The idea of being a “better mom” is always a contentious topic, as parenting is such a personal thing with many different views on the best way forward.
Therefore, this article isn’t prescriptive in terms of telling you what you should and shouldn’t be doing - it’s more to reassure you that you don’t need a masters in early childhood education to be a good mom, as we look at some broad principles to help you be the best mom you can be.
SECURE YOUR OXYGEN MASK FIRST
If you get a flight one of the first things the pilot will say in their safety briefing is to make sure you secure your own oxygen mask before helping others, including your own children. Now, this probably goes against your maternal instinct - because your job is to protect your children, no matter what… yet, you will be in a much better position to help your child attend to their mask, with yours in place.
Imagine trying to first attend to your child’s masks whilst you are being starved of oxygen; it’s not going to be very efficient or effective. The same is true in life. If you aren’t taking care of your own needs, you’re going to struggle to take care of your children's needs - as you will essentially be gasping for air.
This is where we see mom’s snap at their children in the supermarket. You need to ensure you are replenished and rejuvenated in order to give more of yourself to your children.
Therefore, make sure you prioritize meeting your needs as well as your children’s.
GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN
It’s really important you keep your social life, well, social. It’s very easy to become all consumed by your children and their lives, whereby you put your life on hold and what were once fun girls nights out become replaced with mothers meetings where the sole topic of conversation relates to being a mom.
Variety is important, and if you are focused solely on being a mom, you’re not going to have much variety and you are going to get bored. It’s therefore important you take the time to actually have fun with your life, outside of your child, for instance - going to a spa for the day with a few close friends, or even going for a night out on the town. The point being that you need to blow off steam and feel like an adult with a life, rather than just a mom, from time to time.
KEEP ROMANCE ALIVE
A lot of times, when a baby comes along, the focus of your relationship with your partner shifts from each other to your new baby. Whilst this is natural and healthy, a relationship is like a fire, in the sense that unless you keep tending to it and putting logs on the fire, it will go out.
The last thing you want to end up with is a partner where there was once such intimacy and connection, but has now become more of a roommate situation. This is so common, and it’s understandable - but it doesn’t have to be the case. If you tend to the fire and keep the spark alive, you will be able to have both a loving family unit and an intimate spark between the two of you… which is also good role modelling for your children as they grow older.