If you're a mother, you've heard these words and been grateful each time. When your kids come though that door and call for you, announcing their arrival, it's nothing short of sweet. We want them safely home after a day at school or an activity.

So why do they announce their arrival? They want to see mom and know she's there; that she cares about them. Mothers, we need to do our best to be there when this moment happens. If it's not possible, then make a deal with your kids that they call you as soon as they arrive home. Whether it's on the phone or in person, take a few minutes and ask how things went. Listen as they share, without any reprimands - save correction for another time. They will love that you care so much about them and what's happening in their lives.

If you're home, be sure to respond to their greeting with a welcome hug. If you're away and talking to them on the phone, tell them you can hardly wait to be home and hug them and hear even more about how their day went.

My experience

I loved that my mother was home when I came home from school. It felt secure. I remember one particular time when I was 16 years old. After a few weeks of anxiously waiting, hoping and praying that someone would ask me to the junior prom - and just when I was about to give up hope - someone did. I could hardly wait to tell my mom.

I lived on a farm and rode a school bus home each day. On this particular day I jumped off the bus and ran as fast as I could to my house - about a quarter mile. I burst into the kitchen and there she was. Mom must have felt that a whirlwind had just entered the house. With a ridiculous amount of excitement, I shouted, "Mom, I got a date for the prom!" I was gleefully dancing around the kitchen.

She smiled and said, "Honey. That's great! Tell me all about it." She got excited with me. I remember how happy that made me feel. I proceeded with the details, "He's a really nice guy. And he's good looking, too. I'm so excited! I get to go to the prom!"

From that moment on she was 100 percent on my team, helping me find a dress and doing all the things mothers do to help their children prepare for an important event. I never forgot it.

Why does it matter?

Children yearn for parents who care. Being there for them when they walk through that door after a tough day at school matters. I remember another time when I had tried out for cheerleader and lost. That day I didn't burst through the door with enthusiasm. I simply ran to my mother and cried, eventually telling her why I was so sad. Her reassuring words and comforting arms around me helped me know it wasn't the end of the world.

We've all hear the words, "It's a jungle out there." Well, it's true and our kids find it out at a fairly young age. Their lives can be difficult. They need a mother's nurturing care when things go wrong, and they need her happiness when things go right.

Be there

Look at your own situation right now. What can you do to be there for your children? As much as you want to, there will be times when you can't be home when they burst through the door. Figure out how you can be there for them in other ways. Even texting your child during their day can be comforting. Just knowing their mom is thinking about them and cares can make all the difference. And don't forget, hugs really matter.

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