Tips to Be A Better Mom
By: Beth Aldrich
Being a mother is very rewarding, especially knowing that you are taking care of your children’s physical and emotional needs to become happy and healthy individuals. If you’re like me, you’re always on a quest to find more ways to continue on your path to awesome mom-dom. Here are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way.
- Be patient. Being a parent is challenging; let’s face it, children can try your patience at times, be a bit demanding and sometimes even out of control. But, the more you hear this phrase, the more you will do it. Take a moment, step back and take a deep breath. When you see the forest from the trees, you will realize that they are works in progress, just beginning to grow and learn from your behavior. If you’re out of control, unorganized and demanding, so will they. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
- Be the parent, not the pal. The key word here is boundaries. Say what you mean and mean what you say. No is no and that’s final. Your children won’t like you every minute of every day, but the proof is in the pudding; they will love and respect you more if you set the bar high and stick to your word.
- L-I-S-T-E-N. I can’t tell you how many times my sons have said to me, “Mommy, you aren’t listening to me.” I was so busy lecturing that I didn’t give them a chance to speak. We all assume we know so much more than our kids, but sometimes they will surprise you. Sometimes kids just want to be heard, not lectured to. By listening to our children, we teach them to listen, too.
- Drop the guilt trip. To this day, I can still remember my grandmother’s guilt trips that she’d lay on my mother (even when my mother was an adult). Avoid laying guilt on yourself for taking time “for yourself” and remember not to lay it on your children, either. Just do the best you can and know that you love your children with all your heart and the rest will fall into place.
- The imperfect perfectionist. When you always expect perfection, you’re bound to be disappointed. Living with children offers many messy turns and detours along the way; just roll with the punches and accept that your house will look perfect when you retire!
- Keep it simple, silly. Life is complicated enough, why not give your children a simple, less stressed and uncluttered life? With the new national mindset on living green, try to teach your children the value of having less things and borrowing more (library, sharing with friends, etc.). You’ll feel more free and easy.
- Whoa Nelly. I am the last person to say, don’t push your children to the point of frustration, but it’s true. Overachieving doesn’t always lead to happiness. My new mantra is “live a happy life and success will follow”. When your child is living what Ayurvedic philosophy calls, living your Dharma, or purpose, they then will find true happiness.
- Be your own woman. Just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean your not a painter, runner or chef. You can be all of that, as long as you have your priorities straight. When your children see you living your (Dharma) purpose, you begin to model for them what true happiness and purpose is. Continue living your dream as your children create their own.
- Love Thyself. When you teach children to love themselves, you give them a wonderful gift. It’s not being conceited or vain, rather, it’s self-respect and self esteem. Children with high self esteem values themselves more and are more likely to be happy, successful and in healthy relationships throughout their life. To do this, just spend time with your children, talk with them and LISTEN.
- Independence Day. Feed them fruit and they eat for a day; teach them how to harvest fruit and they’ll eat forever. Teach your children that they CAN and WILL do things by themselves. By giving your children the opportunity to do things on their own, you show them that you trust them and think they are capable of responsibility. They gain a sense of accomplishment, even though you’d like them to be dependant on you forever (so you’ll be needed!).
- Live in the moment and enjoy. I often tell my children, “live in the moment, Buddha.” When they hear this they know that living in the now is the most important way to live because worrying about yesterday or tomorrow will not make you productive right now. What’s done is done and what will be will be. By living in gratitude for the moment, by laughing and having fun, children can de-stress, relax and enjoy the work of being a child. They can motivate you to live like a child, too. By making a mess, living carefree and following your passions, you can enjoy and savor this moment—right now!