“There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” – Jill Churchill
Mother’s Day is right around the corner. I always tell my kids that being a Mom is the best job out there. However, it definitely is one of those jobs where you can feel unappreciated. We should not let this get us down. We need to understand all the stuff that we are already doing that make us great, like making dinner, kissing boo boos, getting our children to brush their teeth and tucking our children into their beds. Not convinced that this makes you a great Mom? Here are 7 simple, and fun things that you can do to help you be the Mom you want to be.
Tell each person in your family that you are grateful to have them in your life:
“I love being your Mom!”
“Having you was the best thing that happened to me!”
What if you have kids that can’t handle any level of corniness?
Try just thanking them for the little things that they have done that day, taking out the garbage, getting into the car when asked, letting you know what their plans are for that evening or giving you a hug.
2. Simply smile:
As Moms, we are the ones who set the tone for the home. If we are happy then are kids will be more likely to feel happy. If you are not that naturally, happy-go-lucky person, just put a smile on your face. Smiling, whether it’s a real one or not has lots of benefits. The act of smiling releases endorphins into your blood stream decreasing stress and anxiety, boosts your immune system and also makes others around you happier. People who smile a lot are deemed to look more attractive, trustworthy, and approachable. Definitely the character traits you need as a Mom.
3. Give kids jobs:
This has always been a difficult one for me. I often would just rather do the chores around the house myself. However, training kids to help out at home might be tough at first, but in the long run everyone benefits. Children learn responsibility and you then have a team of workers. Gather your kids around, get out that broom, vacuum cleaner, or sponge and teach your kids how to use them. Whatever you do, don’t let their whining and complaining deter you. It’s all part of the process.
4. Command Respect:
Don’t let your children be disrespectful to you. This is not about you and your ego. There is a good reason why this is one of the Aseret Hadibrot. It is actually healthier for children to have their parents act with gentle authority. It helps children feel safe and secure. If your child is talking back, tell him in a kind voice, “I would love to hear what you have to say, can you try telling that to me again with a respectful tone?”
5. Be nice to yourself first:
When you make a mistake today don’t beat yourself up about it. A burnt dinner, forgotten phone call to your son’s teacher, being impatient with your kids, is something that happens to all of us.
Why is this so important? Because the kinder you are to yourself, the kinder you will be to your family. When they make mistakes, it will be easier to overlook them. It is important for Moms to allow for the everyday mishaps of spilled milk, forgotten homework (within reason) and chores not so well done, by saying, “It’s a mistake, mistakes happen!” Kids then feel more confident to take risks, are kinder to others and ironically become more responsible.
6. Take care of yourself:
Eat breakfast sitting down, actually do it for lunch and dinner too. Exercise, take your vitamins, go to sleep on time and make sure to get together with friends every once in a while. When you feel like you are at the end of your rope, (for me that usually means I start getting really terse and then yelling at my family) it is critical that you take a break. With young children, it just might mean a 5-minute time-out for you. Figure out what self-care means for you, everyone is different. However you replenish yourself, just do it.
7.Be A Kid:
Get outside and play. Remember what you loved to do as a kid and do it today. Did you love bike riding, jumping rope, painting, climbing trees, skipping stones, coloring, roller skating, playing tag, kickball? Indulge your inner child.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.