Thanks to the expansion of parenting gurus and Instagram-ready mom bloggers, there is a lot of stress about being the “perfect” mother for the little devil.
Every second person breathing has a different opinion about what bulletproof measures you must follow in order to be the best mother ever. But most oftenly, these measures and advices are conflicting.
Besides everything, you need to put yourself first, along with doing what’s best for your kid. Sometimes, jibing both of these ideas put you in a difficult situation.
And this is probably when you connect to that wifi, open up your browser, and hit up “how to be a better mother?”. Trust me, this is where things go wrong.
Reading everything out there just puts you in a situation where you feel pressured and find yourself doing grotesque things like turn your kid into a piano specialist at an early age, feed them vegan or dairy-free diet, and teach them diverse languages before they even know if “grammer” is correct or if “grammar” is.
You just want to be a better mom.
Is that too much to ask?
7 Graceful Ways to be a Better Mother!
But before wanting to become a better mom, I need to ask you, “what does ‘better’ actually mean? Less angry? More sweet? Less strict? More strict?
Instead of focusing on less this and more that, let me present you 7 beautiful ways (easy yet actionable) to be a Great Mother.
Not just better. Great Mother.
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1. Talk about the tough stuff
Tough stuff or rough stuff: Money & Sex. “Normalizing sex is crucial and waiting for a special day in the future is kicking a can down the road,” says David Ezell, a licensed professional counselor and Clinical Director of Darien Wellness.
If you sit and give it a thought, there’s no appropriate time you could bring this topic up. But it’s important, what should you do?
“Start when they are little; fourteen year olds will whine and be embarrassed while four years olds will be receptive and open to anything you bring up. Just as big as sex, money is crucial for them to understand from an early age. Money management, setting goals with money, understanding charity—these are crucial life skills that need to be addressed as soon as possible.”
2. Express Love
Give your children hugs & cuddles. Physical touch is truly the best way of showing affection and love. Stay with them, watch what they are watching on TV, involve in the projects they are working on, take days off your work to spend time with them.
If you can’t take leave from your job, try to make as much time as possible for your children. You, as an adult, might think kids aren’t smart enough to notice the effort you’re putting.
But they do; they do notice and they do feel loved.
Another good way to express love is “leaving notes”. Leaving little delightful notes that show affection can be so precious. It may also become “your thing” which binds a love thread between you and your devil.
Good spots to leave notes:
- in their coat or pullover pocket.
- on their bedroom door, so when they go to sleep, they have a smile.
- in their school lunch. They might even flex your “love-expressing note” to their friends.
- You can also attach a note on their favorite toy.
3. Give them Undivided Attention
“Disconnect yourself from your daily tasks and go into their world with no distractions,” advises Dena Alalfey, a Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor.
“Enjoy talking and playing with them—no interruptions. This will strengthen your emotional connection and promote positive attention.”
Stop whatever you’re doing and listen to them. Make them feel important and what they have for you is important too. If you’re too busy to be “completely attentive”, tell them you want to give them time but you have to quickly finish what you’re doing.
4. Praise the Positives
No matter how old your children are, praising the positives and encouraging them will help them feel good about themselves. Praising simply boosts up their confidence and self-esteem.
But don’t just say the same old “you did a good job” thing. It may be nice to hear for the first 10 times but later it just sounds like you’re not “actually” paying attention.
Be descriptive while praising your children. Tell them exactly what you loved seeing them do. Just as an example, tell them “I liked the way you catched that ball in your cricket match today” instead of just saying “you played well”.
“Humans have a serious negativity bias, so it’s super easy to start feeling like your children are a total disaster and your relationship with them stinks,” notes Michelle Gale, mindful parenting educator and author of Mindful Parenting in a Messy World.
You won’t even drop in that negative bias if everyone keeps praising each other in the house. That is why it’s so important to do this.
A reward is a way of saying “well done”. It’s a consequence of good behaviour & positive traits. You do not have to make a grand gesture to reward them. It could be anything like a small treat, or the toy they have been asking for.
Just don’t confuse between bribery and rewards. They aren’t same. Period. Bribes are given before the behaviour you want, and a reward is given after.
5. Have your kids’ back
Having them to feel that no matter how hard things get, you’ll always be there for them, is very precious. It’s the safest feeling your children can have in all of their life.
Good decisions may grow them, but bad decisions improve them. I’m not saying they have to make bad decisions, but if they do, they must know inside they aren’t alone.
Note: This is for every mother out there. You may have survived the pregnancy hardly, have him in your belly for 9 months, but he comes out with a life of his own.
Improving decision-making ability of your kid is long term. They need to learn how to deal with their life and make decisions that are good for them. You shouldn’t do it for them.
They need to learn it themselves. Just have their back when they are.
6. Create Traditions
You cannot stop time. It is going to pass. And trust me, time is very fast at going away.
But how can you stop it? How can you make it memorable?
“Time passes no matter what, but moments can be made more special when you make them traditions,” notes Lisa Druxman, M.A., author and founder of FIT4MOM.
It does not matter if these traditions are very big or cutely small. But they must be regular.
“Establish a daily tradition for your family, like a bedtime routine or eating as a family; a weekly tradition, like family game night or French Toast Fridays; and an annual tradition, like working at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving or a family fun run on New Year’s Day.”
7. Take Care of Yourself
As mothers, we tend to put everybody in our family first. The whole family suffers if this happens.
Because a “mother” is the root of the family. If the root isn’t taken care of, the whole tree isn’t gonna grow healthy.
“Think of the oxygen mask principle: Put yours on first, and then you can help your children,” says Melissa Divaris Thompson, LMFT, a licensed psychotherapist and co-founder of Honest Mamas.”
So you must make the “me time” a priority for yourself. Help grow a healthy family and your kids will have the fruits.
In trying to become a “better” mother, do not throw away “what you really are”. You are great as you are. You’re loving and beautiful as you are.
You just have to keep these points in mind and improve yourself just a little bit. You do not have to try hard or you’ll end up feeling really exhausted. Just remember this Mantra to be a better mother:
LOVE, SUPPORT, AND HAVE THEIR BACK.
Have faith in yourself and boom, your children will only look at you as their role model. I hope these “7 ways to be a better mother” help you in your infinite years ahead.
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