Being a Mom means you are facing new challenges every day.
With every challenge, you realize you are still learning to become a better Mom. I am going to share my theory with you – the whole idea of a continuous improvement plan came from a Mom!
As a mother, my greatest accomplishment was raising my sons to truly become healthy, productive adults. Indeed this was no small feat! Ron was in prison and my amazing sons provided me with many opportunities to face the fact that I did not know everything. In fact some days, I was convinced I was a complete failure as a mom. Like when I sent my son to his baseball game in a wet, smelly uniform because I fell asleep before the washer was finished and forgot about it the next morning. Even his socks were wet. That was a total mom-fail.
In fact there were more days that I wondered if I was a complete screw-up then there were days that I felt like I was winning at this Mom role I was trying to master. In the end, I must say, I truly have accomplished my mothering goal with my sons. They are men I am so very proud of—great fathers, hard workers, and dedicated husbands.
Now, I am raising my daughter.
She delivers a whole new set of challenges to me. I am up for the challenge, and I am much more confident as a mom. I know I am a great mom–and not because my sons tell me I am. It is because I work hard at becoming a better mom every day. That is what great moms do; become better. There is no such thing as a perfect mother. We just have to keep working on becoming better.
Raising kids is a challenging, and co-parenting is an even greater challenge. Put one of the parents in prison, and it sounds like a Mission Impossible assignment. In many ways, it is impossible to co-parent in the traditional sense of partnering. However, with a little ingenuity and a lot of creativity, it can be done. Kids need both of their parents involved in their lives.
Here are 10 ways you can be a better mom:
- Learn from your mistakes. Yes, I do mean your mistakes. You are going to make mistakes—but that is not the end of the world and does not make you a Bad Mom. Learn from them, and then move on.
- Hug your kids every single day. Giving them a hug reminds them they have a mom who cares. It also reminds you of why you work so hard to be the best mom you can be.
- Forgive quickly. Your kids are going to make mistakes, they will break things, spill things, and disobey you. Address the disobedience firmly, and fairly, then forgive.
- Encourage more. Take every opportunity to encourage your children to learn, to try again, to celebrate successes, and also to learn from their mistakes. By encouraging them, you are furthermore instilling a sense of empowerment. They will be prepared to meet the world as responsible adults instead of waiting for you to fix everything for them.
- Criticize less. It is easy to focus on the things that you don’t like. But let the little things go – they need the freedom to express themselves and learn who they are. Hairstyles, mismatched clothing, hobbies, activities they want to participate in… with this in mind, let them decide and keep your opinions to yourself.
- Guide them. Do not fix it for them, provide guidance for them. Help them learn to problem-solve on their own.
- Let them fail. Do not rush in to fix their mistakes. This is after “guide them” for a reason. Give them advice, teach your children how to make decisions and then let them make their decisions.
- Talk to your children about the important stuff. Let them know the dangers of drugs, alcohol, sex, violence, smoking, and bad friends. after all, it is your responsibility to tell them the truth about harmful habits and unhealthy behaviors.
- Never give up. This one is important because there will be days you want to! You will be tired of arguing, of holding your ground, you will feel worn down and want to just give in for some peace. But you cannot. Stand your ground, then help them learn boundaries and consequences.
- Love them unconditionally. Let them know you have rules you expect them to follow, but also let them know you will not define them by their worst moments in life. Remind them of your love when they feel unlovable as much as you do when they are your perfect darlings. Their actions should not determine your love for them – only your trust. Children need to know the difference.
These 10 ways to become a better mom will help you parent your children through every challenge you will face.
I am rooting for you!