Saturday, 11 April 2015

5 Things that Have Made Me a Better Mama to My Children

Optimal parenting is more on parents' minds than not; we're so hard on ourselves, and we're our own worst enemies.  It doesn't help when child-rearing ideologies are toted as the end-all-be-all answers to parenthood perfection.  Since parenting is highly individual, I hesitate to offer advice to everyone about how to parent.  But I can share some of my reflections on what have made me a more peaceful, present parent.

(This was written with mothering in mind but can really be applied to any relationship, IMO.)

1 // blogging

I've said it before, and I'll probably say it 10000000+ more times before the internet is dead and something else replaces blogging . . . telepathy, probably . . . but blogging is like journaling, except less lonesome.  You automatically invite feedback when you hit the publish button, and while that can often be problematic, it can just as often be very comforting.  Having other people know things that you otherwise wouldn't admit can foster discussion, suggestions, and positive changes.  It's also just hands down therapeutic to get stuff written or typed out on the page/screen.

I HAVE to blog.  (Well, when I'm not pregnant.)  If I don't blog or journal or write or find some outlet for all the thinks and feels I have, it's going to crowd out my brain and make me miserable!  I literally feel better physically after I've detoxed with a blog post, even a frivolous one!

2 // asking for help

This took me a long time to be able to do, and I still feel uncomfortable doing it; but I bite my tongue and get over it because it can help so much just to have a leetle bit of help!  Or a lot!  Bottom line, don't suffer alone; we're here to help each other.  And for every so-so acquaintance that doesn't mean "let me know if you need anything," I bet you've got a true friend that would drive over in a heartbeat if you reached out to her and earnestly asked for it.  I know I do.  c:

3 // reading about other people's struggles with parenting

This is a mood-booster!  Not because I'm happy that other people are suffering, but because of the ol' you-know-you're-not-alone comfort.  It's grounding to see that you're pretty typical and encourages you to reset your expectations if they're unrealistic.  Because more often than not, we are our own worst critics.

4 // connecting

This is like numbers 1 and 3, but I make it a different bullet because I've just discovered this thing called podcasts (I know, I'm sooooo behind the times) that I L-O-V-E.  It really does make me feel less lonely throughout the day and refreshes me for the more tedious times.  If we're being really honest here, all I currently listen to is {Fountains of Carrots}!  But they've made me open to the possibility of more subscriptions.

5 // making my health a priority

You might catch some flack for this one.   Our priorities are way out of whack in modern society.  I don't know why people are surprised that when we're not purely decadent and selfish, we're sacrificing ourselves on the altar of What's Done and What Will People Think?  The motto here is "sure and steady wins the race."  Avoid extremes at all costs.

Being a good mom doesn't mean I'm completely selfless.  It means I'm aware of myself and meet my own needs in order to better meet the needs of my children.  It's equally unhealthful for me to let my mental and physical health deteriorate so my children can have All The Things and All The Time as it is for me to be a completely self-absorbed individual that decided to have children the way some people decide to have pets.


Is any of this new to you, or am I reinventing the wheel?  What have you discovered in your trial-and-error parenting that has made you a better parent to your children?


  1. Great post. It's refreshing to read. I am some definitely my worst critic and I am way to hard on myself. Praying has by far been my big key at being a better Mom. Although my prayer is far from the ordinary rather it's a consent dialog with Jesus, Mary and the Saints throughout the day. I find that this forces me to make sure they are apart of everything I am doing. One last thing (and I am still learning to do this) is to take me time, I mentally and physically healthy mom makes for happy healthy children. Know that I pray for all of you daily. Your doing great and the boys are very blessed. Love you all!

    1. Good tip, Christa!!! And you are so right about being in constant dialogue. I am happier and at peace when I sort of "invite" Jesus and Mary to be with me throughout the day by being aware of their presence the way I would be aware of someone else in the room. This is a great reminder, thank you. xoxox Lots of love!


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