Become the Mom You Want to Be

Becoming the mom you want to be is not necessarily an easy task.  I talk about this in detail in my book, Becoming the Confident Mom You’ve Always Wanted to Be, our desires are constantly changing, our ideas of what it means to be a great mom also evolve through different seasons.

No More Perfect Moms

It’s pretty self-defeating to try to be a perfect mom, so that’s not what this article is about.  Let’s just pop that bubble now – there are no perfect moms!  I loved reading Jill Savage’s book, No More Perfect Moms – Learn to Love Your Real Life –  She writes so clearly and has such great tips on changing your perspective.  {Want to win a copy?  Read on…..}

Sometimes we just need  slow down, re-evaluate our season of mothering and it often means aiming for more contentment and satisfaction in your mothering efforts.  Not huge changes, but just some tweaks.

In order to become the mom you want to be, it helps to stop and take stock of just what you’re doing and where you want to be. Here are some tips that may help.

Do What You Need to Do

Many of us moms feel like we can’t put the kids in front of the TV or DVD player – not even once. {Um, not trying to start a big controversy here, but sometimes mama, you gotta do what you gotta do!} It is true and experts are in agreement that daily TV viewing for hours on end is not a good habit, there’s no shame in letting them watch something so you can save your sanity (or read a book!). Sometimes you just need a few minutes, and then you’re a better mom after a little recovery time.  Taking a break, allowing them some time on their own and you as well can refresh everyone just that little bit to get through the rest of the day.  If you can incorporate an afternoon rest or quiet time for everyone, even better!

Exercise When and How You Can

Even if you can’t put in an hour in the gym (and many busy moms can’t!), don’t give up exercising altogether. Just because you can’t go all out and run marathons doesn’t mean you can’t give yourself some much-needed exercise (and the resulting energy boost). Do what you can do – walk with the baby in a stroller; take your child on a hike; run races; dance to music indoors. The point is to move every day for a period of time!

Stop the Guilt

Ah, guilt – moms are so prone to it that it’s almost a stereotype. To make things worse, guilt makes a circle – if you feel guilty about something, then you feel guilty for feeling guilty! And guilt can wear you out, physically and mentally. It zaps your energy, I know…..much of my energy has been sucked out of me by carrying guilt around all day.  So remind yourself that you are doing the best you can; no mom is perfect. If you snap at your kids or “lose it” occasionally, an apology works wonders (once everyone has cooled off).

Don’t Live in Another’s Shadow

This is a tough one. If you had a fantastic mom or have a friend that is a fabulous mom, you may feel pressure to be just like she was or is.  You may find yourself unable to measure up. If you had a lousy mom (or worse, an abusive one), then you may carry the fear of being like her and try to “rise above” your upbringing.

If you need to see a counselor or therapist about this, do so – it’s that important. It’s a good idea to “own” your mothering efforts and recognize that you are an individual. Your household won’t look like your mom’s household, whether that’s good or bad. And you shouldn’t expect it to.  The same is said for your friend down the street or that ‘seemingly’ remarkable PTA mom you see at school.

Hear What Your Kids Are Saying

Really hearing your kids – listening effectively – is a key component to being the mom you want to be. Sometimes, that means biting your tongue and listening rather than immediately offering to solve the problem. Other times it means you need to be proactive and solve the problem. Most importantly, listening shows your kids that you do care and are there for them.

Remember, you will make mistakes, you will be discouraged, you will be worn out – but all this will pass too.  Draw on your strengths, pull up your boot straps and keep on trucking – it is all worth it!

If you would like to win a copy of “No More Perfect Moms” by Jill Savage, please leave a comment to the question below.  I will pick a winner  Sunday, March 24th – entry closes at 6 PM Pacific time!

Are you in need of a change?

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