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What does it mean to be a good mother?
A lot of qualities come to mind; caring, devoted, loving, responsible, trustworthy, patient… The list goes on.
We love our children so incredibly much, we devote our lives to them and hope we can be the perfect mom. The mom that inspires other moms. If there was a Mom Of The Year Award, surely we would get it.
But then, the fantasy comes to an end as we realize we’re only human.
We get upset, overwhelmed, stressed and we’re not the perfect parents we envisioned ourselves to be.
Should we stop trying to be the perfect mom?
You’ll never be the perfect mom.
‘Perfection is the opposite of progress.’
But every day, you can be a better mom. A more nurturing, caring version of yourself.
If you don’t know where to start, here are some simple ways you can start to be a better mother TODAY.
Learn To Be A More Present Mom
How often do you find yourself spending time with your kids but thinking about something else?
Perhaps you’re at the park but all you’re thinking about is what you’ll make for dinner.
Or your son is talking to you and you say things like ‘how nice’ on autopilot without actually listening.
Learning to be more present will make you a greater parent (and person). Focusing on the moment and not the past, future, or anything else will make you a happier person overall.
Learning how to be present in your child’s life is a lifelong journey. Buddhists spend their entire lives trying to be ‘present.’
One simple way to get started is meditating. You don’t have to meditate for hours, just ten minutes a day, focusing on your breath can work wonders for your state of mind and help keep you at the moment.
Whenever you see yourself spending too much time in your head and not being present, take a step back and focus on your breath for a minute to center yourself.
“There is only one time that is important – NOW! It is the most important time because it is the only time that we have any power.” –Leo Tolstoy
This is an expansion on the first point.
It’s hard to be present in your child’s’ life when you’re doing seventeen things at once.
More importantly, you end up exhausting yourself trying to be the perfect mom, chef, driver, cleaner, student, etc.
Whatever it is you’re doing, try to only do one thing at a time.
The night before, write down three to five things (only!) that you want to get done the following day.
You don’t need a never ending list. Often, by doing less you do more.
Give time blocking a shot. You segment your day into ‘blocks’ and only do that one thing at a time. If you block time to help your kid with homework, don’t try to cook dinner in that block. One block equals one activity.
You can’t take care of anyone else if you can’t take care of yourself.
Find some time in your day to take a class, go for a walk, or do some yoga at home.
Getting some endorphins will make you a happier, less frustrated mom and it reduces the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.
Just 20 minutes of exercise a day can elevate your mood for 12 hours.
There’s an app called ‘7-Minute Workout’ which is just what it sounds like. Everyone has 7 minutes.
If you have time to read this article and scroll the web, you have time to do a quick workout.
Be Their Mom First
This ones hard for many.
We want to be the ‘cool’ mom and be their friend, however we have to realize we are parent s first and foremost.
I’m sure growing up there were times your parents weren’t your friend and did things you disliked, but in retrospect you see they had your best interests in mind.
You have to do what’s right for your child (or what you hope is right) and not get your feelings hurt when they get upset with you.
Children need structures and boundaries. Trying to be their friend doesn’t benefit them in the long-run and only boosts your ego.
Lead by Example
Children are sponges and try to imitate their parents. Whatever you do (or don’t do) in your household, it’s likely your child will grow up doing.
If you want your kid to grow up reading more and watching less t.v, you should read more yourself.
You can tell your kid 20 times a day to read a book, but if you spend your free time watching soap operas, your child will likely do the same.
Another thing you might want to do in front of your kid is exercising. Take them with you on walks. It’ll become a part of their life and they’ll grow up healthier, happier, and help avoid any diseases such as obesity or high cholesterol in later life.
Too many moms don’t make themselves a priority once their baby is born.
It’s normal to put the needs of our children ahead of our own, but when you’re constantly stressed and fatigued you’re not doing anyone any favors.
Avoiding self-care makes you irritable, withdrawn, and even depressed.
Self-care doesn’t mean bubble baths and face masks, it can be as simple as finding time to pursue a hobby you love. What did you love to do before your baby was born? Whether its painting, reading, exercising, find a couple of minutes a week to return to your hobbies and enjoy yourself.
Simple things such as maintaining proper nutrition and getting a good nights sleep is also a part of self-care that we sometimes forget.
You may also like: 10 Common Pregnancy Myths That May Surprise You
What are your tips for becoming a better mother?
We love to hear from you!
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