5 Things That Have Made Me A Better Mum
Being a mum is one of the hardest jobs you will ever have. There are times when you might feel everything is out of control, your head is ready to explode, nobody is listening to you, you have cried from the frustration of it all, you may have yelled more than you would have liked, you may have felt you just cannot go on – welcome to the reality of motherhood.
And then there are the days when your heart feels like it could burst you feel such pure love, you look at your sleeping child and see a perfection that you never thought possible, you get a hug that melts your heart, you see the love in your child’s eyes as you walk into the room, you feel a deep protective feeling towards them, you feel there is nothing in your world matters to you more than your child. You will always be your child’s number 1 role model – don’t underestimate the importance of the time you spend with them.
This is list of things that made me a better mum over the past number of years.
Understanding nobody is perfect and I can only do my best as a mum.
I believe if we were all a little bit more honest about the ups and downs of parenting, we would be a lot happier. Understanding it is normal to reach emotional overload daily, normal to shout too loud, normal to shed a few tears, normal to feel lonely, normal to feel anger, normal to make mistakes. Parenting is a learning experience, there isn’t a day goes by that I haven’t learnt something new about being a parent.
Learning how to listen.
Listening is something you really need to learn. We all think we listen but do we really? When was the last time you listened without butting in? When was the last time you listened 100% without any distractions (phone, other siblings, tv, housework, work)?
Active listening can be learnt and in my opinion is one of the most important things in parenting. Communication is key to positive parenting, communication is a two way street. If we want good open communication with our kids, we need to communicate with them too.
Ignoring the small stuff.
If the kitchen is messy because they are baking or maybe you haven’t had time to get around to cleaning it because you are involved in some way with the kids, so what! The kitchen will always be there, the kids will not always be kids. A clean home is helpful, a ‘perfect’ home comes at a high price. Why do any of us feel the need to have a perfect home – a home is where someone feels comfortable, relaxed, cosy, safe, happy – what does a ‘perfect home’ even mean? Don’t waste precious time trying to keep you home perfect – spend that time with your family or looking after yourself.
Allowing them to make mistakes and helping them to learn from them.
We cannot learn if we do not make mistakes. Sharing your own experiences with your kids helps them to understand it is ok to make mistakes. What is important is taking responsibility for your mistakes, learning from them and letting them go. Life is not perfect.
I think this is one of the most important lessons for me. We are all on a treadmill every minute, every day – sometimes not getting off for days on end. Look at what we miss out on, as a mum, if you do not STOP. For me slowing down and looking at what is going on around me has been a huge lesson. When I slow down I listen better, I communicate better, I am less stressed, I am happier and most importantly I am teaching my kids how important it is to stop, get off the treadmill of life and appreciate what you have. Our kids are growing up in a technological run world where everything happens immediately. There are huge negative reactions because of this, they have less patience, less processing of information, less face to face communication, less time to just be, less time to spend on their passions or finding their passions, less time to get to know who they really are. Help your kids to slow down, help them to spend more time doing things they love to do (art, reading, dancing, listening to music, sewing, baking, playing sport). iPhones, iPads, tablets are taking up so much of our children’s lives now, as parents we have to help them to hold on to their ‘real’ world and understand the limitations of their ‘virtual world’. This will be one of the most important lessons you will teach them. Bribe them if necessary, to turn off their phones for family movies, family walks, when visiting grandparents, when chatting at home – implement necessary boundaries with their phones. We need to help them to find a balance – when they are on their phones, let them enjoy that time – when they are off their phones, they need to be able to enjoy that time too.
Look after yourself.
A stressed, overworked mum is no good to anyone. Find the time every day (even 10 minutes) that you do something for yourself. We can all find the time to look after ourselves – that is a choice. When you take the time to relax, take up an interest you enjoy, spend time with friends, not only are you a better ‘mum’ but you are also a better role model for your kids – teaching them the importance of looking after yourself. Why do mums feel guilty when they do something nice for themselves – loose the guilt. If you do not look after yourself, who will?Share Blog