You’ve probably heard the joke that babies should come with a manual, but as you well know, there’s no official guide on how to be a good mother. If doctors, midwives, and nurses gave out handy instructions specifically detailed toward your baby, it would be pretty remarkable. Instead, you usually get some blanket how-tos, and maybe you can take a class or two. But nothing truly prepares you for all of the ups and down motherhood brings.
Plus, your child is unique, and a one-size-fits-all parenting book won’t help you tackle every challenge you’ll face with your little one. Also, despite what some people might have you believe, you don’t have to be born with some miraculous motherhood instinct.
So, how do you learn how to be a good mother? Check out these ten tips that are sure to help you shift the way you view motherhood. Hint: It’s not all about being perfect, sacrificing your own well-being, or giving your child everything they want.
As moms, we'd do anything for our children, including listening to advice from others (even when it's unsolicited). We also listen to audiobooks, podcasts, and any other form of media that promises to teach us how to be a good mother.
These things certainly have value and can offer some valuable insights into motherhood. But they aren't the most crucial resource we have when it comes to mastering momlife. Our biggest teachers regarding what we need to do as mothers are our children.
If you want to be the best mom to your child, you need to know your child. Every child is unique, with particular likes, dislikes, and needs. Therefore, anything you read or hear about motherhood, you need to tweak and adapt it to mesh with your child. But, the only way you'll know how to adjust it is by listening to your child.
Ask yourself, when was the last time you gave your child your complete and undivided attention? In other words, there were no quick glances at a computer or phone screen, phone conversations, or magazines to flip through. It was just you and your child and nothing else.
If you're struggling to remember, don't worry, it's not surprising. Whether you've become a master multi-tasker or just feel worn-out, either way, it can be hard to fully focus on your child.
Perhaps you're stressed and just want a break, but your kid's asking you to do something for the 10th time. Or, your excited toddler is going on and on about their new Paw Patrol vehicle, and you just want to check out mentally.
But, splitting your time and focus between your child and other tasks can actually lead to more burnout. You feel even more frustrated and lose your patience when you're trying to do one thing while your kid wants you to do another.
If instead, you'd drop the extra stuff and just pour all of your attention into your child, you'd be surprised at how much lighter you'll feel. If you need extra help in this department, listen to our Mindpower Session, Be More Present With My Child.
To be a good mother, you need to fill your cup when it starts to run dry. What does this mean? It means you need to show yourself some love, momma.
We get so wrapped up in caring for our kids, our partner, our house, the dog, and the goldfish, we push ourselves to the bottom of the list. More than likely, you've scratched your name off of the list entirely.
It's time to make you a priority. Even if just for a few minutes a day to start. Say nice things to yourself, do something kind for you, and model self-love to show your kids how important it is to love and appreciate oneself.
In addition to loving yourself, invest in yourself. Many moms feel like when they have children, they lose their identity. Anything they were before kids--a painter, engineer, avid stamp collector (you get the idea)--suddenly wasn't important anymore.
You became a mom, and all of a sudden, being a mom was all you were supposed to do. But, when you let go of everything that once made you who you are, you can feel a little empty inside.
So, don't stop learning and growing, not just as a mom but as a woman. Pursue your passions, learn something new, try something scary or uncomfortable. You'll start to fill that tiny hole you didn't quite understand and feel more complete. You'll also boost your confidence, and all of this translates to a happier mom.
Don't you want your children to grow up happy, confident, and independent? Well, the best way to help your children develop these skills is to model them in your own life.
If you're always stressed, frustrated, and angry, these negative emotions can cloud how to be a good mother. Plus, your kids see you. They start to think that's how they should respond to the world. They also pick up on your emotions, and your mood becomes their mood.
In those moments when you feel like you're going to blow your top, try to stop and breathe first. Tell yourself, little eyes are watching, and refocus your energy in a positive way.
Everyone makes mistakes; it’s basically a natural law. So, why do we beat ourselves up so much when we forget to pack our kid's school snack or forget to pick up baby wipes at the store?
Mistakes have a fundamental purpose. They help us become better people. When you make a mistake, you can learn from it. Reflect on what happened, assess what you could have done differently, and use it as an opportunity to improve.
Going hand in hand with embracing mistakes is forgetting about the fantasy of perfection. It's an unreachable goal, and if you always desire to be perfect, you'll get disappointed every time.
If you're marveling at how those moms on Instagram do it, keeping it all together with gorgeous make-up to boot, stop. It's not the full story; they're showing their highlights reel, just like a movie trailer.
For them, they need to appear perfect; maybe it's because they really feel so lost or all over the place. Or perhaps they just need the praise and attention. But they aren't you, momma, and nobody's perfect.
When it comes down to it, your kid wants nothing more than to be with you and have your attention. Sure, you might question this when they reach their teen years, but really, momma, you're your kid's hero.
So, pretend you're Wonder Woman and battle alongside your little Superman or Supergirl. Build a train station out of LEGOS, then panic as dinosaurs try to trample it. Play with your children, paint a picture, get messy, splash in puddles--warning: you might enjoy it.
You and your child probably have lots of similarities and even more differences, including years between you. This can make it challenging to understand why your child does some of the things they do. You might not get why they want a particular toy so badly or why they can't stand when their peas touch their mashed potatoes.
And when you don't understand something. You can get frustrated. So take a step back and try to see things from your child's perspective. Gaining a better understanding of your child is an essential step in learning how to be a good mother.
Finally, if you genuinely want to be the best mother to your child, you'll admit when you need a helping hand. There's a reason they say it takes a village to raise a child; you weren't meant to do this alone. Find someone you trust to help out, and if someone offers help, don't be ashamed to accept it.
Which of these tips for how to be a good mother do you find the most challenging? No matter what your greatest struggle is, momma, MamaZen has just the right resources and tools to help.
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