Now that you are a mother, how does it feel? Do you feel great that you have a beautiful baby all to yourself? Or do you feel burdened by the thought of having the entire responsibility of a little one?
Well, if you ask me, I fall in the former category. My one-year-old baby girl has started walking, and it feels out of the world when she walks from one room to another holding her teddy in her little hands!
But, yes, at times, I feel tired too. But, after all, we are mothers, and we have to feed our children, take care of them, play with them, and what not!
So, my question to you is, has it ever happened that you wondered if you are doing a good job as a mother?
It had happened to me a number of times, especially when some elder member of our family or other moms used to give me parenting advice or tell me that I am doing it the wrong way. Also, when my kid used to behave in a way that I thought was wrong. These were the times when I really needed someone to tell me that I was a good mother and that I was doing my job in the best way possible.
But the good thing is that I no longer feel the same.
This gives rise to the question, “How to be a good mother?”
Is there actually any way to be the ‘perfect’ mother?
Before I say anything, let me be very clear. NO mom is ‘perfect,’ and you DON’T have to be perfect. YOU are EVERYTHING that your child needs.
Tips on How to Be a Good Mother
Today, I will share some of my tips on how you can be the best mother to your child. These have worked for me, and I hope they work for you too! Read on.
- Show Your Kid that You Love them
Yes, I know that you love your child A LOT. We all do. But, you need to show it to them, honey. Know that there is no such thing as too much love. And loving them doesn’t mean you are spoiling them.
This is something I got to hear a lot – that if I love my child too much, it can spoil them. But the reality is just the opposite!
I am not asking you to give your child too many materialistic things in the name of love because that is how you can actually spoil them.
What I mean by showing love is by hugging them, having meals with them, spending quality time with them, paying attention to what they say, or even listening to their problems. These simple yet loving things will make your child understand how much you care for them.
I LOVE hugging my baby and smelling her. It’s the best kind of scent I have ever smelled!
And did I tell you that doing these things can release your feel-good hormones, such as oxytocin?
This will give you a sense of contentment, emotional warmth, and calm. And not to mention, it will bring your child closer to you.
Isn’t that something you want?
- Try to be a Good Role Model
This is something very important. If you want your kid to be good, YOU have to be good because kids learn what they see.
You know, my one-year-old copies EVERYTHING I do! She is learning new words every day now, and her expressions and behavior are just like mine. She is a mini-me, you can say.
I do what I want her to learn when she is with me.
Whenever I eat something in front of her, I give her a bite to taste. So, when I give her something to eat, she always takes the food in her hand and reaches out to me to give me the first bite. You know, whenever she does that, my heart fills with all the love that this wide world can have!
The same goes for you also. If you want to teach your kid any specific behavior, do that in front of them. They will watch you carefully, imitate your actions, and use them in their life. This makes it all the more important for you to be the person you want your kid to be. Show them a positive attitude, and they will follow suit.
- Be the Safest Place that Your Child Can be
Did you know that kids brought up by parents who respond to them consistently tend to have better social skills development, emotional regulation development, and mental health outcomes?
Let your kid know that you are ALWAYS there for them – no matter how good or bad their situation. Make sure that you are always attentive to their needs and responsive to their signals.
If my one-year-old falls down or gets hurt when I am not there, she always comes crying with her trembling steps to me and shows me where she got hurt. But, of course, most of the time, it is I who run to her whenever I hear her cry!
You need to be that one place for them where they can come to whenever they feel unsafe or hurt.
- Reflect on how Your Own Childhood was
I had a happy childhood and was pampered a lot as I was the only child for almost ten years until my sister was born!
I really appreciate how my parents brought me up. But, at the same time, there are some aspects that I would like to change if I could go back to my childhood and change them. But, despite this fact, I noticed that I actually behave like my parents did most of the time!
Do you have a similar story?
Then it’s time that you take a notepad and make notes of things that you would like to change. Also, write down how you would want to do it in a different way in a real scenario. So, next time when you are in similar circumstances, change your behavior by trying to be mindful.
Don’t be disheartened if you fail at first. You need to practice a lot, and then you will be able to change your child-rearing methods consciously.
- Communicate with Your Kid
You already know how important communication is, right?
So, talk to your kid and pay complete attention to what they say. When the line of communication is open between you and your child, you will have a better bond. And they will come to you whenever they face any problem.
I talk with my little one a lot. And did I tell you that I started talking to her since she was in my womb? Yes, I used to talk to her every night before going to sleep and tell her how much I loved her and wanted to see her.
Did you know that proper communication with your child can integrate various parts of their brain?
This is essential in the development of your kid. And this may lead to more empathy, better behavior, and fewer tantrums.
Talk to them, ask them about their troubling experiences, and tell them to share their feelings.
Knowing about their problems doesn’t always mean that you have to provide them with solutions in order to be a good mother. Just listen to them. If they ask you something, answer them using simple words that they can understand.
- Don’t Spank Your Child
Let me repeat, Do NOT spank your kid, no matter what!
