I don’t believe in perfection in motherhood. In fact, I don’t believe in perfection in any aspect of my life. When we start aiming for perfection, that’s when the wheels start to come off.
However, I’m committed to growth in every aspect of my life, including motherhood. We’re not perfect, but I believe in doing the best I can as a mom. That can mean different things to different people, for me it’s all about being open to learn and grow. Here are some of the things I’m working on to be a better mom.
Playing with my kids
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t do enough of this. I know that the best way to connect with our kids is through play, but there’s plenty of room for improvement in this area.
My 6-year-old daughter loves to play with her dolls, which is not my cup of tea. When I tried to join her while she was playing in her dollhouse last week, she politely told me that she wanted to play by herself! I’m not going to lie, I was relieved. The moral of the story, find things that you both enjoy. Playing with your kids should be a pleasant experience. Last week we finished a puzzle together and we had a dance party—she loves to dance!
It’s a little tricky with my teen. He would rather play PlayStation with his friends most of the time, but I’ve noticed that he always has a good time when we invite him to play a board game. So, I need to focus on that.
We are constantly distracted, and remaining present has never been more challenging. Our children depend on us for everything, especially emotional support. They need to know they are loved and appreciated. Consistent validation is critical.
Being present is living in the moment and remaining connected to the people around you. Have you ever listened to your child tell you a story, but you cannot remember a word they said five minutes later?
Our kids love to talk and tell stories. Sometimes we rush them, and we don’t listen because we are busy with other things. Next time your child tries to tell you something, stop what you’re doing, look at them in the eye, and ask questions. Our kids need to know that we are interested in what they have to say. They need to know that they matter.
Validating their feelings
When our kids express their emotions, we’re very quick to tell them how they should be feeling and say things like, “stop crying” or “don’t be sad.” If we continue to discourage our kids from expressing their emotions, they will eventually stop. We need to allow our kids to cry if they need to cry and allow them to work through their emotions by validating their feelings.
My 6-year-old is an extremely sensitive child. She will have a meltdown over minor things. I used to be quick to tell her to stop crying, but now I sit with her, hold her and tell her that everything will be okay until she stops crying. That requires a lot of patience from my side, but I’m getting better at it every day!
Those are some of the things that I’m working on to be a better mom. We may all be working on different things now, but I believe that’s it’s critical that we remain committed to growth in motherhood.
Photography: Elsie B Photography