Be The Best “You” For Your Kids
Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle
Being a Parent is DIFFICULT.
No one ever said it would be easy. Children can be demanding, frustrating, and nerve wracking, all while also being the cutest and sweetest thing(s) you have ever laid your eyes upon. As a mother, you only want what is best for your child(ren). From the time they are born, so much of their livelihood is in your hands. Every decision you make for them has the potential to shape who they are as a person. And parenting never stops, even when they are adults they will still need you, and you will always want to do whatever is possible to keep them safe.
The fact that you are reading this means that you are already most likely a good mother, but what can you do to be a better mother? We have compiled a few tips below that may help you become a better “you” and in turn a better mother for your child(ren):
1. Begin your day with some time to yourself.
Whether you like to read the morning paper, take a hot shower, enjoy a cup of coffee, or go for a run. Take some time first thing in the morning, before the kids are awake, just for you. Center yourself for the day ahead and let yourself de-stress. Set your alarm clock a little bit earlier than usual and actually get up when it goes off. This will ensure that you aren’t going to be running late in the morning either.
2. Let Go of Guilt!
Mothers guilt trip themselves constantly. Although letting go of your guilt can be difficult, it is important to do! For example: Whether you are a Stay at Home Mom, A Work at Home Mom, or a Working Mom outside of the home, or some combination, do not feel guilty about that choice that either you, or you and your spouse collectively, have decided upon. You are doing what is best for your family at this point and time. Never let another mother or a woman who doesn’t have children tell you that you should be doing it any other way. You are doing what is best for your child, and that is what is important!
3. Stop comparing yourself and your children to others.
Mothers like to compare themselves to other mothers and in the same way compare their kids to other kids. It may seem like another child in your child’s class is the perfect student or the perfect athlete and your child maybe isn’t so good at that one thing. Well, every child isn’t going to be the best at everything, but your child is good at something. If you haven’t found it yet, let them explore and try new activities that they want to do. You can’t always control what your child does and I they find something they like to do, try to let them do it. It will make all of you happier in the long run.
4. Trust your instincts.
Parents often know better than they give themselves credit for. Particularly when something is relevant to the well being of your child, go with your gut instinct. If you feel like something is wrong, there is a good likelihood that it is. If you don’t trust what someone says, get a second opinion. If you don’t trust your child’s new friend, talk to your child about it or encourage them to spend time together with you or your husband to get to know the child better. It is always good to seek professional help, but know there are many different ways to raise a child and sometimes the biased opinion of a medical professional, even one you know and trust, may be different from the route you choose to take based upon your values and beliefs.
5. Be present for your kids.
Set time aside where you put the technology down and spend quality time with your children and make it consistent. You kids need you, no matter how old they are. So set take time to play with them, or if they are older, go have a meal with them or do another fun activity, and be fully present. No phones, no iPads, no computers, just you and your child. You will learn new things about them. They will surprise you with how smart they have become. This time is about learning and understanding more about one another.
6. Be patient with your kids.
Do you remember how long it took you to tie your shoes when you were first learning? Did you get frustrated because it took so long? Was it made worse by mom or dad yelling at you to hurry up?
Kids are on a learning curve. Things that may take you 10 seconds to do, things that are just second nature to you, may take your kids a while longer to do them. Being patient with your child will help relieve stress on the child and yourself. Your child may need a certain amount of time to get ready in the morning because of things like tying their shoes and wanting to get dressed on their own. You may need to get your day started a little earlier to build in some of that extra time for them. A small sacrifice can help improve the start of their day and yours too. I might also help you from running late.
7. Work with your strengths and get help on your weaknesses.
We are not going to be great at every aspect of parenting. Some are great at preparing amazing meals, or teaching their children a sport, or crafting with their children. Trust your husband to do what he is good at and make it a team effort. Many times your husband will be able to pick up the slack in areas you might not be so good at and he will be able to do things with your children that you just don’t enjoy.
8. Stay organized.
Life with kids is crazy and sometimes quite messy. Set up a good organization system that works for you and how you live your life. That way your children can put things back where they belong when they are done with them. And you can find what you need when you need it! Even if you aren’t the “OCD, everything must be organized,” type of personality, keeping things relatively organized will save your sanity!
9. Keep a schedule.
This pertains to when you wake up, when you go to be, when meals will be, and everything in between. Children need stability of some sort and a schedule is a great way to start that. Even if you are a stay at home mom, a schedule is a very important thing to keep things balanced and make sure you aren’t pulling your hair out all day. But you also need to:
10. Be Flexible.
Things come up and things need to get moved around. Don’t be afraid to change your schedule or get a little messy sometimes. Cherish the moments you have with your kids and take advantage of each stage of life they are in when they are in it. If you have a newborn, don’t bother trying to keep them to a strict schedule, follow their cues and sleep when they sleep. Have kids in school? Take an unplanned trip to the park, zoo, or aquarium, its educational and fun family time. Your children will only be children for a short time, doing your best for them is all you can do!
11. Take a break.
This is possibly the most important thing you can do for your sanity as a parent. Whether you can manage a date night with your husband, a girls night with your girl friends, a spa day, or a weekend vacation, it is important to give yourself a break. If you can take the break with your spouse, it will be a good time for the two of you to reconnect as well. Adding a child into a relationship can be straining, despite the blessing they are, so taking a break and getting one-on-one time with your spouse can be extremely therapeutic.