There may be times when you feel that you need to spank them, which can actually give you relief for some time. But that is not something you should do.
Tell me, what do you want? You want your child to be able to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong, right?
Spanking them will NOT solve the issue or make them understand that. Instead, it will teach your kid that they should be afraid of external consequences. What happens after that?
Your kid gets motivated not to get caught while going the wrong thing or inappropriate behavior. And that is not something you want to teach them, right?
Did you know that a hit, smacked, or spanked kid tends to fight more with other kids?
They are more likely to use physical or verbal aggression to solve issues and become bullies.
And when they grow up, they are more likely to develop oppositional behavior, mental health issues, domestic violence abusers or victims, and worse parent-child relationships.
So, what can you do instead that would be more effective to teach your child to do the right thing?
Go for positive reinforcement and positive discipline. These work best. I will talk about that in detail in the next point.
- Practice Firm but Kind Positive Parenting
Did you know that babies have around 100 billion neurons or brain cells with comparatively fewer connections when babies are born?
Do you know what these connections are?
Well, these connections shape their personalities, drive their actions, and create their thoughts. To be precise, the connections determine who they are. They are not only created and strengthened but also sculpted through all the experiences they gather across their lives.
In the early years of your child’s life, try to give them positive family interaction. This will let them have positive experiences and then offer them to others.
I make it a priority to be always positive and happy around my baby. As a result, she has now become a smiley baby!
If someone comes to our home, she greets them with a smile on her face. When she gets up from her sleep, the first expression that she always has on her face is a big smile. And I love it. After all, that is what I always wanted – to have a happy child who can make others smile.
What if you don’t give your kid positive experiences or give them negative experiences?
In that case, they will not have the kind of development that they actually need to thrive.
So take your kid to the park, laugh with them, dance with them, give them happy experiences and solve problems together. Doing these things together will create positive neural connections in your kid’s brain. And not the mention the happy memories that your kid will have of you their entire life!
Being a mother, what more can you ask for?
Now, coming to discipline, it can be hard for you to stay positive, especially if you have to deal with behavioral issues. But know that harsh discipline can make things worse. So, always try to use positive discipline.
To be a good mother, you need to teach your child morals. They should be able to differentiate between what is wrong and what is right. And to do that, what best you can do is set limits and be consistent. Remember, you need to be firm and kind when you set rules.
Try to understand why your kid is misbehaving in the first place. Then, instead of punishing them for what they have already done, make this an opportunity for them to learn from their mistakes positively for the future.
- Don’t Compare Yourself with Other Moms
Now, this is something that we all mothers have done, at least at some point in our journey of motherhood! Don’t you agree?
If you are still doing it, stop doing it right away!
Maybe there are your fellow moms who are doing an amazing job of raising their children with care, doing a job, and managing their household chores. BUT that in no way means that you are giving less effort or lacking in any way.
Know that just like children, no two mothers are the same. Everyone is different, and we all have our own issues.
Always be happy, live in the moment, and be proud of yourself that you are giving motherhood your best shot.
You know, these kids grow so quickly. The day when I gave birth to my baby and the doctor gave the baby in my hand saying, “Congratulations, mommy! Your daughter has your face,” feels just like yesterday!
So, spend as much time as you can with your kid and STOP comparing yourself with other mothers. YOU are doing an OUTSTANDING job, honey. Trust me.
- Don’t Try to be Perfect
Again, this is something that most moms aim for!
Do you work day and night tirelessly for your child but still feel that you are not giving your hundred percent?
No, honey, don’t do this to yourself. You DON’T need to be a perfect mom. You are the best mom with all your flaws or imperfections. So, don’t stress. Instead, look at this whole thing from your kid’s point of view.
They don’t really care how good you do things for them, do they? Have they ever paid attention to what you do for them starting from early morning till night, and in some cases, the whole night?
Instead, what they actually care or pay attention to is how much you love them, spend time with them, and care for them. After all, that’s all they will cherish for years to come!
- Encourage their Skills and Hobbies
Does your child have any special interest in something? Or, did you notice they like doing something?
It can be anything – from arts and crafts to sports or other hobbies and skills.
Encourage them to do that. Don’t be disheartened if they like something that you don’t like. Instead, support them every step of the way and tell them that you are proud of their skills and the efforts they are putting into them.
And when they do a good job at it, make sure to let them know how proud and happy you are because of their achievements.
If you ask me, I encourage my baby every time she learns something new, such as a new word or a new activity. But, she is just one year old. So, to make her understand that I am very happy and proud of her and that she has done a really good job, I ALWAYS clap for her.
I followed this practice from the time when she was born! I know she couldn’t even understand what I was doing at that time. But now, whenever she does something that she feels like an achievement, she starts clapping and smiling on her own, even before I could!
So, encouragement is one of the ways to be a mom your kid will love.
These are my take on how to be a good mother.
But last but not least, DO take care of yourself. Remember, at the end of the day, it is YOU who is going to take care of your child. And if you feel sick and tired, there is no way you can take good care of your child. A happy and healthy mom equals a happy and healthy child.