What makes you a better mother?
Is it about having well-mannered children, a clean and organised home or perhaps your great parenting skills earned you a spot in the league of extraordinary mothers.
I am sure that you have stumbled upon conversations with other mothers, or even heard a close friend speak endlessly about her child’s great manners, her daughter’s neatness and great sense of orderliness and how her son’s A+ grades have never dropped since he started school. All thanks to her efforts and zeal as a mother.
This mother almost always paints a perfect picture of her kids and her journey in motherhood. She never gives you a glimpse into the nasty side of motherhood. The part the world never gets to see. The challenges, the guilt trips and the down times when you feel that you are not good enough for your kids. These are parts of her story you never get to see an hear.
And while your own home is almost always in a mess with little children tattering down hallways and dropping stuff as they play. You scream your heart out as you try to get them to sit still for a moment. You struggle through each school week helping them with homework. So these kind of conversations often leave you confused and wondering if you are doing enough as a mother.
Being a mother is hard, but choosing to make an impact in the life of your child can be the most rewarding and fulfilling thing you can ever do in your life.
Here is the good part.
No one joined this motherhood train fully prepared.
You are on a journey of molding lives and shaping destinies, and there is always room for you to learn and evolve on this motherhood walk. And did you know that you can work at becoming a better mother with each new day, and ultimately become the best mum for your children.
5 Tips to Help You Become a Better Mother.
1. QUIT THE COMPARISONS
It is always so easy to look over at your neighbour’s kids daily routine of school, nap time, reading time, bible studies, daily affirmations, prayer chains and easily feel frustrated with yourself and your kids.
You start to make side comments to your kids, you say things like, ‘ Why can’t you just be as smart as ………. ? Can’t you see my friend’s son and how organised he is? Why can’t you just be like him?
The comparison game starts and you begin to measure yourself with that mother’s standard. You want to be like that mother, have what she has, do what she does and end up draining your children’s emotional tanks with your comparison games.
Can I ask momma, that you quit comparing yourself with another mother? Every mother is unique and has a special story with her family. We all have our battles, struggles and challenges on this motherhood journey.
Can you sit still for a moment and appreciate your uniqueness as a mother and celebrate the seeds God gave you to nurture? Yes, you were chosen specially for this role and always remember that no mother is perfect. You learn, grow and are changed on this journey of motherhood.
2. ENJOY THE MOMENTS AND SEASONS
It has been over three years that I cuddled my daughter for the first time after a C-section. What made it more special was the fact that she came after a 5-year wait for a second child.
I remember seeing her for the first time and how my heart leaped in gratitude. I was in awe of God’s goodness. The very first image of her I shared with the world was a picture of her tiny hands in my hands, a constant reminder of his unfailing love and goodness to me. This is one of many priceless moments in my motherhood walk.
Did you know that time passes quickly? And that your children will not be with you forever. Your journey in motherhood is in seasons and you must learn to celebrate each season and get the best out of it. Play, laugh, tickle, share jokes, read and love like you have never loved.
Use every moment that comes your way to teach a lesson, share values and plant good seeds that will grow to become mighty trees. Never ever say you do not have enough time, because someday seasons and moments will slip away quietly and all that you will have are the memories you created with your family. Good or Bad!
3. BOND WITH YOUR CHILD.
You know how it was when you fell in love with your sweetheart. Dates, cuddles, sweet talking and you probably even stole a kiss or two. You were in love and almost could not stay apart from each other.
If he was not sharing with you stories about his day over the phone, then you were snuggled up in each other’s arms laughing, sharing jokes and telling each other how much you cannot wait to spend the rest of your lives together. Those moments were deep bonding times. The love grew deeper and you got to know each other so well.
Those moments have also helped shape your communication and relationship as a couple today. You can now imagine what will happen in the lives of your children, when you choose to fall in love with them.
Cuddle and hug them, snuggle up with them in bed and share jokes or read stories, play the horse and let them ride on your back, offer to play with them and watch their eyes light up with excitement.
You can hold them close to your heart sometimes and tell them how much you love them and what they mean to you. Get to know your child and let him know you. Create special bonding times and let your child know that they matter. The deep bonds you share will help shape the person that they become tomorrow.
4. GIVE IT YOUR BEST SHOT.
” I am done with you. God knows I have tried to be a good parent to you. What else do you want me to do? I have given you everything you needed and yet you pay me back like this. Get out of my home. I am done with you.”
Have you ever heard words like this from a parent who has had it to her neck with a straying child? She has given up and walks her child out of her home.
Children always come in different packages. While many children turn out well in life, some even with the best efforts of their parents still choose to rebel.
I have seen a praying mother whose teenage daughter got pregnant and she did not even know how to tell her mother. Their bond was deep, they were close and yet she made a choice that shattered her mother’s heart.
This motherhood walk is a long walk with hitches and hurdles along the way. The ride may get bumpy sometimes and you will sail on smooth terrains at other times, but you must choose to give it your best shot.
Do not say that you are weary, fed up or have no clue what to do as as mother. Rather say to yourself, that you are empowered for this role, you will seek information and knowledge to grow and you will daily make that choice to become a better mother to your children.
5. MAKE AN IMPACT.
My husband once shared with me about how in one of those dark seasons of his life, his mother spoke deep words to his soul, and even quoted William Shakespeare’s words to him. In that moment, courage entered his heart and he walked through that season fearless and unbroken.
I am certain that those words left a lasting impact in his soul. How about you?
My mother is not much of a talker but I have watched her maintain calm and hope in the midst of adversity. She taught us with her life, the beauty of contentment and the power of hope in stormy waters.
You are in that season right now as a mother? What seeds are you planting in the hearts of your children? What words are you speaking to them daily?
What lessons are you teaching them with your life? What stories of you will they share with the world tomorrow? What good impact are you making in their lives. Think about it.
The great Martin Luther King Jr known for the famous, ‘I have a dream’ speech in an essay he wrote at Crozer Seminary, said this about his mother, Alberta King:
“She was behind the scenes setting forth those motherly cares, the lack of which leaves a missing link in life. Of all the people I have ever known, she had the greatest influence on me. I am sure one reason that the Lord has directed and safeguarded me, as well as Ruth and the children, through the years was the prayers of my mother and father.”