As mothers, many of us ponder the same few questions regularly… Am I a good mother? Am I doing enough? Are my kids happy enough?
This central theme of being good enough is something that plagues many mothers for years and years of their lives, maybe never going away. And this is an issue that seems to be growing… Did you know that over 80% of moms feel guilty about how they parent, feeling that they aren’t doing enough for their kids?
That’s a pretty shocking statistic, right?
It’s sad to me that so many of us mothers feel this way about ourselves and our motherhood, when, in fact, so many of us are doing an amazing job!
This is something I think we need to work on healing together as a community so that we can be much more at peace going forward.
How do we do that?
We learn the answer to this question: How can I be a good mother?
But we learn the real answers, not the ones we might think of out of fear or self-critique. We learn the answers that come out of peace, self-acceptance, and self-respect.
Let’s talk about those answers together.
This is how you can be a good mother, truly.
Treat Yourself Better
Have you been on a plane and heard, “before you help anyone else place their oxygen mask, you must place your own on your face safely and securely first.”
This is the case with motherhood too.
If you want to be a good mother, you need to be good to yourself first. You cannot tend to, care for, and parent someone to your best abilities if you don’t care for yourself first. And we often forget that as mothers, don’t we?
We often run ourselves into the ground first in the name of love and motherhood. We will put ourselves last consistently because we think we need to be self-sacrificial in order to be a good mother.
Being a good mother means looking after yourself, don’t ever forget that on your journey.
Change Your Self-Talk
As moms, we can be very self-critical and self-damning about ourselves. Even the fact that statistics show that we feel so guilty is a sure sign of this. We never give ourselves a break and that can mean in the external world and in our internal world.
To be a good mother, we need to make sure that we are happy with ourselves and that we love ourselves. Now, I am, of course, not saying that this is by any means an easy journey or something that can just happen overnight.
It takes a while for us to learn to truly love ourselves, especially if we have spent the rest of our lives up until now doing the exact opposite.
One of the starting steps to loving yourself is changing your self-talk; changing how you think about yourself, how you talk about yourself to yourself and to others. We might not even notice how much we are doing it but we can spend most of our lives thinking and talking badly about ourselves.
One way to begin to break out of this is to practice doing affirmation work. We can take time in each of our days to sit and write positive things about ourselves. Things that will motivate us to love and accept ourselves.
In terms of starting to believe that you are a good mother, your affirmations could include things like,
- I am good enough
- I parent the best I can
- I am showing my children that I love myself
- Caring for myself is being a good mother
- I am doing my best every day
- I deserve to feel good about myself
- My kids are safe and cared for
- What I have is enough
- What I can give is enough
If you take some time each day to practice these affirmations, either writing them down or practising saying them to yourself, you will notice a difference over time in how you feel and think about yourself, I guarantee.
Make Time For Adult-Only Activities
Let me know if you relate to this… Sometimes we don’t feel like we can be seen as a good mother because we have gotten snappy or irritable with our children.
We are tired, exhausted even, and they have asked us a question for the 1000th time today. So we give them a short and snappy response.
And then we feel bad about it.
Have you been there before?
And this is the reason why taking and making time for adult-only activities makes you a great mother. Even if it feels like the total opposite. Whenever we spend all of our time with our children and don’t make enough time to spend with our adult friends, family members, and partners, we can easily get frustrated and overwhelmed.
And it doesn’t make us bad parents to say that, absolutely not!
We are adults and we need adult communication to keep ourselves happy.
If you want to be a good mother, remember you are a woman first, an adult first, and you had a life before you were a mom. Continuing that life as much as you can will really help.
Keep Learning and Developing
With all of this being said, there are still ways that we can improve our parenting skills and qualities if we want to. It isn’t the case that we aren’t good enough as we are, but it is the case that everyone can always learn and develop more.
There are so many books, courses, blogs, articles, and groups that help us learn more about parenting and motherhood, and all of this information can really help us grow into the best version of ourselves.
We won’t like everything that we see and hear and that is ok, we don’t need to take everything on board.
But if we learn something that helps us out, great!
As long as you continue to love yourself, accept yourself, and do your best, you are a good mother.
I promise you.