4 Simple Ways to Becoming a Better Mom
- Amanda Idleman Contributing Writer
- 2021 4 Mar
Motherhood is a beautiful thing! The beauty of a Mother comes in our amazing ability to create. We create loving homes, create magical experiences for our kids, and we create a shared life with the ones we have been given to nurture. A Mother’s beauty looks like an inner strength we summon when we face the fears, pain, and challenges that motherhood brings.
As Mommas, we work so hard at loving our people well, but even so, there can be many seasons where we may feel like our failures outweigh our wins. When we are navigating sleepless nights and long days or when carrying the weight of our children’s anxiety on our shoulders, being our most patient selves can be a challenge!
Yet, the work we are doing is good work!
It is so important to remember that there is heavenly value in the sometimes tedious and mundane spaces of our lives. When we are cleaning toilets, changing diapers, making dinner for the 1 millionth time… our service to our family in these simple but necessary acts of love have eternal value!
God will give you what you need to be a great Mom to the kids he has given you when you invite him into the mix. One of the most important things to remember is that you are not alone in this beautifully messy journey of motherhood.
Here are some simple and tested ways to help you experience more wins in your home:
1. Begin and End Your Day by Showing Physical Affection to Your Children
Love covers a multitude of sins and frustrations, and when we show love, we are reminding our children that no matter what a day holds we are on their side. Starting the day with a hug, kiss, or if they are older maybe just a high five, communicates to them in a tangible way that they are seen and loved!
Science even tells us that affection shown to children by parents results in life-long positives for your kids. Some of these noted positives are higher self-esteem, improved academic performance, better parent-child communication, and fewer psychological and behavior problems. It is as simple as pausing to give one big hug before they head out the door to go to daycare or school, but it makes such an impact on who they become.
Wrapping up the day on a similar note with a bedtime routine that may include reading aloud a few books, a quick check-in with your kids where you ask how their day went, and some sweet bedtime hugs communicates to your children that they are safe and loved.
A bedtime routine promotes healthy sleep but also supports the general wellbeing of your child. This routine embodies a nurturing environment which leads to better language skills, literacy, emotional health, and more. Who knew getting them to bed in a timely manner, doing bath, reading, and bedtime hugs could have such amazing benefits for your family!
2. Be Consistent in Your Routine
Depending on your personality the word routine may inspire great delight in you, or it could be your worst nightmare. Some Moms thrive with a rigid and exact schedule that varies little from day-to-day (I always admired these Moms) while others prefer to fly by the seat of their pants! I personally land somewhere in the middle.
Our lifestyle offers a good deal of flexibility so we don’t normally have to be out the door or in bed at an exact hour, but we all do better if we have a predictable rhythm to our day that we all can count on. No matter if you are more laid back or super type A, your kids need a level of predictability to their days to feel secure.
Aha Parenting explains that consistent routines and expectations help give our kids a sense of self-discipline and security. Structure teaches your children how to more successfully manage themselves and their environments. When we provide predictability to our kids, we avoid power struggles, our kids are more cooperative, and it helps you as a Mom be more intentional about your time. When you have a routine, you are able to build in special moments in your day as well as honor the fact that there may be time periods that you need to guard for yourself in order to attend to your own tasks or needs.
3. Make Time to Read to Your Kids
I have a confession to make… I don’t love playing pretend with my kids. When they were toddlers, I felt like time stopped (in the worst kind of way) when they asked me to sit with them and build towers with those chunky blocks or let them play doctor with them. Luckily, I found a workaround that allowed me to better enjoy this season with them and also has great benefits for their growing minds. I read aloud to them while they played.
Research has found many benefits to spending time reading aloud to your kids… and these benefits don’t stop once they can read on their own. Even taking time to read aloud to your big kids is still time well spent with them. Reading aloud helps grow their language skills, develop their literacy skills, it increases their brain activity, and the time spent close to them reading helps strengthen your bond with your kids. Reading together is close, intimate, and adds to the affection they feel from you.
My middle son is my busiest guy and he never wants to sit by me when I am reading aloud a book. He will get out his trucks and play quietly while I tell the story. Sometimes I wonder if he is even listening but then all of a sudden he will stop what he is doing and come over to check out the pictures on the page or ask a question about the characters in the book. Even if your kids don’t want to sit still and listen just hearing you share the story still is helping to develop their brains.
4. Prioritize Self-Care
Self-care is not optional in motherhood. This is one thing that I so wish I could go back in time to tell young-Mom-me. I let burnout steal so much of my joy, patience, and it is hard for me to think back to those ugly moments in which exhausted me lashed out at my kids and husband. I pushed myself way beyond my physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental limits and the result was me living life as a person I did not much like. So do what I say and not as I do and take time to take care of yourself… even in the midst of all the chaos.
Have you ever secretly judged another Mom for leaving her baby with her parents for a night away with her husband or for taking a day off work and still dropping her kids off at daycare? If so I give you permission to stop judging them and join them! You are not a failure for respecting your limits; you actually are a better Mom and wife for honoring the fact that you cannot do all things.
Making room for self-care helps us to better manage our children’s behaviors, stay calm in those stressful parenting moments, helps us to be more present with our kids when we are together, and helps us to be able to be patient with them too.
On the flip side, when we begin to experience burnout we are more likely to also experience anxiety, depression, loneliness, and irritability. I have been a Mom now for 8 ½ years and this is still one of the hardest things for me to do well in my own life. Give yourself grace for not always getting it right but even if self-care feels hard to accomplish and remember it is so important to prioritize so you can be that great Mom you aspire to be!
Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” The work of motherhood is good work! Don’t give up. You have all you need to be a great Mother to your beautiful children through God’s grace and provision.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Deagreez
Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for My Daily Bible Verse Devotional and Podcast, Crosswalk Couples Devotional, the Daily Devotional App, she has work published with Her View from Home, on the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. You can find out more about Amanda on her Facebook Page or follow her on Instagram.