Are you constantly wondering if you’re a bad mom and how to be a better mom? You’re not the only one.
Someone once said that if you’re wondering how well you are doing as a mom, it means you are amazing, as bad moms don’t worry about whether they are doing a good job.
I can almost guarantee you are the best mom ever to your kiddos but there’s one thing getting in the way of you seeing this and enjoying your family: you want to be a supermom.
There are so many perfect mothers out there whose self-esteem is ruined by trying to achieve this impossible ideal of a mother.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a stay at home mom or a mom who works outside the home, it seems like there are never enough hours in the day to do even the half of things you need to do.
Let’s be honest, it’s impossible to do it all. You can manage for a while but sooner or later you’re going to break.
Being a better mom has nothing to do with cooking more, cleaning more, or even playing more with your children.
Have you ever heard someone say that a happy mom is the best mom? Now that is a wise saying!
Children have amazing intuition and the way you feel and your energy affect their behavior tremendously.
Most of the things you can do to make sure you’re a good mom are connected to improving the way you feel about yourself and your family.
You need to realize you don’t have to do it all on your own. You are allowed to seek help.
Read our advice on how to be a better mom:
1. Accept that what you see on social media is usually fake
You can torture yourself endlessly about all the ways you seem worse than Instagram moms, but that’s absurd.
There is no reason for you to believe they are better mothers than you are.
Everyone posts pictures of their best possible moments. The life that someone seems to have online isn’t necessarily their real life.
You should be aware that there are a lot of people who even go as far as faking certain moments in their lives so they can post them on social media.
It is completely absurd for you to be measuring your worth according to all the little things other moms post on social media.
Yes, another mom made perfect brownies and you burned yours, so what?
She didn’t take a picture of the casserole that didn’t go too well yesterday.
Yes, her children are hugging in that photo and yours are at each other throats AGAIN, but she most certainly won’t post a picture of her kids pulling each other’s hair and throwing a tantrum over a toy.
You get my point, right?
There’s absolutely no point in comparing your life to anybody else’s – on social media or in ‘real life’.
The way people present themselves and their families is usually much more ideal than the way they truly are.
You should be aware of this at all times and be happy to create your own way of doing things.
Be proud of not being a mother who makes other moms feel bad about themselves.
(And sometimes, just like you, without any intent on your side, there will be a mom who will think you are a better parent then she is.)
Let others do their thing, you do you!
2. Learn how to stay calm
Despite the incredible, painfully strong love you have for them, your kids can also drive you nuts.
Mom life is just silly this way.
Perfect moms don’t exist and yet, every mom is perfect for her child. What all great moms know how to do is how to stay calm.
It’s one of the biggest struggles you will go through as a parent. You need to find ways to cope with the overwhelming anger that strikes you when your children do certain things.
There are plenty of tips on how to be a better mom and to help you stay calm.
Here are a few:
- I know this is a cliche but BREATHE. Take a deep breath and then breathe out slowly. Repeat.
- Tell your children that you need a minute and go to another room for some time out.
- Scream into a pillow (why not).
- Put your children in a safe place (their rooms or cribs) and have some time for yourself.
- Start running or jumping like crazy.
- Lie down and concentrate on relaxing your muscles.
- Call someone and complain.
Depending on what your child did, it may not always be easy to stay calm, but try to bear in mind that unconstructive yelling that comes out of anger will do more harm than good.
This will come handy if your 2-year old is having a tantrum or if your teenager just told you they want to get their belly button pierced. The struggle is real.
3. Lead by example
Young children do as you do, not as you say. This is something you can’t fight.
Of course, there are things that adults get to do and children don’t but it’s better to do those things when your children are not around.
Another way is to form an attitude where they absolutely need to recognize that not everything a parent does is an option for them to do, at least not until they are of a certain age.
Have this conversation with them and remind them often how things work in your home.
These are usually little things, but what matters is that it will be so much easier for you – and better for them – if you act the way you want them to act when it comes to the big things.
Teaching your kid to be kind is impossible if they don’t see you being kind to others.
Being a better parent means giving examples of good behavior to your child, not just telling them what to do.
At the end of the day, everything they see you do is going to stay inside their little minds and hearts.
