Inside: Want to learn how to quit your mommy-tantrums once and for all and be a good mom? (Plus, learn what makes a “good” mom, anyway.) Here’s a quick list of pick-me-ups for the days when you feel like you’re the worst mom in the world.
I knew it was going to be a bad day from the second I opened my eyes in the morning.
I’d barely got a wink of sleep that night, my son was crying like it was the end of the world and refused to be calmed down.
As I was getting my husband’s lunch prepared I spilled the coffee, dropped food on the floor, all while simultaneously bouncing a baby and trying not to pull my hair out or snap at someone.
It didn’t matter who…
…but the next person to say or do something was about to get full-on mom wrath.
This was not my best mom moment. In fact, the entire day went in a downward spiral because I let my moody morning set the tone for the rest of the day… and for everyone in the household.
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Here’s the thing about being a “good mom”
Just because you’re having a bad day, doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom. Just because you lost your temper for the 100th time this week (and it’s only Tuesday)… doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom.
Your emotions don’t determine whether you’re a bad mom or a good mom.
Here’s the thing…
Being a good mom doesn’t mean you’re happy 24/7. It doesn’t mean you never get frustrated or lose your temper. It doesn’t even mean that you never yell at your kids.
Let’s get one thing out of the way:
If your goal is to be a perfect mom, it’s unrealistic and you’re setting yourself up for failure after failure – because NO ONE is perfect.
But, there are ways that you can lighten the atmosphere of your home and family and start to be a happy, joyful, and good mom.
How to be a good mom in 13 fail-proof steps
“Good” and “joyful” go hand in hand. Your children need a mom who chooses to see the bright side of a situation, a mom who doesn’t dwell on the negative but looks for a positive. A mom who is trying to better herself day after day. But also a mom who isn’t afraid to admit when she’s wrong, apologize, and try again.
That is what makes a good mom.
Being perfect? That doesn’t make you a good mom…
…because there’s no such thing as perfect.
Here are 13 things you can do every day to learn how to be a good mom – a better mom.
1. Accept responsibility
You and ONLY YOU are responsible for your actions and the things you say and do.
When your child spills grape juice on the brand new white carpets after you specifically asked them to keep the juice in the kitchen and off the carpets, ONLY YOU are responsible for the way you react to the situation.
Sure, you didn’t have control over what happened…
But the good news is that you do have control over what happens next.
The first step in learning how to be a good mom is accepting responsibility for your own actions, and deciding that despite the actions of your children, you will decide how you will respond to their actions.
Whether you respond positively or negatively is 100% in your control.
Only you are responsible for determining the way you react.
>> Do your kids struggle with sleep? Here’s a science-backed way to get any kid to sleep better.
2. Find something to be thankful for right now
Do you find yourself dreaming for the days when your kids will be older and tantrums will be a thing of the past? Or, maybe this week has been particularly hard, and you’re holding out for a new week and a fresh start.
Studies have been done to show that daydreaming about a better time may actually make you more miserable, so it’s best to find something in the now to be grateful for.
Focusing on the task at hand can boost your happiness, instead of dreaming about “what it would be like…”
“Can you really be happy while calming a toddler tantrum?”
Well, you’ll have a more enjoyable (enjoyable?) time and be less irritable while doing it if you focus on what you’re doing, not daydreaming about what life would be like if your toddler was finally old enough to be out of the tantruming age.
3. Become devoted
We’re not just talking about being devoted to your family (though that’s important too). Be devoted to your devotions every day to better yourself.
(Remember, you can’t control the actions of others, but you can control the way you respond.)
And whether you respond in a positive or negative way will solely depend on where you stand with yourself, your family, and most importantly – your faith.
This devotional is a perfect choice for moms since the daily devotions are incredibly short (we’re talking less than 5 minutes) but so, so effective.
Learning how to sincerely apologize and admit your mistakes when you’re wrong is important for becoming a good mom. It shows humility, vulnerability, honesty, and grows trust. And it teaches your children from a young age to admit when their wrong and accept full responsibility for their wrongdoing.
5. Disconnect. Then connect.
At the very least, spend half an hour a day disconnected from your phone, social media, and TV, and disconnected from your daily tasks…
…then connect with your kids.
Talk, play, and spend uninterrupted and undistracted time with your kids.
Spending quality time with your kids each day creates a healthy connection and positive attention.
When you put the phone down to focus on your kid, you’re telling them “you are more important than this device. I am interested in you.“
No child should feel like they have to compete with a cellphone for your attention.Get 5 More Ways to Become a Calm Mom, Here.
6. Leave the house
I’m a homebody, but even I can tell that being cooped up all day without leaving the house for so much as a 10 minute walk is enough to drive everyone crazy.
But, simply getting out of the house and going to the mall isn’t enough. As humans, our bodies thrive when we get time in nature.
So try to make a regular habit out of packing up the kids and getting everybody out for a walk or hike somewhere away from the city and out in nature.
7. Get up earlier
Do you roll out of bed in the morning to the sound of a crying baby, or do you wait for the toddlers to turn the TV on in the living room before scrounging up enough energy to get up?
Getting up earlier? Yeah, right.
Maybe you were up in the middle of the night changing the bedsheets of a toddler who had an accident. Maybe the baby woke up and wanted to play.
Which means you’re going to want every second of sweet, sweet sleep that you can get.
But getting up earlier?
That is what will help you be more equipped to face the day. Getting up earlier will help you be in a better mood throughout the day, it will cause you to feel more motivated to get things done, and you’ll feel better.
I know what it feels like to gather every ounce of energy just to drag yourself out of bed at 4:30 in the morning when you’ve been up with a crying baby at night.
