Friday, June 30, 2017

Parenting Pointers: 5 Ways to Be a Better Mother

No matter what you do as a mom, sometimes it feels like there are no right answers. The mom shaming, the blaming, the unsolicited advice…they all make you feel not good enough. There are no perfect moms that exist. Not one. If there was an example of mom perfection, we would all know the right answers. But every child is different and unique, and every mom handles motherhood in her own way and style.
We’ve all felt like mom failures. Every mother has had guilt, fear, indecision. We’ve also all had those moments—the little blips from the universe—that tell us we’re doing ok. Maybe it’s the many times our kids stop to hug us goodbye. The “I love yous.” Or just the smiles. Sometimes, though, doing the right thing comes in the form of “you’re ruining my life!” Or worse…the “I hate you!” moments.
Motherhood can knock us down. But somehow we get back up. That’s life after all.
I wish I could tell you how to be a good mom. I can’t. You’ve already figured it out. We all have…just in our own individual ways.
However, I can tell you how to be a nice mom. But I’m not talking about your kids. I’m talking about being nice to other moms. Don’t be a mean mom. Don’t be that annoying, self-congratulatory mom on the playground who wants everyone to think she’s the best. She isn’t…you know how I know that? Because none of us are…she knows that, too.
Be the person—the mom—other moms turn to for kindness. For compassion. You want to be the best mom? Start by being the example.
Don’t Mom Shame
I don’t care if you bottle feed your kids…or if you breast-fed them for five years. Or if you had your eight-month-old potty-trained in one day. We all handle motherhood differently. Sometimes our culture is our influence. Or sometimes we look to Dr. Spock. Don’t judge another mom for the clothes she wears, the make-up she sports (or doesn’t), her hair, her lack of breastfeeding (or the toddler hanging off her chest). You mommed your way…let her mom her way.
Make Friends…Not Cliques
Have I been guilty of cliquing up? Probably. But for me that was more about college…not my motherhood years. Yes, you will form close friendships with other moms, and they may even become your ‘squad.’ But don’t ignore the mom lingering in the corner, and I can guarantee there will always be the mom in the corner. Try to reach out, to be inclusive. This is what we teach our kids…so set the example and do it, too.
Learn from Each Day
Every mom has had a day that she wishes she had done something differently. Maybe you and the kids hung out in pajamas until noon. Or they spent too much time gaming and not enough time with books. Give yourself a break, because you can’t reverse time. You can only look ahead and set a tighter schedule tomorrow. On the flipside, celebrate the awesome days. Those times when you were the best mom, when the schedule was flawless and everything went smoothly. Celebrate the wins, mom!
Accept Yourself
We all have unique personalities, complete with individual strengths and weaknesses. And maybe a few quirks. The problem with comparing you to other moms is that you aren’t like those moms. You’re you. Accept who you are, and understand your weaknesses and strengths. Try to improve the weaknesses, but also celebrate the strengths that make you such a great mom.
Schedule Time for You

Being mom is a full-time job, and it’s stressful. Schedule time each day for some quiet, solo moments. My time is early in the morning when the kiddos are still asleep. I catch up on the news and read a few favorite fashion sites while eating breakfast and drinking my coffee. Make sure you work out times just for you…all moms need down-time.
There is no such creature as the perfect mom. Really, every mom is just trying to figure it all out…and survive. Be good to you, to other moms, to your kids…be the best you that you can be. The rest is just noise, so drown it out and live your life.

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