Don’t expect them to do EVERYTHING they see you do, or do the complete opposite every time, but bear in mind that, most of the time, that’s exactly what happens.
Pay close attention to how you treat them and others around you, and that kind of treatment is what you can expect them to give to you or other people.
4. Don’t be afraid to get some personal time
Hire a babysitter to take care of your kids!
Ask friends or family to help if that’s an option. Do whatever needs to be done – but take some time off!
Self-care is incredibly important if you want to be able to take care of your kiddos.
It can be a couple of hours or a whole weekend, depending on how long you feel you need to be on your own to feel normal again.
A single day can be enough to put you back on track. A happy mom is the best mom, right?
Forget about the to-do lists, forget about school, laundry, school pick-up, going to the grocery store…. everything.
Think only about what you want and what you need to do to be happier at the moment. You need some time out to help yourself think clearly.
Go have coffee with friends, go for a walk, read a book, or travel for the weekend.
I know it feels like everything will collapse without you organizing things but trust me – IT WON’T.
You will be a better mom after you’ve recovered from all the stress of everyday life.
You need to take care of yourself in order to be able to take care of your family – especially when you have little kids.
5. Try to plan your reactions ahead
This might sound silly but it can be very helpful.
Think ahead about possible situations that could cause an issue between you and the children or within the family.
Try to imagine this is happening to someone else. What kind of advice would you give them?
Apply this advice to your own situation and try to find a resolution to a certain issue.
This will help you stay calm and make good decisions when (if) those things happen to you.
I’m not saying to think about every possible thing that can go wrong, just some of the everyday things, such as what you would say to your children if they couldn’t agree on what to play and stuff like that.
This way you can find the best possible solution for most of the issues you can expect to encounter and know how you want to solve them when they arise.
Thinking ahead gives you the ability to never punish your children, especially younger kids, when angry, which, as you know, doesn’t work very well.
6. Create traditions
This is something that can be useful in the long run.
People, in general, are creatures of habit. Creating family traditions that your children enjoy is amazing.
It might not be as interesting for little kids, but as they grow up they will most certainly see its charm.
They can be quite small, like a special way you say hello when you pick up your children from school or a family game night on Saturday.
These traditions can be fun and make you feel like you’re a good mom because you’re giving your family something to enjoy.
Making something into a tradition will be an amazing experience, but it can be hard to stick to.
Remember that you only get a certain amount of time with your kids before they grow up, so look at that time as an investment in their future memories.
7. Don’t follow all the advice you get on how to raise children
Raising children can be a similar experience for many but each child is unique. Almost everyone you meet will have advice on how to raise your kids.
I’m not saying more experienced people won’t give you good advice, but trying to follow it all will get you nowhere.
Times change and raising kids becomes different as each year goes by. Even the advice your mother gives you may be pretty outdated.
Accept that you can’t please everyone and decide which direction you want to go in raising your children.
That’s what being a great mom is all about – being consistent.
Listening to your child’s pediatrician is important, but even here you’ll find different opinions, so don’t be reluctant to look for another one.
If you notice something doesn’t work you should change it, but don’t do this every time someone offers their opinion.
8. Form a tribe
Your husband is probably great.
When he comes back from work the whole house lightens up. He plays with the kids and they adore him.
However, his job is probably what’s bringing in the biggest part of the family income (this might not be the case but since you are the one that gave birth, it probably is).
It’s not easy for him to leave work every time something comes up.
This is why you need other people – other moms that are going through the same things you are going through.
Find moms similar to you, who understand the need to be a better mom.
You guys can connect and be each others’ ‘911’ for mom emergencies. Getting kids to places they need to go, like sport activities or whatever their interests are, can be time-consuming.
Picking-up a sick child from school can also be a challenge. Your mom tribe can help you and you can help them.
If you guys stay organized it will feel like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders.
9. Have a date night with your husband
You and your hubby constantly talk about kids, right?
You have no time to talk, make love, fight… It’s hard trying to be a better parent if you’re on the verge of losing the relationship with your partner in crime.
Pick a day and have a date night – no matter what. Unless the kids absolutely need your attention for some reason on that night, don’t skip or postpone it.