But I also know that getting up before anyone else in the household gives me some time to myself before the house starts bustling. It allows me time to do my devotions in peace and quiet.
It allows me to get those last-minute projects finished so when the kids do get up, I’m not getting frustrated at them for being in the way or talking to me while I’m trying to focus.
Getting up early will equip you with a good mood to face the day.
(Be sure you’re still getting adequate sleep. Go to bed earlier and get yourself some of these to help boost your energy.)
8. Give yourself a time out
Timeouts aren’t just for misbehaving kids.
If you feel yourself getting worked up and you know your lid is about to blow, give yourself a timeout.
Go to your room and spend 10 minutes in there doing something that rejuvenates you. That could be taking a shower, reading a chapter of a book, resting, praying, reading the Bible, or simply looking out the window and just breathing.
Stay in your room for at least 10 minutes, or until you calm down.
9. It’s not about you
When your 3-year-old is throwing a fit, remind yourself that it’s not about you. They are having a bad day. Your child is struggling with her emotions and letting them control her. It’s not about you.
Something you may have done (say, “no”) may have set her off, but the root problem is coming from somewhere else.
This isn’t to excuse your child’s behavior, but it’s a good thing to keep in mind when fits get thrown to help keep your emotions in check, so that you can deal with the situation in a calm manner.
10. Eat breakfast
It’s easy to skip breakfast as a busy mom. Most mornings, there simply isn’t enough time to think about breakfast for yourself. You’re too busy making food for your kids, packing lunches, getting everyone dressed, never mind getting yourself presentable enough to go out in public.
Breakfast? Out of the question.
But – studies have been done that show eating a healthy breakfast will positively impact your mood, which, in turn, will impact the course of your entire day.
Getting up earlier will allow you some extra time to take care of things before the house starts bustling, which will give you time to sit down and eat breakfast with your kids before heading out for the day.
11. Shake it up & shake it off
Exercise helps fight off stress by boosting your endorphins, which means when your kids are at each other’s throats or throwing endless tantrums, turning on some tunes and having a full-family dance party is the perfect way to calm a case of the crankies.
12. Prioritize your spouse
The best thing you can do for your kids?
Prioritize your spouse and your marriage.
Kids are like sponges – soaking in anything and everything around them. They learn how to act, how to react, how to treat others, how to practice gratitude, and how to grow into mature, responsible adults, all from their parents.
By putting your marriage before your kids, you’re doing them a huge favor in their future success and relationships.
13. Label feelings
Don’t make your child feel worthless by telling them something’s not a big deal when it is to them. Instead, help your child react to their emotions and feelings in a healthy way by labelling feelings – both yours and theirs.
When you’re angry, tell your kids “I’m feeling angry…” or, “I’m feeling upset,” or, “I’m feeling hurt,” this helps your children learn from example that it is okay to have these feelings, and teaches them how to deal with the feelings.
It also validates the big feelings they’re feeling and tells them they’re important and that it’s okay to have emotions, they don’t need to hide them away or bottle them up.
Struggle to get your kids to sleep? This is the best bedtime routine for babies & toddlers that will teach them to love bedtime.
The one thing you should be doing every day to be a better mom
The one most vital thing you can do to help your child is read to them out loud – even if they know how to read on their own.
Reading aloud to your child grows curiosity, builds motivation, and stimulates their memory.
It also increases your child’s attention span.
I know, I know.
Trying to read to a 1-year-old who has the attention span about as stellar as a goldfish isn’t the most fun thing to do in the world. However, one way you can fight against that short attention span is by reading aloud to your child.
It may not seem like they’re grasping anything from the book (instead, they’re watching a butterfly flying outside the window), but reading to your child is incredibly beneficial for their attention span, as well as other things, including:
- Improved vocabulary
- Bonding with your child
- A better ability to grasp the subject matter
- Stimulates imagination
What about when my child is old enough to read on their own?
Studies have been conducted to show that parents that read aloud to their children usually stop reading to them around age 5, assuming the kid can benefit just as much from reading to themselves.
However, reading to older kids still merits all the same benefits as reading to younger kids, the important thing is to have age-appropriate books to keep even the older kids engaged in stories.
Best books for kids
Here are the best books for kids under 1 year old:
- Goodnight Moon – Margaret Wise Brown
- Little Blue Truck – Alice Schertle
- Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes – Mem Fox
- Guess How Much I Love You – Sam McBratney
- Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See? – Bill Martin & Eric Carle
When choosing books for babies you want to choose short and sweet indestructible books (books that won’t damage from being chewed and slobbered on). Here are a few tips for when it comes to buying books for babies under 1 year old…
- Books with rhythm
- Books with bright colors
- Books with textures, flaps, and mirrors
- Short books
- Books with thick pages (specifically board books)
Here are the top 5 books for toddlers:
- Green Eggs and Ham – Dr. Seuss
- What Are Stars? – Katie Daynes
- Vehicles (touch, think, learn) – Xavier Deneux
- Roary the Lion Roars Too Loud – Ame Dyckman
- A Good Day for a Hat – T. Nat Fuller
When picking books for toddlers, it’s best to choose books with little writing on each page as not to overwhelm them, books that pique their curiosity, and books that are educational, in a fun way.
Here are the top 5 books for kids 5+:
- The Kissing Hand – Audrey Penn
- Stuck – Oliver Jeffers
- The Baby Tree – Sophie Blackall
- What is Poop? – Usborne
- Boogie Bear – David Walliams
Books for kids ages 5 and over are best when they’re educational, engaging, and spark interest. These books could have deep meaning to them that encourage important questions between kids and their parents.
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.
What’s something you do every day to become a better mom? What do you do that makes you happy and fills you up and enables you to pour out to your family day after day? We’d love to hear from you – feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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