Being a good mom is something that we all strive for but something that many of us feel we fall short of. Chances are that even someone that you think is a phenomenal mother, has days where she feels as if she's failing. While there is no way to be a perfect mother, there are many ways to be a good mother.
1. Be present – A lot of us beat ourselves up for the moments that we can’t spend with our children. As much as we would love to, it’s impossible to spend every moment with them. Many of us work outside of the home and in order to pay bills and provide for our children, we must spend more time than we’d like to away from them. While there’s nothing you can about this, you can vow to be completely present with them when you are together and focus on the quality of time over quantity of time.
2. Take care of yourself – When you don’t take care of yourself and you’re running on fumes, you’re not really giving your kids your best. Taking care of yourself means getting rest, but it also means doing the things that you like to do and not forgetting the person you were before you had children. You may not be able to do those things as much as you did before, but becoming a mom doesn’t mean you cease to be you. Retaining some of those things that give you joy outside of your children will make you a happier mom and that happiness will spread to your relationship with your kids.
3. Ditch fantasy for reality – From the moment you start thinking about planning your family or the minute you find out you’re pregnant, you may find your mind wandering and yourself daydreaming about your future life as a mom as well as what your future child will be like. You may draw upon families or parents you know that you admire or children that are irresistibly adorable that you know. Whatever these daydreams were, let them go. Our fantasies often don’t match up with our realities and the more you compare them to your actual life, the more likely you are to not be completely happy in your role as a mother and find yourself doubting your abilities to successfully raise your children.
4. Don’t compare – Don’t compare yourself to other moms and don’t compare your child to other children. Sometimes it will work out in your favor and you’ll feel like you’re slaying at motherhood, but just as often it will work against you. You’ll find a mother who seems to be having an easier time than you or who’s kid is excelling at something that yours isn’t and it will cause you to question whether or not you’re doing a good enough job. Be the mom that you are and raise the child that you have.
5. Do your best – If you’re doing your best, give yourself a break. Sometimes your best is literally all that you can do and beating yourself up won’t make it any better. If you’re not doing your best and you know that you can do better, than make a plan to do so and give yourself credit for improving rather than focusing on what you haven’t accomplished,
6. Ask for help – They say it takes a village to raise a child. In today’s modern world, you may not have an actual village at your disposal but you have many resources that you can take advantage of. Even if you’re a single mom, doesn’t mean that you have to do it alone. Support exists not only in physical form but in emotional and mental support. Sometimes, having someone we love and/or respect tell us that we’re doing a great job goes a log way.
7. Focus on the future and not the past – You’re going to make mistakes. Perfection is overrated and exhausting and mistakes are inevitable and how we learn. As much as you would like to believe that your track record as a mom will be perfect, it’s unrealistic. Embrace your mistakes as learning experiences and rather than focusing on the things that you did wrong, focus on how you’ll grow from those learning experiences and do better in the future.
8. Be flexible – If there’s one thing you learn early on as a parent, its that your plans don’t always go the way you want them to go. It often feels as if the moment you get comfortable with something or as if you’re getting the hang of something, everything changes. Sometimes, the best thing we can do as parents is let go and go with the flow. The less you get caught up in molding your child into what you want them to be, the less stressed out you will be.