Sure, they are strategies for moms to implement, but Crystal’s ideas on goal-setting, time management, and rediscovering passion are things that will have a HUGE impact on our two sons and me as well.
  • Crystal embraces principles. And you know I’m a big fan of those!
  • She focuses on the “why.” Everyone wants to have less stress and more time, but we rarely ask ourselves why we want those things. Crystal keeps you focused on the big overall result that matters most—a happy, joyful family that is built to impact the lives of others.
  • It’s not just another boring, dry “how-to” book. Crystal’s personality shines through every page. She keeps things fun and interesting the whole way through.

If you’re a mom who wants more time to focus on the things that truly matter—instead of getting bogged down by all the “day-today” stuff—I really want to encourage you to read Say Goodbye to Survival Mode.

For those of you who are not moms, I’m willing to bet you know a few moms who would find this book highly valuable.

One more thing before you go—I challenge you to seek out a mom today and tell her thanks. Why wait until Mother’s Day when you can brighten someone’s day right now?

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  • Penny

    “Time”…for implimentation, thought, discovery, helping others but mainly for chopping down the “weeds” (the necessary’s for example; the priority things that are a must or else you get crumbled) that are in my way right now to even be able to get to those more important things mentioned. First step ive taken is I am “fasting” Facebook currently to tackle the weeds!

  • Charles Hutchinson

    Moms rock!

  • Denise Groover

    Thanks, Andy. I’m actually on Crystal’s email list and have been watching her gear up for the launch of this book for the last several months, but have not actually taken the plunge to get it. I absolutely loved her Time Management 101 book. Mostly because she really gives all the glory to God.
    The hardest thing about being a mom is NOT trying to have everything perfect, but taking time every day to teach people who don’t want to learn. We must teach them how to do the laundry, to be grateful, to wash dishes, to help a friend. It’s so much easier to just do it ourselves. It’s taken me a long time to realize that my calling is not to be the housekeeper, but to teach my children how to serve and be diligent, which means I have to slow down and set the example for them, and give them the opportunity to practice.

    • Crystal Paine

      Such great advice! And thank you so much for your sweet encouragement! If you don’t have a copy of my book, I’d love to send you one. Email your mailing address to and I’ll send one your way!

  • Ken Andrews

    My request is somewhat unusual but along the same path…We recently lost our 36 old daughter Stephanie to cancer after a long 1 1/2 year battle. At the same time her husband and my son-in-law Joshua was fighting major back issues for the 2 yrs (as in NO work). Stephanie, when discovering her first pregnancy almost 15 years ago, turned into SUPER MOM overnight – extremely organized and wanting to do the very best for her 4 boys. Joshua, who is naturally somewhat of an introvert but extremely smart, watched and let Steph take the reins. Consequently he is feeling extremely overwhelmed. Is this a book he would be able to wrap his brain around or !? We just want encourage him in every way possible without taking over but we watch him struggle day to day and that path is getting complicated with him going back to work now. Thanks Andy, we appreciate all you do.
    Barbara and Ken

    • Andy Andrews

      So sorry to hear of your loss, Ken.

      I know several men who have learned a lot from Crystal’s book and I am sure there are many things that might be helpful to your son-in-law during this extremely difficult and challenging time.

  • Jennifer Barnett Chapman

    My biggest stress comes from lack of communication at work. I am hearing impaired but also teach children with special needs in a regular classroom setting. Trying to meet everyone’s needs and doing what their regulate education teacher wants them to do is very challenging on a tight schedule especially when certain individuals are not on same page with rest of team. At home it’s finances living paycheck to paycheck. Not being able to provide when one of us needs something.

    • Crystal Paine

      I am so sorry you have so much stress on your plate right now… but it truly sounds like you’re trying to do the best you can with what you have! I’d love to send you a copy of my book if you’re interested. Just email and I’ll pop one in the mail to you!

      • Jennifer Barnett Chapman

        Sounds great. Where can I private message you my address?

  • Tisa Massey

    My biggest stress, rght now, comes from trying to do everything just right. I want to be the Best Mom to my two boys, the strong Christian woman that God wants me to be, the best student (just went back to further my education), the best friend, the best daughter and sister, the best Nurse that my patients could ask for, all while trying to be the best single parent who doesn’t let the pitfalls of life get me down. I’ve learned that I need to “let go and let God” but I tend to be a great “helper” of his too. Somehow I think I can do it better even though my life proves otherwise.

    • Crystal Paine

      {Hugs!} It sounds like you are doing such a great job — and that you have a lot on your plate! I’d love to send you a copy of my book as I feel it could really encourage you. Can you email me your mailing address and I’ll pop one in the mail:

  • Ann

    My life seems to be full of plenty of stress and to-do’s lately, and just when I think I can’t do any more, more gets dumped on my plate! But it is tough trying to take care of three kids, two dogs, one cat, one husband, work full time, be involved in church and our girls’ school. My icing of the cake is my husband is reducing hours at his current job to take on being the full-time pastor of our church. So I get to try to figure out how to be a pastor’s wife in addition to everything else on my plate. God is good all the time; I just have to keep my eyes on Him!