Wear nice clothes and makeup and go out somewhere you both find exciting.
Try not to talk about kids. I know, it can be hard, but try to concentrate on the relationship you two have.
Talk about what’s happening at work or any other topic that might come up on a regular date between two people who may or may not have kids.
If you’re a stay at home mom, it might feel as if you have no topics to talk about other than your children, but this is absolutely not true.
Concentrate on what you’ve been thinking or feeling lately and share that with your husband.
But then again, who says you need to talk?
10. Remember you get to have a bad day
You can’t be perfect every day. Being a happy mom and being a better mom comes from knowing this.
The way you raise your children depends a lot on your self-esteem.
You need to know that you deserve to relax and have a bad day. Making mistakes doesn’t make you a bad mom.
Just like in anything else in life, one mistake or several mistakes don’t define who you are.
Sometimes it will be the little things that happen throughout the day and sometimes it might be one bad decision you make.
Whatever happens, you need to get past it. If you’ve done something wrong it’s right to apologize to your child.
Confessing to them that you’ve made a mistake will make them see you as a real person and also help them apologize when they do something they shouldn’t.
Additional tips and tricks
Always praise the positives.
You may think that your children know that you think of them as the best, sweetest little boys and little girls ever, and usually they do, but some extra praise when they do something good can go a long way.
It will help build their self-esteem and they will aim towards better behavior.
Rewards in the form of compliments and kind words can really help them understand how to act.
Give your kids uninterrupted attention.
Play with them for 15 minutes a day without doing anything else.
Don’t hold your phone, answer emails, or whatever else you are usually doing when you’re ”playing”.
They need to have time with you without distractions. Look them in the eyes when you’re talking and be completely present, body and soul.
They will benefit from this kind of gentle parenting and you will too because you will feel you’ve really done something for them and for yourself as well.
It’s okay to let your children know you have insecurities of your own, but don’t let them see you questioning yourself too much.
It’s hard teaching them to be confident as it is, and it will be much harder if they see their mom doubting herself and her decisions all the time.
This should also be the rule when talking about your appearance and body. Always exhibit a healthy attitude towards yourself.
Try to stop multitasking.
Mom’s are praised for being good at doing many things at the same time.
Being complimented is nice, but what do you actually get from multitasking all the time? Nothing.
You are left feeling exhausted and you constantly feel like you’re doing nothing as well as it should be done.
Try to arrange for a separate time of the day for your tasks and learn not to stress out about everything that needs to be done. It’s ok to say “no” sometimes.
You’ll be much more relaxed and feel more accomplished, which will most definitely show in your parenting.
Have your kids’ backs.
Show them that you’re there for them no matter what.
If they forget their notebook, find time to bring it to them (not all the time, they have to learn responsibility), or just bring them surprise snacks.
Let them know you’re always thinking of them (because you actually are, only they don’t know it).
Be their mom.
Kids need structure and rules. Don’t try to be their best friend.
Don’t try to make them like you at all costs. It’s impossible to do that anyway and trying to accomplish it might leave your children with boundary issues.
Being a friend to your children might be good for your ego but isn’t beneficial to their development as people.
Don’t make labels.
We all know it isn’t right to label people but we’re quick to label our own kids.
Don’t make your child think they are a bad person just because they’ve done something bad.
Make sure they know that their one action doesn’t count for their complete personality.
This is the only way to have confident children, but also children who won’t be quick to judge others and will think twice before saying something hurtful to their peers.
Truly listen to your children.
Listen carefully to what they are saying to you. Pay attention to the way they are saying it. Always keep in mind their body language.
Value their opinions to teach them to value other people’s opinions.
Don’t make their reactions seem irrelevant in comparison to the speech you’ve prepared to teach them something.
Always follow their responses and continue accordingly.
Being a better mom is usually about accepting who you are as a mom and who your children are as individuals.
It’s important to trust your instincts when it comes to your babies.
You need to give yourself more time and space to remember the person you were before having children.
You can try to think about that person and think about what kind of advice she would give you right now.
Wondering how to be a better mom all the time is counterproductive. Learn to relax.
Being a good mom is all about dealing with all these fears you never knew existed, but also about strengths you never knew you had.
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