Hey mama! Kudos for wanting to figure out how to be a better mom! Even just looking for ways to improve your parenting is a sign that you are well on your way. We can absolutely do this together. Know that you have all you need to be a great mom. If you are a new mom, check out my post here for the best tips for new parents.
Below is a list of 7 ways you can become a better mother. The first 4 ideas are focused on you as a mom, and the last 3 ideas are more focused on your kids. I know this wonderful list of things will help you get on your way to being a better mom!
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1. Get some rest!
You know how when you get the flight safety talk aboard an airplane, they always direct you to secure your own oxygen mask before helping your children or neighbor? This applies to life, too. When you aren’t taking care of yourself, you can’t give your best to your kids. If you want to know how to be a better mom, you have to get some rest.
Okay, hear me out. You might see “get some rest” and laugh out loud because tons of questions start to pop into your brain! (When? How? What does that even mean? etc.) Rest can mean a lot of things. It might mean actual sleep (for all those mamas with infants, I’m looking at you). Rest could also mean a night where you aren’t hustling all around the house to get everything cleaned, while making dinner, and taking care of all your kids. Rest might mean a bubble bath or a good book. Honestly, you have to figure out what you need and make it happen!
Be warned, if you actually allow yourself to rest, it might mean that your house isn’t spotless, the kids have to eat frozen pizza, or you smell a little bit because you opted for a nap over a shower. That’s O K A Y! Sometimes other things on your to-do list will have to get done later. But if it means that you are feeling rested and refreshed, you will be able to give your kids the best version of yourself!
2. Change the way you talk to yourself.
I have been thinking about my inner monologue a lot lately. What you say to yourself MATTERS! When I’m feeling low, nine times out of ten I can boost myself by changing how I’m thinking. There are days when my inner self says something like, “I am such an idiot! Why didn’t I pack a snack for our zoo trip?” Or, “Of course she isn’t potty trained yet, I’m not consistent enough with her.” The list goes on. When I’m having a bad day, I tell myself these kinds of comments in loads. It takes a conscious effort to flip the script.
The easiest way for me to change my thought pattern is to think about all the things I’m thankful for. And there are SO MANY things I am thankful for! When I decide to put a stop to the negative self-talk, it helps me to be a better mom. I get frustrated less, I scowl less, and I smile a lot more. The next time you feel you are in a bit of a rut, examine what you are telling yourself, and check to see if it is a healthy thought pattern. If it’s not something that is helpful to you, change what you are telling yourself!
3. Give yourself an extra helping of grace!
Chances are, if you are looking for guidance on how to be a better mom, you are feeling some measure of mom guilt. I recently had another mom text me after I lamented over my messy house and she said the mom guilt wasn’t worth my time. I needed that simple reminder. We are all out here just doing the best we can! When something goes awry, take it in stride.
Instead of focusing on what you didn’t get right, focus on all the things you did get right! And when you do get frustrated, you have an opportunity to model handling frustration well. So when you realize you burnt the chicken beyond recognition, instead of letting a string of cuss words fly, show your kids what it looks like to mess up and be okay with it. You can talk them through your feelings so they know how to get upset in an appropriate way. Say something like, “I’m feeling a little upset because now I have to figure out a new plan for supper tonight.”
Will this be easy? Certainly not! But if you can laugh at the frustration and recognize that perfection is impossible, things will go much smoother. Remember, you got this mama!
4. Treat yourself!
If you’ve ever watched “Parks and Rec” you’ll recognize the phrase “treat yo self.” (If you haven’t watched it, I highly recommend it. It’s gold!) Basically, they give themselves a whole day to go crazy doing whatever they love the best. Now I know that getting a whole day in will probably not happen, but you have to treat yourself when you get the chance.
This might be in little ways or big ways. You can get yourself your favorite pint of ice cream, or go on a vacation. I don’t know what your capacity is, but do what you can. Give yourself some priority because you deserve to feel good about yourself! And when you feel good about yourself, your kids will reap the benefits too.
5. Try to make it fun. Give yourself permission to be extra silly!
Sometimes I get so caught up in the “business” of being a mom that I forget it’s super FUN if you make it fun! It’s so easy to feel like you need to keep everyone in line and get that to-do list done. Don’t take yourself too seriously, and take the time to have some fun with your little people.
Having fun can take any number of forms, and it’s probably fairly specific to your child. But a few fun, easy ideas: read a favorite book in a silly voice, play an ultimate game of hide-and-seek, have a dance party, or build a blanket fort. Whatever you choose, just be silly and make it fun. One of my favorite things about kids is how easy it is to get them excited about something. If you are excited, they will feel that and imitate your enthusiasm!
6. Catch your kids being good!
As moms, we often have to be the “bad guy”. It’s part of the job to set rules and boundaries for the benefit of your child. Sometimes I feel like I’m saying no 329 times per day, and it puts me in a bit of a bad mood. So instead of catching your kid doing the wrong thing over and over again, try to point out when they are doing what you asked!
This approach has a number of benefits. It means instead of yelling “no” all day, you get to heap on the praise. Changing from focusing on the negative to the positive will boost your mood. PLUS it will boost your kid’s mood and it will likely increase their positive behavior. In fact, this is one of my favorite modes of discipline. Catching them being good is a win for everyone! If you are having a hard time with negative behaviors and tantrums, you can get my “7 Secrets to Calm Down Your Toddler” right here!
7. Try a new activity with your kids!
Try something new with your kids. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, but it sure can be! When you try something new with your kids it gives you energy and it’s fun to see them explore something new! Additionally, this definitely gets you “better mom points” because giving your children new experiences helps shape their world. When they try something new, they learn new words, new ideas, and new skills.
Don’t be afraid to get a little extra silly (see tip #5). Try going outside and drawing with sidewalk chalk in your driveway or on the sidewalk. (We love this sidewalk chalk.) We have absolutely loved doing this lately! Your little one will love to play outside with you!
You can get a little messy and paint with finger paints. (Check out a good set here.) I love using washable paint so I don’t have to worry. You will be surprised how much fun it is for you and your little ones once you get started painting!
Or you can mold your little one into a skilled chef and bake some cookies. My daughter LOVES to bake with me! We get our aprons on and either find a new recipe or bake from her kid’s cookbook that comes in this cute set. (It’s sincerely one of the best gifts my toddler has ever received!) Or do any other activity that you have put on the back burner for “another day”. Let that day be today. Let your littles explore new things with you and teach them along the way.
You can do this! You have all that you need to be a great mother, and if you feel you are lacking, you have tons of support right here. Leave me a comment and tell me how you try to be a better mom!