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No doubt that you are already a good mom, or else you wouldn’t be reading this. In today’s world it’s easy to doubt your motherly skills, when everything you read tells you what to do and what not to do. If you do one thing you’re not raising your kids right, if you do another thing you’re a bad mom.
Moms need to stop criticizing each other and build each other up. As long as the parent is loving the child and caring for them, that’s all that matters.
Qualities of a good mom
Love and affection
Every child no matter what age, needs love and affection. From the day babies are born they need their mom’s love to grow and develop. New researchers at Washington University School of Medicine, were the first to show that the changes to the hippocampus of the child’s brain is linked to a mother’s nurturing. The hippocampus is important for learning, memory and response to stress.
So for those who have heard holding a baby is spoiling the baby, DO NOT listen to them, they need that affection.
Knowing your faults and trying to correct them
There are times where every mom freaks out on their kid because they won’t listen, or made a mess, the list goes on. Or some days you just are in an irritable mood for whatever reason and something small they did just pushed you over the edge and you turn into a screaming monster-we’ve ALL been there!
This does not mean you’re a horrible mom, or your kids are going to hate you. The most important thing is that you realize how you act when you feel overwhelmed. Believe me it’s hard to take a step back when you’re in the moment yelling at your kid, but if you sit down and replay what just happened and try to work on not losing your temper; you can try to find a different solution on how to handle your stress without taking it out on the kids.
Or maybe your fault is you need to sit down more with them and interact. Whether it’s doing an activity with them, going outside etc. It’s so easy to get caught up with house chores or other important things because you feel like it won’t get done. One thing you can do is block out at least an hour in the day or night to sit with them and read, or color, or any other fun engaging activity.
I think with most moms this comes naturally – we always put our kids first. We make sure they are fed and dressed for the day before we are even able to brush our teeth (it might not get done until 2 in the afternoon!).
When you’re sick you know that they need to be taken care of, so you put your superhero cape on and conquer the day anyways.
I think it just might be an instinct that kicks in when you become a mother. However, it is still very important to take care of yourself, which brings me to my next quality.
Taking care of yourself
Even though good moms are selfless, we still need to take care of ourselves; this benefits everyone! Being a mom you feel overwhelmed, like nothing is getting accomplished because something always needs to be done. You barely have time to brush your teeth; and your hair…forget about it.
If mom is happy everyone is happy right? Find something that relaxes you. Get out of the house go get coffee and read a book. Or get a massage, your hair done, or all of the above! God that sounds amazing right now!
Having constant commotion, and your kids asking for something, Every.Five. Seconds…- you need to shut your brain off, and calm yourself down. When you feel unwind, and centered again you feel like a better mom.
How can I be a good mom to my baby
Don’t let guilt get to you
As a new mom you try to do everything under the sun for your baby. At times you feel like you can’t do it anymore because it’s hard work taking care of another human 24/7. These feelings are completely normal, no need to feel guilty when you just want to be a lone.
There’s going to be times where you need to get stuff done in the home because there’s dishes piling up, you’re running out of clothes, you haven’t taken a shower in 3 days. Don’t feel bad about putting your baby down so you can get that stuff done.
Yes, I’m talking about even in front of the T.V. with some cartoons on. You’re not a bad mom for doing this, every mom I know has done this. They hear the music and sounds, they see the colors and shapes; it keeps them stimulated, and it gives you a break.
You do what works for you and your baby, and don’t let what other people say get to you.
Being a new mom you don’t know how to handle all of these opinions because you feel inexperienced, but just brush it off.
Spend quality time with your baby
Spending time with your baby is vital for you and your baby. It builds an unbreakable bond that you will share. With all the hustle and bustle motherhood involves, take a break from all your daily chores and hold your baby for a while. Sit on the couch or lay in bed and look at your baby, take in these moments, that go by in a blink of an eye.
My favorite thing to do was to sit on the couch get a cozy blanket turn on my favorite show and just soak up the time I get to hold my babies and watch them sleep. It relaxes you and the baby, you get to spend time together while taking it easy.
Walk away and take a breather
There’s no doubt that being a mom is hard, especially being a brand new mom. You get home from the hospital and you don’t have the amazing help like you did at the hospital.
Am I the only one, or did you want to stay another week just so you can get the extra help?
There will be times where your baby is crying and crying and you have tried everything to calm down your baby. You have changed it’s diaper, fed her, held her to soother her, nothing works. It’s really hard to not get frustrated, but the most important thing to do at that point is to walk away.
I’m sure you have heard of shaking baby syndrome, in moments like this is when you hear parents getting frustrated and end up shaking their baby. It’s sad and heart breaking. Before you get to this point, just place your baby in a safe place and walk away.
In my experience my first son, no matter what I did he wouldn’t stop crying. I would have to sleep in a recliner and not move, I would only get 2 hours of sleep; it was exhausting; my other three were much easier. Although, one of my twins would be like this from time to time. I would comfort him, then lay him down, then he would start to cry again. At that time I would see if he would calm himself down and fall asleep, and he would.
