How To Be a Good Mother: Start With Ditching Perfectionism

A mom’s job description is constantly evolving. From pregnancy to raising a baby or toddler and eventually letting her kids go to explore the big wide world. Many mothers wonder, am I doing a good job?

While there’s no such thing as a perfect mom, most agree specific characteristics qualify a mother as doing her best. And if you’re reading this article, there’s a high chance you’re already doing a great job.

As a mom, it’s up to you to create a warm, safe environment for your children to help them become well-rounded and successful adults – all while keeping your sanity. If you’re wondering how to be a good mother, the following tips will help.

The Golden Rule: Remember Perfectionism Is Not The Goal in Motherhood

As a mom striving to be her best, it’s time to ditch the shoulds and absolutes for a more flexible mindset. Instead, aim for being a good enough mom, which means excellence but not perfection.

Rather than try to be a supermom, set realistic expectations, and don’t be too hard on yourself when mistakes or parenting fails happen. Moms focused on unrealistic perfectionism will find their energy levels drain quickly, and they become less present.

16 Practical Tips on How To Be a Good Mother

Being a good mother doesn’t require fitting a mold or checking certain boxes on a parenthood to-do list. Motherhood is a job that starts with pregnancy and never ends.

These 16 tips illustrate being a mom is an ever-evolving learning process.

1. Be Supportive Without Pushing Your Agenda

When mothering, trying to live vicariously through our children can be tempting. However, each child has their journey and interests to pursue as they grow up. Embracing their little personalities and supporting them in their endeavors is essential; make sure it’s for their benefit, not yours.

2. Be There for Your Kids Without Smothering Them

Allow your kids to try new things and make their own mistakes. Plus, let them find their own creative way to do something. It can be tempting to take over when things don’t go how you want them to, but your kids will benefit greatly from having the space to make their own choices.

3. Recognize The Importance of Self-Care

Being a good mother is only possible if you care for yourself mentally and physically. Making time for relaxation, hobbies, and friendships is vital for mommy self-care; it will help boost your mood, prevent burnout, and make you a better mom.

4. Ask For Help

The willingness to ask for help is also an essential part of self-care. Don’t be afraid or feel like you’re a burden to others. Your true family and friends are happy to be there for you when needed. Or if you don’t know anyone to ask for help, look into hiring help (childcare, cleaning service, etc.) instead. Getting help is not a sign of weakness and sets an excellent example for your kids.

5. Just Say No

Learn to say no to activities and events you don’t want to do rather than feeling obligated to do it all. Our kids don’t need an extracurricular schedule packed to the brim; they need time to be themselves with you and feel loved and connected. Juggling a million things is not great for your mental health.

6. Change Your Mindset About Being a Mother

Motherhood is a lifetime commitment. Focus on doing your best and what works for your family. Don’t worry about what other families, moms, or kids are doing; trust your maternal instinct.

Examples of moms in different stages of life include:

  • All babies require different amounts of sleep, food (whether breastfeeding or bottle feeding), and nurturing, requiring different parenting skills and techniques.
  • Toddlers are meant to challenge parents as they explore their independence. Remember this and embrace it even when they’re driving you crazy.
  • Reframing your thinking to view parenting moments as experiences rather than failures.
  • Lowering the bar for the day and celebrating the small victories.
  • Shifting your focus away from perfection and toward progress.

7. Take Time To Connect

Connection to your children is one of the most critical aspects of being a good mother. It means giving unconditional love, being present when they speak, taking time each day for meaningful conversations, and being available to answer questions.

Kids should feel comfortable sharing their feelings and discussing topics (dreams, silly stories, serious concerns, etc.). Ultimately, this helps validate your child’s feelings and helps them nurture emotional intelligence.

8. Admit When You’re Wrong

Being transparent and showing you’re normal is an important example for kids. Bad mothers might try to blame any yelling or crying on their kids.

However, showing your humanity can help kids feel more comfortable with their own flaws and successes. Kids learn how to be emotionally secure from our behaviors, so take responsibility when needed and admit when you’re wrong.

9. Be Proud of Yourself

It’s important to stop comparing, especially in a world saturated with others’ opinions, ideas, and photos online. Consider getting off social media if you find yourself feeling down or inadequate. Instead, boost your self-esteem and practice self-appreciation and self-love for all you do as a mom.

10. Ditch The Guilt

Most moms recall being so frustrated, stressed, or exhausted that they felt guilty for “losing it” with their kids. Or, for a moment, they dreamed of a life without kids, making them feel guilty.

But understand these moments don’t define you as a mom, whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a single mom, or a working mom. We all have our bad days, so it’s best to recognize these moments, accept them for what they are, and move forward.

11. Don’t Get Too Worked Up Over Lousy Behavior

Parents can quickly feel offended when kids misbehave, worrying it reflects their parenting. However, avoiding these automatic assumptions will help you handle these situations better.

Don’t take the behavior personally; you’ll make strides in diffusing a situation. Also, look past the behavior and see what they are asking for. For example, a child may have a tantrum because they’re hungry or tired.

12. Set Clear Rules and Boundaries

Rules are essential for kids to understand what behaviors are acceptable and unacceptable. Clear rules help kids feel safe and secure, knowing that you, as the parent, are in control. Be transparent about expectations and explain why each one is important. This will balance firmness and flexibility and help your kids build a sense of responsibility.

13. Roll With The Punches

You never know what motherhood will throw your way. Take the turbulence and chaos in stride, learn from your mistakes, and enjoy the little victories. Be confident you are doing your best to become your best self.

14. Remember, Each Difficulty Is Just a Season

Negative moments don’t last forever. Remember to step back and look at the big picture when discouraged. Stay as present as possible with the assurance each stage of life with kids has unique challenges and triumphs.

15. Enjoy Each Stage of Life

While some days will be about survival, hopefully, you can find joy in the small moments that’ll be gone before you know it. Enjoy the adventure that comes with motherhood.

While it may seem cliche, time really does fly by when raising kids. Embracing motherhood will help preserve these memories for years to come.

16. Be Silly and Laugh

Finally, remember to have fun and laugh with your kids. Life can seem like a never-ending journey of tasks, but enjoying every stage and making time for play is essential. Laughing and playing games together is a great way to foster a positive connection with your kids, plus you’ll reap the mental health benefits of laughter.

How To Make Small Meaningful Changes

While reading the list of tips, you may have found a few ideas you’d like to incorporate into your parenting journey. The best way to do this is to start small and make incremental changes.

Start by picking one or two things you’d like to focus on, then gradually add them to your daily routine.

Since many of these tips about parenting skills involve a mindset shift, you could take time each day to write in a journal, meditate, recite a mantra, or discuss changes you’d like to make with your family to keep each other accountable.

Being a Good Mother Starts With Your Mindset

Even if you don’t have the perfect motherhood story (who does?), you can still be a great mom for your kids. Small, intentional changes in your mindset and daily habits can make a huge difference in your well-being and provide an empowering example for your children.

Self-awareness and self-care are vital to becoming a better mother and remembering neither you nor your children are perfect. Now is the time to put yourself first, be present with your kids, and enjoy the moments that will soon become memories.

Every mother and family’s journey is unique, so remember to nurture yourself. Ultimately, you are a good mother if you’re trying your best.

This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.

Read Next: 15 Moms Share Things They Never Get Thanked For

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JayDee is a mom, writer, and Doctor of Physical Therapy. She’s passionate about helping women live their best lives through community and education. Outside of her work as a health and mom blogger, she loves traveling the world and exploring the great outdoors with her family.