Every mother wonders how to be a good mother even before her child is born. So what is a good mother? It is easy to criticize yourself or doubt that you are doing a good job. That is because being a mom is tough stuff. Chances are, you already know how to be a good mother. Whether these 5 tips on how to be a good mother reassure you that you are being a good mother or they provide you with a few suggestions for ways you can be even better, hopefully they will help you stop struggling with the question of if and how to be a good mother.
Do Your Best.
First of all, being a good mother does not mean doing everything perfectly. It means doing your best. Everyone has both good days and bad days, mothers included. It is easy to get into your head and start telling yourself that your best is not good enough. There are going to be days when you feel tired and turn down your kids’ requests to play. There will be nights when hot dogs or frozen chicken nuggets are on the menu for dinner because there was not enough time in the day to make something else. You know what? There is nothing wrong with that.
Your kids will grow up and remember the nights you played games or set up a fort in the living room and not the handful of nights when you were too tired to play. They will remember that you always bought their favorite kind of chicken nuggets that come in dinosaur shapes. Your best is good enough. You know why? Because you love your kids and your best is always going to be everything you have to offer.
Love Your Kids Unconditionally.
A huge part of how to be a good mother is loving your kids unconditionally. A good mom lets her kids know that she will always be there for them no matter what. Let them know that they can always come to you about anything and that you will love them even if they make a mistake or get in trouble. Tell them you love them whether they are happy, sad, or angry.
Say it out loud and say it more than once. Just because you know it, does not mean that they realize it. How many kids have been scared to tell their parents when they are in trouble or about their sexuality or about a major decision they have made because they are scared their parents will be upset or disappointed? This may have even been the case with you and your parents. You cannot tell your kids too many times that you will love them no matter what.
And be sure to go beyond just telling them – show them. Give them some grace when they are cranky or angry. Tell them you love them when they have come to you because they got a bad grade or got in trouble at school. Show them that you appreciate and love who they are by taking an interest in the things they like and embrace their choices in how they dress or style their hair. Show them that you are their safe space no matter what.
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Know You Will Make Mistakes.
Again, being perfect is not how to be a good mother. That is because no one is perfect. Everyone is going to make mistakes. Being a good mother means making those mistakes and owning up to them. Then, move on. Dwelling on a mistake or beating yourself up over it, does not make anything better. It also does not erase the mistake. It just makes you feel bad about yourself and makes you feel like you are a bad parent. How does that do anyone any good?
Not only is it important for you to know that you will make mistakes, another way you can be a good mother is to also teach your kids that it is okay to make mistakes. One way to do that is to lead by example. There is nothing wrong with admitting to your kids when you have made a mistake. So when you make a mistake, especially when it involves your kids in one way or another, own it.
For example, let’s say you lost your temper after a long day and yelled at your kids over something that they did not deserve. Later on, you realize that you should not have yelled at them and feel bad about it. Sit down with them and apologize. Tell them why you were upset (say that you had a bad day or a long day or whatever it was) and explain that is not an excuse to take it out on them but that is why you lost your cool. Apologize. Then, if it warrants it, talk a little about whatever infraction incurred that caused you to yell.
Take care of yourself.
When you are thinking about how to be a good mother, the last thing on your mind might be to take time for and be good to yourself. It seems cliche and just something people say to moms without any real thought or follow through behind it. The truth is that you can better care for other people – including your kids – when you take care of yourself first. That does not mean that you have to find loads of time or take entire weekend girl’s trips if that is not something that is accessible for you.
Yes, this one can be hard. There never seems to be enough time. While you may not have the ability to take an entire day for yourself once a week or anything, take a bath and read a book for 20 or 30 minutes. Have your husband, partner, or a friend watch the kids and go get a coffee by yourself. Get a pedicure every now and then. Treat yourself to a new outfit or something else little that you want that is just for yourself.
READ MORE: THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF CARE AND 5 WAYS TO INDULGE
Communication is key to any relationship. That includes when we are thinking about how to be a good mother. It is important to communicate openly with both your kids and your partner. Modeling good communication when your kids are little sets things up to be easier when they are a little older and things can be a little harder when it comes to talking openly with each other (teenagers are notorious for not wanting to talk to their parents).
When your kids do come to you to talk no matter what their age, listen to them. This can be hard when you are busy or in the middle of something, but stop what you are doing and give them your undivided attention. Actively listen. Participate in the conversation when it is warranted or if they ask for advice or help. Otherwise, just listen.
READ MORE: RAISING RESILIENT CHILDREN: WHY IT’S IMPORTANT AND 3 KEY TIPS
It is just as important to have a good line of communication with your partner when you are trying to be a good mother. You need to be able to openly and clearly express your needs and know you have support when it is needed. Ask for help. Share how you are feeling both when it is good and bad. Being able to talk about things helps you be a better mom.
FAQs on How to Be a Good Mother.
What are the qualities of a good mother?
A good mother is someone who listens, owns her mistakes, talks openly with her kids and partner, loves her kids unconditionally, and does her best. Most importantly, a good mother wants the best for her kids and tries her hardest at being a mom.
How do you become a good mother?
You already are a good mother if you are asking yourself questions like this. Keep doing what you are doing. Try your best. Love your kids. And be sure to give yourself some love every now and then because being a mom is hard work.
How do I know if I’m a good mom?
You know you are a good mom when you worry about whether or not you are a good mom. A good mom cares about her kids and loves them like crazy. When your kids come to you with their problems or just want to hang out and talk to you, you know they love and trust you. That is good mom stuff right there.
You already know how to be a good mother. Sometimes you just need to be reassured that you are on the right track. There is nothing wrong with needing a little reminder every now and then. There is also nothing wrong with feeling like a crummy mom some days. That probably means that you are a great mom. And because you are a great mom, you worry about your kids and want them to have the best life you are able to give them. You are awesome, Mama. Don’t forget that the next time you have a bad day.
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