Ignore the judgments
Being a new mom is a whole different world than what you’re used to. You feel like you don’t know what to do because there’s so many different opinions out there on what a good mom looks like.
You’re afraid you’re going to mess up, or look bad, or people are going to judge you. You might feel incompetent because you’re inexperienced and other people make it look so easy.
There’s so much pressure out there- breastfeed your baby, pump, formula feed. How much to hold your child. Let your baby cry it out, don’t let them cry it out. If your child acts out in public it’s because you don’t know how to parent…blah, blah, blah.
The only thing you need to worry about is you and your baby-that’s it! You do what works for you and your baby, and don’t let what other people say get to you.
Listen to what your baby needs.
I know this sounds hard and maybe not sure what I mean. Obviously babies can’t talk, but the way they communicate with their moms is by crying.
Pay attention to their cry, after awhile you can tell their different cries apart. One cry for when they are hungry may sound different than their cry when they are hurt, or need a diaper change.
Stimulate your baby’s brain
It is never too early to stimulate your baby’s brain, you can do this from day one. Talking to your new baby is one of the best things you can do for their brain. They soak everything in and it helps them get more familiar with your voice.
Have them laying on your lap and sing to them, play with their hands and feet as you talk to them.
When they are doing tummy time, be on the floor with them and and take a toy and move it back and forth to help them move their eyes and head.
Read to them, even when they are just one day old. There are so many simple things you can do with your newborn child to help develop their cute little brains.
How can I be a good mom to my toddler
This is probably the most frustrating and difficult skill to master. You are tired, it is 430 in the afternoon, you still need to finish laundry get dinner ready, you have a million things to get done. Your child asks you for 20 different things all within a 5 minute time span.
It’s easy to scream and say “No, not right now”. But just remember they have needs too, and they don’t quite understand what being busy means. They see mommy always doing everything, they think that’s what mommies do.
Take a step back and realize they are learning
At the toddler age, about 3, they like to try to become more independent and don’t want mom or dad’s help as often. They might spill their cup of water that they are trying to learn how to drink out of, or color on themselves when you told them to keep the markers on the paper.
They don’t know the consequences of what they do could be yet. It’s all about experimenting and learning. It can be hard to see the messes they are making especially after you just cleaned one mess up already, but this is just all part of them learning.
Most of the times the reason kids this age act out is because they want attention, even if it’s negative attention. Whether they are the only kid or they have siblings, make sure you give them the one on one time they need.
If you’re in the middle of something, get down to their eye level and explain to them that you are going to help them once you are finished doing what you are doing, give them a hug and have them go play.
Fun educational play
Toddler age is so much fun watching them figure out how things work. It is amazing what they already know and how fast they catch on to new things. There’s so many different learning activities you can do to help with their development.
They are starting to love learning new things and learn how to do things on their own. There’s so many sensory activities they love to do- anything with water, sand, playdough. They love hands on activities like building blocks, letter/number magnets.
Let them explore
Kids love to explore and see the world. When they are outside let them run around and climb on things. It can be a little difficult not to be a helicopter mom because you don’t want them to get hurt, but it’s okay if they fall, that’s all part of learning.
My three year old LOVES to play with dirt. I think of it as him learning and using his imagination (despite the mess), because he likes to bring his monster trucks and have them drive in the dirt.
Being a good mom with depression/anxiety
Postpartum is extremely common. Most moms get the “baby blues” where they feel overwhelmed, cry a lot, mood swings, sad, irritable. This usually last a few days to a few weeks. Postpartum depression has similar symptoms but more severe and can last a long longer.
After you have your baby, you go back to the doctors for a check up to see how your doing and coping with being a new mom. This is where you need to speak up if you have any of these symptoms.
Do not be embarrassed or ashamed of having these depressed feelings, this in no way makes you a bad mother. Your body and life are going through so many changes, it takes time to adjust.
Acknowledging it, don’t ignore it
The worst thing you can do if you have any of these symptoms is to ignore the issue. If your depression goes untreated it can cause more issues and possibly get worse.
One way you can acknowledge that you have postpartum is to tell the doctor and seek help. You don’t always need to be medicated, but if you do end up needing medication, take it, don’t be too proud.
You can also talk to a counselor about your postpartum, the combination is extremely beneficial.
Sometimes with postpartum moms get upset easily and tend to take it out on the kids when they don’t mean to. Practicing mindfulness, is another way to try to acknowledge it. If you’re yelling, try to stop yourself in your tracks and walk away.
Go into another room and calm yourself down. Then go apologize to your kids and let them know you didn’t mean to yell at them and that you love them.
Giving yourself a break
Every parent needs a break, even if it’s a 15 minute break. If you can’t get out of the house or leave your kids, find something fun for them to keep them occupied, while you go the bathroom for 15 minutes. Anything helps.
