There’s no such thing as a perfect mom, a perfect father or a perfect parent!
Being a mom doesn’t come with a hand book, an instruction manual or even a glass of wine for that matter! I’ve found that it’s all trial and error, putting your best foot forward, and learning from your failures and your successes.
I know mom’s that have been brought to tears because their child has had one too many tantrums.
I’ve felt defeated when I couldn’t have lunch with Niah at school because I had to work instead.
I could go on and on with stories from moms who are discouraged and overwhelmed. The most important thing mom, is not to beat yourself up! I guarantee that despite how you feel, you look like a hero in your child’s eyes.
Little Ways to Help You Be a Better Mom
1. Date Your Kiddos
The most important part of being a mom is spending quality time with your children. The same way you take the time to plan dates with your spouse it should be the same for your children.
There is a two year age difference between Niah and KJ. Niah is now in her double digits, her interest are changing and shes starting to mature. As a result, it’s important for me that I set aside time for just her and I without her little brother being a bother. So, I started planning mother daughter dates for us where we can get away from the guys and bond just the two of us.
In turn, I also take KJ away on mother son dates where he can be a total boy free of his big sisters influence. So far, its going great!
It can be something as simple as a trip to the park or a picnic in the yard. Whatever you choose it’s the memories created that will last a lifetime.
2. Pamper Yourself
As a Mom, if you’re not your best self it’s impossible to give anyone else the best of you. Pampering yourself is important! Designating “me” time is important.
It allows you to to recharge and refocus.
As a mom, I am the one running the kids to practice. I am the one ironing clothes for the next day, doing hair and helping with homework. Although I wouldn’t trade being a mom for the world it can be tiring. Especially when you are always the one giving. But I’m a happy girl when I can slip away and close the door and read for an hour. I’m even happier when I can play some soft music and soak in a warm bubble bath. Admit it! You know you are too!
Polish your nails, do your makeup, soak up some suds, sip a glass of your favorite wine, read a good book, exercise your way to renewed energy. Do whatever makes you happy!
Once you’re in that relaxed state of mind you will find that you are much more patient with your children and you’re more willing to make the sacrifices needed to make your household run smoothly with a pleasant attitude.
3. Set Goals With Your Children
Set attainable goals with your children. It’s never too early to start goal setting.
For your toddler, the goal could be for him/her to be potty trained by a certain date or for them to learn how to tie their shoes by a certain date.
For your 7-year-old the goal could be to save $15 by a certain date.
For your 10-year-old the goal could be to learn one sentence in another language by a certain date.
Once the goal is set discuss it with your child, work together and encourage them. It’s not only teaching them the fundamentals of setting and accomplishing goals in life but it’s also preparing them for the real world and it’s instilling in them that all things are possible with preparation and hard work.
I am such a book worm that I want my children to find the same joy in learning and acquiring knowledge. They now find great joy in our trips to the library. I talk to them before hand and let them know how many books they can check out. I then aid them in their book picks to make sure that they are age appropriate and challenging enough. I then help them set reading goals. It can be to read a chapter a day or for my son who is younger it is sometimes to read two pages a day.
Happy Goal Setting!
4. Help Your Children Save
While I’m guilty of giving my children some things that they ask for without always making them earn and save funds to get what they want I do realize the importance of teaching children to save early on.
Niah and KJ have little chores that they are responsible for. Whatever they earn they have to save half. For example, if they earn $1 they have to save half of that.
It’s never too early to have the financial talk with your child. Purchase them a little piggy bank from the dollar store and have them save a penny a day or a nickel a day.
My kid’s now find great joy in putting their own money in their piggy banks themselves. If its ever a time that I forget they are my little reminders.
A penny or a nickel may not seem like much now but it will add up to something great in the future!
5. Teach Your Children Something New
I wish that I had used my youth to constantly learn and grow. Realizing this now I want my children to constantly learn, grow and be exposed to all positive fundamentals in life.
Children are always eager to learn and absorb new information. Catch them while their mind is young and fresh!
Niah is always requesting to help me cook so why not teach her!?! KJ is always asking his father to help him do a back flip so he goes for it!
Maybe you will teach your child how to bake a pie, or maybe your daughter will learn to sew. Maybe your son will learn how to properly pump gas or cut the grass. Maybe they will learn how to iron clothes or sign language.