  • Sarah

    Nothing makes you appreciate your own mother more than becoming a mother yourself! The hardest thing for me is trying to realize that I am not super woman and I never will be…and not beat myself up over it. I always feel like I should be able to do it all. The to-do list is endless and it’s so stressful! I worked full time outside the home when my oldest son was little and that was hard. I felt guilty about having him in daycare and being away from him for so much of the day. Now I am blessed enough to be able to be a full time stay at home mom since my second son was born and that’s hard, too! And I feel guilty because he is not able to socialize and learn in a class setting like my oldest did. Somehow I manage to make myself feel guilty no matter what the situation is… I just want to be able to be a wonderful wife and mother and raise my two boys to be kind, respectful and productive members of society.

  • Emilie

    I read this article from Money Saving Mom’s link because I was curious as to what the words were going to be. I was surprised when they were ‘thank you”. One of my problems with being a mom is that I try to do everything because I feel that is the way it is supposed to be. I really struggle to pass anything off to anyone, including my spouse. We have had countless talks about me making the boys be more responsible or what things he can do to help out. I feel that as a wife and mom it is my job to do everything. I am slowing coming to the realization that if I continue to do everything and try to be prefect that I will burn out. I have made a list of the top 9 things I want to do everyday to improve all the areas of my life that need working on. These are teeny teeny steps but I want to fix everything and if I can do it all, I won’t do any of it. My goals are;
    grow in my marriage
    increase my faith life
    watch my children grow into responsible men
    spend wisely and save more
    inspire and teach my students
    live in an orderly house with a routine
    relax by camping, reading, writing and taking pictures
    be healthy
    Big goals I know. But I want to be better everywhere.
    I am starting to reach them by doing my daily my top 9: (I have been doing them for almost three weeks)
    - squats, calf raises and push ups (I do these while I brush my teeth and while the conditioner soaks in)
    - brush and floss twice a day
    -log food
    -eat 4-6 fruits/vegetables each day
    - be in bed by 11 ( I get up at 6:30 and find I need 7 hours of sleep to be a happy pleasant person )
    - gratitude journal (three things everyday I am thankful for)
    -10 minute clean up (has not happened yet, but it will once other things are in place)
    - spend time with my husband
    Then I have things to do weekly (laundry, calendar, shop, exercise for 45 minutes) , every two weeks on pay day (budget sheets, change sheets and towels) and monthly (date night, family game night, file paperwork). I have this posted on a calendar on my fridge. Every night I check off which things I have done.
    I would love to read Crystal’s book, but right now I am in a spending freeze. I have it on my wish list and maybe that is a hint I can put out there for my birthday or Mother’s Day :)
    I will pass along to my family that I do need to hear the words “thank you”, even though I never realized it. Thank you for making me see that I should be appreciated for what I do even though I feel it is my job to do what I do :)

    • Crystal Paine

      Thank you so much for sharing! And I’d love to send you a copy of my book as I think it will encourage you! Email your mailing address to and I’ll pop one in the mail to you!

      • Emilie

        Thank you sooo much. I did not mean for you to send me one but I will email you!

  • j

    I have been reading reviews and following the launch of this book. I have purchased so many “how to” books that just don’t work for me. The more that I read about this book the more excited I get! I cannot imagine how my life would be without constantly running from one thing to the next. I honestly do not know how to stop it! But after reading all the comments about the book I have hope!

  • Kelly Messerly

    A student (at my alternative school for at-risk teens) got excited when he read The Noticer, one of the first books he’d read all the way through in a long, long time. Then I read it. Then we shared chapters with classmates. And tomorrow we are writing to say, “Thank You” to our mothers….or to the people who are the mothers in our lives. Several live with grandparents or foster parents. The students are slowly learning to concentrate on cultivating gratitude in their lives. This will be our first step—appreciating all that our “moms” do for us and their impact in our lives.

    My own heart has become more grateful, too. My nine-year-old twins are experiencing a more patient and positive mother as she, too, learns to change her own perspective and handle stress better. Taking small steps to make my world and theirs a better place to be.

    Thanks to you both!

  • Debbie Bills

    I am looking forward to reading the book. Being a mom is great, but you know my girls have kids of there own now and when they were little, even teens they were great years. Loved it all and after reading other comments, I believe mothers are struggling today because they feel like they have to be perfect. Know body is perfect and really I wouldn’t want to be. Those mistakes make life entertaining at times.
    Thanks for sharing this new book. By the way Andy loved the Noticer Returns.