How can I be the best mom
Don’t compare yourself
In today’s society it is extremely hard to not compare yourself to other moms. They might look like they have it altogether, and they are doing this motherhood thing like it’s a walk in the park.
In social media you see moms with the perfect photos of their perfectly behaved child, eating broccoli with the best clothes and hair perfect, and their house is out of a magazine. Well, just know you don’t know what’s on the other side of that camera.
Don’t ever beat yourself up as a mom, you are doing amazing! Who cares if your hair is in a messy bun 6 out of 7 days, or wearing the same yoga pants for 3 days in a row (and maybe slept in them…) No mom is perfect, we are all struggling with something, and all have our own insecurities.
We should be building each other up, and tear each apart.
Listen to what your child is saying-let him/her talk
This is the millionth time they have said, “Mom,” and you want to rip your ears off. As tiring and kind of annoying as it can be, kids need to be heard. It builds their confidence and self esteem.
I read this article from a psychologist, I enjoyed this article because it explains what giving a child a “voice” is and how to do it.
One part from his article, he gave three examples on how to give your child a voice.
- Assume that what your child has to say about the world is just as important about what you have to say
- Assume that you can learn as much from them as they can from you
- Enter their world through play, activities, discussions; don’t require they enter yours in order to make contact.
Your best is good enough
I struggle with this pretty much every day. I have 4 kids 5 and under. I hear from a lot of people that I’m amazing, they don’t know how I do it, all this stuff that is supposed to make me feel like I’m doing a good job being a mom.
But like a lot of moms, we constantly feel like we aren’t good enough, regardless of what people say. We got mad at our child, the laundry hasn’t been done in two weeks, the list goes on.
At the end of the day your kids still love you, they are safe and happy. That is proof that you are doing an amazing job.
Teach your kid about being a good person
Teach your kids to be a good person is important starting at infant age. Starting with sharing and not hitting. If they are upset teach them to walk away breath and count to ten.
A major key to how to teach your child to be a good person is to be a good role model. You are their first teacher. They mimic what they learn, so it’s important to portray good behavior around your child.
I have noticed things that I do or say that my three year old will copy, even really subtle things that I didn’t think he would notice; kids watch everything!
If you have one or multiple kids spend quality time with each of them individually
At times it is hard to give your child your full attention. You have so much going on, a never ending list of things to do, but it is critical that you spend quality time with your child completely unplugged.
My husband and I try to make it fair that each child gets to have fun quality time with one of us. If one kid does something fun with their dad, I make sure the kid that stays with me gets one on one time with me. Then the next time they switch.
Each child deserves to feel special.
Be there for your child
From the time your baby is newborn til they are full grown adults, they will always need their parents.
As a baby they need you for obvious reasons, to cuddle them, feed them change them. As teens I think this is a major period in their life where they need their parent to be there for them.
Teens go through so much at school, their bodies change, trying to fit in. Even if they act like they don’t want you around or hate you, deep down inside they need their parents. Being an honest open parent in my opinion is something that a teen needs.
They are learning about real life and trying to figure it out, and they need some guidance. They won’t always listen or take your advice, but if you are real with them and not sugar coat things or scare them into not doing something, they will have your voice in the back of their head. They will feel like they can trust you and come to you whenever they need to.
How to make a new moms feel like she’s doing a good job
Everyone likes to be complimented especially a new mom. A lot of moms have a negative image of themselves because of their body changing from having a baby, so we love to hear that we look great.
We often don’t have the luxury of having time to fix our hair, put makeup on and wear our cutest outfits like we used to. Times we feel like we have let ourselves go, and like we don’t have control of ourselves.
Encourage her when she’s down
Mom’s need reassurance that they are doing a good job. If a mom says that she isn’t enough, or can’t seem to do anything right, be there for her and let her know that everything she is doing for her family is amazing.
Give her a break
Offer her to take her out of the house for some fun. However, some moms- like us, are introverts. With everything they already do, sometimes they don’t have the energy to get ready and go out. Maybe taking the kids off her hands for a little will help. Or sometimes we like to have alone time and we would prefer to go out alone, don’t take offense to it,
You can offer to help do some chores around the house, any moms would appreciate the offer. Dads this goes for you too. 😉
If you’re a mom and especially if you’re not a mom do not criticize a new mom, she’s doing her best. If a mom is doing something differently than how you would do it just let her do it- it’s working for her and her baby.
Never tell a mom how to raise her child- unless they are being abusive, obviously. If the mom has a young child that is still learning how to communicate and is throwing tantrums don’t jump on her parenting skills, she knows how to handle the situation. Her and the child are still learning.
Hey, mama! You are doing great! I really truly think that. By reading this posts, it shows that you care about the kind of mom you want to be for your baby.
If you found this helpful please share to your mom friends who might need reassurance that they too are a great mamas!