As a mother, I can honestly say that even though I do my best, I know I come up short. My guess would be that most moms feel that way. I have yet to meet a mom who says, “I’ve got this and I never mess up.” If you meet her, please send her my way. I want to know her secret.
The thing is, moms are meant to make mistakes. Our quest shouldn’t be for perfection, because we won’t ever achieve that. Rather, it should be about whether or not we are learning lessons along the way. Are we taking every experience, good and bad, and using it to make us better mothers and better people?
I think getting this motherhood thing right can feel impossible at times. Just when it seems like we’ve got the hang of it, something happens and we are left feeling tired and wondering what went wrong. But I have some good news to share. There are little things we can do as women that will ultimately make us better moms and better women. These suggestions definitely won’t make your motherhood journey mistake-free (nothing will do that), but they will help you work towards feeling better about your motherhood skills.
- Take better care of your health. So many of us have this “superwoman” syndrome, and we think everyone in our lives will be better off if we just do more. Do you want the truth? Everyone in your life isn’t your priority, your kids are, and they will be better off if you are in good health. Make medical appointments and keep them. Eat well. Exercise. Do all the things you want your children to do one day. Your kids will determine what their priorities should be by watching you.
- Work on your marriage. We tend to neglect our marriages and put all of our focus on our children, but our marriages need our attention, too. We assume that if we just focus on meeting all the needs that our children have, our marriage stuff we work itself out. That doesn’t happen, though. Remember, if your marriage is unhappy or it begins to fall apart, it will have a negative impact on your children. Plus, improving your marriage minimizes the stress in that area of your life, and it also gives you a partner you can comfortably turn to for help with everything. The less stress you have to manage in your marriage, the better off you are as a mom.
- Say “no” more often. You really can’t be everything to everyone without neglecting your own needs and coming pretty close to losing it. If you say “no” more often to the 101 requests that come your way, I bet you will find a lot more time to say “yes” to your children and to yourself. And if I do say so myself, saying “no” can be pretty darn liberating.
- Get more rest. I can tell you from experience that although I respect and appreciate the hustle because I hustle hard so I can leave a legacy of wealth for my children, I have learned (the hard way) that not everyone can function well without rest. Know what your body needs and when it starts to cry for rest, get the rest you need. A tired mommy makes for a stressed out, cranky mommy. Your kids deserve better.
- Find a safe space. Whether it’s your girlfriends, your sisters or some other group of women you belong to, you must find a place you can turn to where you can let our your fears and candidly discuss what weighs heavy on your mind and spirit. Without that safe space, we start to carry too much on our own and the burden doesn’t just weigh us down, but it begins to weigh on our babies, too.
BMWK moms, what are some things you do that make you a better mom?