I recently sat down with local Tampa NBC affiliate, WFLA News Channel 8, to discuss the important question of “Can we Really Master Motherhood?”. As mentioned in the segment (scroll down to watch video), the answer is YES! You already possess the tools and it is actually pretty simple.
Stop looking at the big picture:
- Concentrate on one day at a time and be the best mom you can be on that day.
- Don’t worry about what happened yesterday or what type of mom you are going to be tomorrow. Did I master motherhood today? If yes, give yourself a pat on the back and figure out what you did that caused you to have a great mommy day.
- If not, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, figure out what you could have done better and move on.
- Change your focus to the now and what is happening in your life today.
- Have confidence that you are doing the best you can do on any given day.
Failure is the key to Mommy Success:
- We have been taught from a very young age that failure is a bad thing. We shouldn’t fail when it comes to our education, our jobs and our relationships, so why would we want to fail at motherhood?
- When you realize it is okay to fail, it takes the pressure off to be the perfect mother, whatever that means to you. The lightbulb goes off and you realize that the perfect mother does not exist.
- You are going to have days where you are a mommy disaster and just want to hit a redo button. The great news is that parenthood starts all over again tomorrow, which gives you another chance to make it a great mommy day.
- The bad days help you appreciate the great ones.
- If one day you wake up exhausted, you are stressed about a deadline at work and the kids are not listening, don’t put too much pressure on yourself that day. Not every day is going to be a great day and once we realize that, we can concentrate on our triumphs instead of our downfalls.
- There is no perfect parent. If your goal is to be a perfect parent you will be consistently disappointed with yourself. It simply does not exist.
- All of the balls that you balance will come falling down at some point. Some days it will be one, others, three and plenty of times they will all come crashing down, and that is okay. When you can prepare yourself for these bad days, they won’t be so bad, especially when you know other moms who are going through a hard time.
- Your kids have bad days and tantrums so why are we as moms not allowed to have bad days?
- Talk to your children about how you are feeling. “Mommy is not feeling her best today just like when you have off days and are cranky. Maybe today you can be extra good listeners and helpers, which I would really appreciate. You know when mommy has a lot of patience if you are not behaving? Well today, can you be patient with me?”
- When you appeal to your children’s emotions you will notice they actually do care about your feelings after all, even though it might not seem like it all the time. If you open up to them they will open up to you.
There is not one definition to mastering motherhood:
- My definition is different from your definition. Everyone has a different view on what a successful parent means.
- One mom may believe that her mom success comes when her family is at the dinner table together whether she cooks, orders in, or serves cereal for dinner.
- Another moms parenting triumph may be when she gets home from work in time to bathe and read her child her favorite bedtime story.
- We all live different lives and have different schedules and cannot compare ourselves to anyone else.
There is no reason to ever feel alone in motherhood:
- Reach out to friends and other moms to discuss your parenting struggles.
- Chances are you know someone who is going through a similar struggle with parenting.
- When we open up to other moms and share both the good and bad, we become more human and can bond.
- Never be embarrassed about your parenting failures. It makes you real and relatable.
- Stop worrying about how others perceive you and spend your time concentrating on your children.
- When we hear another mom say she is exhausted, fed up and annoyed with her kids, it makes us realize that we are all in this crazy journey of parenting together. A lightbulb goes off and you think, “Wow, so I am not the only one who thinks like that. Maybe I am not such a bad mom”.
My friend is a better mother than I am:
- How do you really know that to be true?
- Do not compare yourself to another parent .
- You never know what is going on behind closed doors. If something appears too perfect, most likely it’s anything but.
- If your friend seems to have it all, always looking her best, loads of patience and the poster child for what a perfect parent should be, think again. For all you know, her house is a disaster, she fed her children chocolate chips for breakfast and she hasn’t slept in the same bed with her husband in months. Perhaps she is not as perfect as you thought, at least when it comes to your definition of mastering motherhood.
- Perhaps your friend may be jealous of you, even though you feel you have nothing to be jealous of. Remember that your faults can be someone else’s aspirations.
- No one juggles it all perfectly and if it appears they do, you are not seeing the whole picture. Yes, some people do a better job of balancing it all but just worry about yourself.
We cannot judge anyone else’s parenting style and do not want to be judged ourselves:
- Mommy judging is alive and well and we are all guilty of it.
- You never know what is happening in someone’s life so you should never judge.
- A decision a mom makes regarding her child may be different from the route you would take.
- Perhaps your way is indeed better but if it works for their family, who are you to judge?
Do my children even realize or appreciate that I am a good mom?
- Motherhood can be a thankless job but we don’t do it to get a thank you and a pat on the back from our kids.
- The appreciation comes in little everyday signs we may not pay attention to.
- Our children are thriving and laughing and smiling.
- Our children’s teacher compliments what good manners your son has.
- Your child tells you her feelings often.
- It’s that random hug in the middle of the day.
- All these things you are doing as a mom is shaping who your child is and witnessing the results is your success and your “thank you”.
- It is so easy to feel under appreciated and fed up but guess what? That is normal and okay!
Check in with yourself often and ask yourself important questions:
- Are you happy? If the answer is no make a change. Don’t complain if you are not willing to discover how to make things better.
- Are your children happy? Are they thriving, laughing, progressing at school, making friends, etc.?
- What could you be doing better? Could you be more patient? Could you be a better listener? Spend less time on your phone? Whatever it is, work on it just like you expect of your kids.
- Are you a better mother than your mother? Is that one of your goals?
- How did your own mother influence your parenting skills? Take what you loved about your childhood and change what you didn’t care for.
Remember not to put so much pressure on yourself to be perfect. Your kids will love and cherish you the way you are and most likely, you are already perfect in their eyes. Stay tuned for more parenting tips with WFLA News Channel 8…
TOGETHER WE CAN MASTER MOTHERHOOD!