How to be a good mother.

Every day, all over the world, moms have a lingering thought in the back of their minds — Am I a good mom? Yes, with motherhood comes a need in most of us to be the best. But there is no perfect mother. And even though we know deep down that no one expects us to be perfect, it’s a standard that we often strive to live up to. This standard we most often NEVER live up to can cause us to be pretty hard on ourselves at times. 

In fact, most moms struggle with feeling inadequate. And don’t even get me started on mom guilt. Am I showing my child enough affection? Am I allowing too much media and screen time? Am I spending enough time with my kids? Why is my toddler throwing tantrums — is that normal? 

Yes, every great mom is her own worst enemy. 

Here’s a little hope for you. Even though you may not think you’re a good mom, your kids definitely think you are. But the truth is, we ALL have something to work on. Self-reflection is a necessity if we are to be good mothers. 

And that’s what I want to cover in this article. How to be a good mom because I know many of you are truly wondering. And again, ALL of us have something to work on. 

I strive to educate my readers on ways to improve their parenting so their children can thrive. The first thing I remind people of in my parenting course is this: We’re not here to fix your child. We’re here to make sure your child’s negative behavior isn’t a result of something that needs to change in your parenting. 

Being a good mom doesn’t ONLY mean you take care of yourself and make sure all of your needs are met. It means you look within, sometimes daily, to make sure you are meeting your child’s most essential needs, while also giving yourself and your children GRACE. So much grace. 

mother and son drawing

Being “mommy” is a privilege

Sometimes, I can get pretty worn out hearing “mommy” time and time again. If I’m having a rough day or in a bad mood, it’s often the last thing I want to hear. Mommy, can you get me a snack? Mommy, can you play with me? 

But then there are times when I look at the gorgeous little blessings God gave me and I get all teary-eyed and think: I’m “mommy.” How wonderful is that? 

In the thick of motherhood, especially if there are constant negative interactions with those we are closest with, we can lose sight of what’s important. We can quickly revert to a “why me” mindset. 

And while these thoughts are absolutely normal, they won’t benefit you; they will most likely drain you even more. 

So as you read this, remember that while you will never be perfect, you are the perfect person for the job. That makes you the best mom. Your kids weren’t given to you by accident. They are a part of you, and that privilege is nothing to be taken lightly. 

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What are the qualities of a good mother? 

The qualities of a good mother are this:

  • Patient
  • Gracious
  • Firm but kind
  • Gentle and safe
  • Unreactive
  • Humble – able to admit when they’re wrong
  • Imperfect
  • Approachable
  • Disciplinary (teacher, helper)
  • Unconditionally loving
  • Accepting 
  • Emotionally observant
  • Physically affectionate – hugs, kisses, snuggles.
  • Affirming
  • A good role model

How to become a better mom by meeting your child’s needs

drawing of mother and child

1. Your kids NEED you to hold fast to your word and boundaries

Boundaries aren’t always the easiest to establish, let alone enforce. But the truth is, your family will function so much better when there are boundaries in place. And when you can hold fast to them, your trust with your child is built.
This doesn’t only mean you follow through on enforcing boundaries but recognize that your kids aren’t perfect and meet them with grace. 

2. Your child needs you to have patience with them

How can we expect our children to regulate their emotions when we can’t regulate ours? Ask yourself, am I patient with my child on a regular basis? If not, then perhaps you have some internal work to do. Maybe this means you need to take it easier, not scheduling as much during the day. Here are some tips on how to start the day off right in parenting!

Also, check out 8 Gentle Parenting Phrases to Teach your Child Patience.

3. Your child needs you to be a good role model

If negativity is a common reaction of yours when things go wrong, how do you think your child will learn how to react when things don’t go well in their life? All the more reason to be intentional about how you live your life. Your children will learn the most simply by watching you. 

4. Your child needs you to take care of yourself

You cannot pour from an empty cup. Feed your soul, your spirit, and your physical needs with things that bring life to you. Your kids will thank you. 

5. Your child needs you to have a good relationship with your spouse

It’s often said that having a good marriage is the best thing you can do for your kids. But what does that truly mean? Ultimately, it means we put our spouse before our kids. That’s a hard pill to swallow for some of us. But modeling a healthy and respectful relationship will mean a lot more to your child than getting them a snack exactly when they need you to, instead of spending a little time unwinding with your spouse. 

Your kids need to see you spend time with your spouse, go on dates, be affectionate with one another, consider one another, and resolve conflict. But having a good marriage also translates to working as a team in parenting. 

When you’re not on the same page, your kids will notice and it will negatively affect them. It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to be perfect. If you have an argument in front of your kids, apologize to them. They not only need to see your good marriage days, but they need to also see how you healthily deal with conflict. 

6. Your child needs you to care about their life – even the little things

When your child comes to you and explains what he’s learned to build in Minecraft for the one hundred and eleventh time, it can be hard to pay attention and show them you care. It’s important your response to them is also genuine. So what do you do when you just can’t listen anymore?

Communicate to them what you need, while also recognizing their excitement and honoring that. “I would love to hear more about this, but I don’t feel like talking about Minecraft right now. Why don’t we have a conversation in about 30 minutes and you can tell me all about it.”

7. Your child needs you to love them for who they are

Your child’s self-esteem is heavily influenced by you. Their inner voice is often governed by how we speak to them. So speak life into your child. Affirm them in their talents and characteristics. Be detailed. Talk about how beautiful God created them and the qualities that are unique to them. 

8. Spend quality time with them

Even if you only have time for 15 minutes, do your best to spend quality, one on one time with your child doing something they enjoy. This paves the way for a better parenting day when your child feels connected with you, especially before there is to be any kind of correction or discipline. Connected before correction.

9. Be transparent and trustworthy

A mutually honest and open relationship with your child will benefit your family for years to come. When your child opens up to you, especially about something that’s hard to say, make sure you meet that with connection, not punishment. Say, “I recognize that was probably really hard to say. Thank you for entrusting me to tell me about when you mess up sometimes.”

10. Be an encourager, not a controller

Good parenting doesn’t equate to perfect behavior in your children. While you can give them the tools and skills to succeed, you can’t force them to make the right choices. They are their own person, with their own opinions, and empowering them in that, instead of making it your goal to raise robots, will help them in every aspect of their life. They will be able to solve their own problems, have healthy relationships, and adhere to healthy boundaries, including their own.

Author

Hillary Gruener is a wife, mother, writer, and musician. If she's not at her desk writing content on family life, she's adventuring the world with her husband and two boys.

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