Whatever you teach them can be something big or small. But whatever it is make it age appropriate and continue to equip your children with the knowledge and skills to be able to enter the real world and kill it with their knowledge and abilities.
Continue to search for new things to feed their curiosity with, its never too early…
6. Put Your Phone Down
Our kids are watching our every move!
They are constantly fighting for our attention while we are sending one last text, or editing one last photo. Don’t be selfish!
As my children are getting older I realize I’m missing out on valuable time by forcing them to compete with my smart phone.
That notification will still be there after your kids go to bed. That email will still be there after you play a game with your child. The gossip will still be there after you give your child a tight hug.
So put your phone down and spend time with them. Everything else can wait!
7. Take a Social Media Break
This past February I took a Facebook break. I deactivated my page and deleted the app from my phone so that I wouldn’t be tempted to sign back in.
I’m not gone lie, the first few days were challenging. However, after a while I grew to not miss it at all.
I enjoyed being out with my family and not feeling obligated to check-in or post a photo. I was able to truly enjoy our experiences without forcing my children to pose for a picture or stopping to create a status.
I honestly had the most positive refreshing break. Sometimes social media can be so negative and before you know it you unknowingly bring that vibe into your household. Your attitude change and you start struggling to figure out why. Little do you know its that death you just read about, or the Ex that just got married, the friend who’s leading the life you “think” you want, or the fit friend with the six-pack while you sporting your muffin top.
Stop letting this stuff manifest in your spirit!
I know I was tired of logging on and seeing my news feed drowning in sorrow. I grew tired of being so consumed that I was neglecting other things that I needed to accomplish.
8. Ask Your Kids Advice
My daughter and I find great joy in shopping together. I have her zip up my dress or pick out things that she think I may like. Once I get my cute little items on I always ask her if she likes it? Does it fit okay? Is the color complimenting? Etc.
Find the one thing you and your child can bond over and get their advice.
Let them taste the spaghetti sauce and ask them how it taste. Ask them their opinion on what snack you should have during your movie or where you should sit at the beach.
Whatever you do just include them in the decision making process when you can. It forces them to think, evaluate, communicate, express themselves and most importantly it boosts their self esteem and helps them to feel valued and appreciated.
There’s no such thing as too young. Your 3-year-old will give their unwarranted opinion real fast!
Start helping to develop those critical thinking skills while they’re young.
9. Talk to Your Children
Talk you your children!
On the car ride home from school, at night when you are tucking them in bed, at the dinner table over a meal. It doesn’t matter when or where just do it!
Kids are so impressionable and they’re constantly learning things from sources outside of the home, friends, school, teammates, and television. They’re bound to have questions!
Unfortunately, our children don’t always feel comfortable opening up to their parents. As a result, talking to them, asking questions and letting them know you’re there to answer any questions they may have can possibly save your child from peer pressure situations, them hiding bullying situations or getting a false definition by someone outside your home.
Also, talking to your child at a young age helps them form sentences, learn new words, express themselves, it teaches them manners and can boost their confidence.
The first thing I ask Niah and KJ when I pick them up from school is how their day was and what they learned that day. Sometimes they hit me with the one word answer but you better believe I dig deeper!
You can learn so much by just asking them how their day was. Try it!
10. Eat Dinner Together
Nothing symbolizes family more than when everyone is sitting at the dinner table.
It’s the one place no phones should be allowed, no television should be heard or no music should be played.
Conversation should be had over a meal where grace is said and the music exuded is from forks clinking against plates and the crunch of food telling the responsible party just how good the food really is.
It’s a time for parents to talk to their children, for future plans to be made, where laughter is loud and the true definition of family is shared over a meal.
We all know that life isn’t perfect! As a result, a hectic day may find you at the nearest fast food restaurant. But don’t beat yourself up! As you can still use this opportunity to create the family tradition of eating together whether it be inside the restaurant or eating in the car on the way to soccer practice or dance lessons.
Just do your best to set aside this small amount of time to flourish and invest in your family.
At 10-years-old, Niah tells me all the time that her favorite part of the day is when we eat together as a family:) I’m so confident that this tradition will continue when she grows up and starts a family of her own and for that I’m one happy mom!
What family traditions do you have with your children? I would love to hear all about it.
What are you waiting for!?! GO OWN YOUR FANCY!