How to be a better mom – starting today.
You can feel it simmering deep down before it has a chance to come roaring to the surface.
You’re busy, too busy for silly questions from a 10-year-old and much too busy to play Princess with your toddler.
Impatiently, you start tapping your foot and your mind starts spiraling.
You’re trying to focus on the task you’re doing, but with all the toys scattering the living room, the constant questions from your kids, and the loud “ROAR” coming out of your son’s mouth as he thrashes through his sister’s castle, you can’t focus worth squat.
And you know there’s no point in trying.
Irritated, you shout, “QUIETER. I JUST NEED 10 MINUTES TO WRITE THIS EMAIL. CAN’T YOU JUST BE QUIET FOR THAT LONG?”
Immediately guilt overtakes you because you’ve become the mom you promised yourself you’d never be.
You’ve become the mom who yells at her kids.
The mom who loves her children feverishly and would do anything for them. But also a mom who loses her patience quickly and yells before she gets the chance to calm herself down.
The mom who is guilt-ridden and feeling defeated.
And you’re left wondering how you can be a better mom and not yell at your kids, because every time it happens, you promise yourself you’ll never do it again – but then it’s not long before the stress of motherhood boils up and spills over again.
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How to be a better mom to your children (+ how to be a happier mom)
There’s one thing so many moms neglect to realize:
YOU are the best mother for your child. God placed this child in your care for a reason.
They. Need. You.
And you need them more than you realize.
If you often find yourself feeling down, guilty and wondering how to be a happy mom, here are the 9 things you can practice every day to become a better (and happier) mom – starting today…
1. Let it slide
This is one of the hardest things to do, because when someone does something that frustrates you, causes you to become angry, and flat-out makes you want to blow up… the last thing you want to do is “let it go”.
But until you do, you’ll find yourself welling with frustration and the guilt-cycle will continue to spin as long as you continue to let the little things get under your skin.
Challenge yourself to let one thing go today.
If your child spills grape juice on the white living room carpet after you specifically informed them to drink it at the table, choose to let it slide. (And get one of these. Stat.)
You will still want to let them know that what they did was wrong and correct them for not listening to you, but choose to not blow up over it.
Speak calmly, help them clean it up, and then let it go.
(This means you can’t bring it up in 5 days when you’re frustrated. It’s in the past and you’ve let it go. It’s gone. It has lost all of its power.)
Choose one thing each and every day to let slide, then when you find it becoming easier, choose two things in a day.
Then three, then four.
And so on.
Soon enough you’ll realize that all those “big massive deals” that made you blow up weren’t such a big deal in the large picture.
2. Realize that no one can change you
…if you refuse to be changed. If you’re the mother you promised you’d never be and you aren’t happy with it, it’s up to YOU to change. It’s your responsibility, not theirs.
You can’t say “I’ll change once my children’s attitudes change.”
Someone needs to take that first step. Let it be you.
Give yourself permission to change, to let go of the things that aren’t worth fighting over and to spend intentional time with your children.
3. Have times to disconnect
Take at least an hour each and every day where you spend it face-to-face with your children, with no cellphone, computer, or TV in sight.
Don’t make any calls, don’t answer any emails, don’t watch a show, and don’t scroll through Facebook.
Take the hour to be completely present with your children.
4. Wake up earlier
Whether you’ve got twins who wake up every hour through the night or a child who sleeps 12 hours straight, set an alarm at least once a week to wake up earlier than anyone in the household.
DO NOT use this time to get a head start on checking things off your to-do list.
DO use this time to just sit. Watch the sunset, do devotions (this devotional is incredible), or read a book.
Take this time to do something quiet where you can just think, appreciate the beauty of the world, and be still.
Use this to do more of what fills your soul.
5. Make a gratitude list and appreciate it
This list isn’t a page full of to-dos, but rather a page full of things you’re grateful for.
Write down 5 things every day, then make an effort to appreciate each of those things during the day.
Maybe you’re grateful for your 5-month-old’s gummy smile.
Maybe you appreciate that your 10-year-old helps set the table.
Or, perhaps you’re grateful to live somewhere that you have the ability to just sit and watch the sunset.
You could be grateful that your spouse helps clean the house when he gets home from work.
It doesn’t matter what it is, all that matters is that you take note of it.
6. Become a “slow mom”
As moms, we rush our little ones to get dressed just a little bit faster, to walk faster, to stop getting distracted by a butterfly and help you clean up toys.
And then we wonder why the years go by so fast and we don’t know how our little baby is already 5.
Practice taking time to be a slow mom.
Don’t rush your kids. Let them learn how to tie their shoes and admire the beauty of a sidewalk flower that found its way through the hard ground.
Let them put their shoes on the wrong feet and take the time to correct it themselves.
Let them live slow.
Because all too soon, they’re going to be 25 and in the middle of a life that’s filled with work, bills, friends, family, and all too many responsibilities and they’ll long for the days when they could dig for worms in the backyard or spend hours running through the sprinkler on a warm summer’s day.
Many moms wonder “how can I be a more patient mother?” as if there’s some secret locked away that only a few lucky moms know.
But there’s no secret.
Just do life slow and enjoy the little moments.
7. Say no
And don’t feel guilty about it.
Stop adding things to your plate when you barely have enough time to catch your breath throughout the day. You don’t have to do allthethings, especially if it stresses you out.
Say no, politely, and don’t feel bad about it.
(It IS good to volunteer and help out where you can – but when it comes at the cost of your well-being, it’s time to say no to some opportunities.)
“Don’t quit!” “Give it one more month” “Only losers quit”.
It’s everywhere. The endless people exclaiming that to quit is an awful thing.
But what if the thing you’re doing stresses you out more than fills you up? What if it isn’t allowing you to fill your life with joy but is simply filling your life with being busy?
It’s time to quit the things that aren’t necessities and don’t bring you joy to make time for the things that do.
(Like sitting on the floor playing house with your kids instead of rushing off to a PTA meeting.)
9. Go for a walk
Getting out the door with children isn’t easy… or fun. But once you get outside the reward will be well worth the hard work.
Fresh air is good for the body, mind, and soul… and one of the biggest benefits is its tendency to improve yours and your children’s moods. (Here are the other benefits of walking with children.)
Give yourself grace
Not every day is going to go as smoothly as you desire, but give yourself the grace to start tomorrow off with a clean slate.
Don’t carry the failures of today with you into tomorrow. Kiss your children extra tonight, set your alarm for half an hour earlier tomorrow, and remember to take note of the things you’re extra grateful for.
So many moms wonder, “what are the qualities of a good mother… and how do I get them?” but the truth is the same for all –
The best qualities of a good mother are these:
And most importantly, being a slow mom.
Take time to enjoy the little moments; because these little moments are big moments in the eyes of a child.
You’re not perfect, no one is.
You’re simply mom. And you’re the best mom your children could have.
Download Your Free Cheat Sheet to Ditch the Mommy-Tantrums & Become a Calm Mom
- Download the free cheat sheet: The Calm Mom Checklist: do these 6 things every time you want to lose your cool. You’ll get the free printable, plus join my newsletter! Click here to download and join
- Print. Any printer paper works for this cheat sheet, and you can choose whether to use color or black ink, then grab a pen to start checking things off the list.
- Keep it somewhere central and easily accessible, like the fridge.