Being a mom is the hardest job in the world. Although it’s a truly rewarding experience, it’s also a very stressful and frustrating one. Why? Because most moms strive for perfection. That’s the main reason why they’re struggling with motherhood. As most therapists say, there’s no such thing as the perfect mother. All you can do let go of this notion and try to become a better mother every day. Here is how.
How many times have you skipped washing your hair or taking a shower because you were so tired at the end of the day that you just went straight to bed? Too many to remember, right? This is a common scenario in most households. Moms tend to put their kids’, spouses’, or everyone else’s’ needs above their own. They often forget to take care of themselves, which is wrong. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, how can you expect to take care of your kids, for example?
To be a better mom, you should find some time during the day and practice self-care. This doesn’t mean you should go to a spa if you don’t have the time. Taking a longer bath, or a walk around the block, catching the new episode of your favorite show on the TV can also help you relax and recharge after a long day.
Keep Your Work and Private Life Separate
As a working parent, you know how hard it’s to juggle work and private life. All the more so if you shifted to work from home because of the pandemic. The boundary that once kept those two parts separate got thinner and blurrier overnight.
If you’re looking to get better at this mom thing, you’ll have to do what you can to bring that line back and make it more visible. For example, when you sit down to work, focus solely on work, and make sure you complete all your tasks within your working hours. This way you won’t have to check the intranet all the time for new messages and updates. Additionally, be upfront with your coworkers about your current situation and try to delegate tasks, if possible. Other working parents from your team will understand what you’re going through, so you can work as a team and help each other out whenever you can.
The same goes for your duties as a mom. When you engage in an activity with your kids, try devoting your full attention to them and be present at the moment. Don’t think about work, deadlines, and workloads. Enjoy those precious moments because kids grow up so fast. Before you know it, they’ll be off to college.
Spend Less Time on The Phone
Everyone is always debating how much tech or screen time kids should have during the day. However, no one talks about parents being glued to their phones most of the time when spending time with their kids. During that time, they rarely pay attention to what their kids are doing or saying. This is one of the main reasons why parents can’t seem to connect and bond with their kids while they’re growing up. For this reason, you should start spending less time on the phone and more time actually interacting with your kids. You’ll be amazed at how much fun you can have playing and talking with them. Also, you’ll learn a lot about their personalities and make sweet memories together.
Praise Your Kids
Psychologists always emphasize the importance of encouragement and praise for children’s development and self-esteem. More importantly, praising kids has a positive effect on their perseverance, engagement, and motivation. That is why parents should use every opportunity they can to appreciate and recognize their kids’ efforts.
However, you can’t go around and praise your kids for every single thing they’ve done right. There are some rules you and other parents should follow on how to praise children. First of all, it should be sincere and genuine. Secondly, you should be as specific as possible when praising your children. A simple well done won’t get you far. Instead, say something along the lines of ‘I noticed how you helped your sister with her homework today, that was nice of you’ will be more effective and resonant. Lastly, you should praise the whole process, not just the result to motivate them to work hard and never give up.
Start Traditions Together
Because of hectic lifestyles, you may not always have time to share a meal or do an activity together as a family. You know how much family time is important and precious. Therefore, you could start some interesting traditions together. For example, organize movies, games, or make-your-own-pizza nights on workdays. Then you can reserve mornings on the weekends for pancakes or waffles, and for an annual tradition, decorate the Christmas tree or volunteer together for Thanksgiving. The key is to do traditions regularly and create a routine. They will bring your family members much closer.
In the end, despite all the challenges motherhood brings, you should try to enjoy it as much as you can. Instead of striving to become the perfect mom, you can use our advice and become the best version of a mom you can be.
Morgan Rose Elliott is an aromatherapist, yoga instructor, animal lover, a happily married mother of three. She enjoys reading biographies and writing poems, sunny days on the beach, and any shape and form of vanilla. Crazy about the ’80s, her favorite band is Duran Duran (although kids prefer Franz Ferdinand, and the husband Blink182) and she is obsessed with Netflix original Stranger things. You can follow her on Twitter