Is it that we stay home with our children and forego our careers?
Is it that we breastfeed at all costs?
Is it that we buy the most up-to-date and trendy carseat, crib, stroller?
Is it that we cook dinner every night from scratch?
Is it that we abandon ourselves to put our children first?
No, my friend…it is none of these things. Being a “good” mom has nothing to do with any of those.
We agonize over the smallest details as moms but I’ve found that focusing on these 10 things good moms do in FRONT of their kids makes a big difference in not only the way I am raising my children, but in the way they perceive me as their mother.
Being a good mom comes down to loving your child and meeting their needs.
But I have discovered some actions that we have the opportunity to do in FRONT of our children that are the undercurrent, so to speak, of what constitutes a good mom.
Because our children are watching us…observing just how we handle the day-to-day. How we treat others, how we handle disappointment.
And they are learning…for better or for worse.
And we have the opportunity every single day to teach them the right things.
So just what are those things “good” moms do in front of their kids?
1. Good Moms Laugh At Themselves – The other day I was at the gym talking to a friend and when I turned around, I ran smack dab into a huge metal pole. I hit it so hard I had a small bruise on my forehead!
Sure, I could have kept this story from anyone who didn’t actually witness it…But instead, that night during our 3 Questions For The Day, I fessed up to my “mistake.” And we all had a good laugh about it. I told my girls how I laughed so hard when I did it that everyone else had to laugh too!
Laughter is the best medicine. Being able to laugh at yourself is a gift. Give that gift to your kids.
2. Good Moms Make Mistakes (And Own Them) – We tell our kids all the time that it’s okay to make mistakes, to keep trying, that failure is the first step toward success. Yet, the moment we burn the biscuits at dinner, we get mad at ourselves and huff and puff all while yelling that dinner is ruined.
But it’s not…we made a mistake. We are human. We throw the biscuits away and make a new batch.
Life is like that…you dust yourself off and you try again. Give yourself the same grace you give your children.
3. Good Moms Say I’m Sorry – Let’s remember #2 here…we ALL make mistakes. And I make a LOT of them. And that’s okay…but sometimes my mistakes impact other people.
Sometimes I lose my patience and raise my voice. Sometimes I’m in a hurry and get frustrated with my kids over nothing. Sometimes I lose sight of my grander blessings in a moment of minutia.
Say you’re sorry…to your kids…to your husband…to the cashier at Target. Being able to say you were wrong and are sorry is exactly what you want your kids to see.
4. Good Moms Speak Highly Of Themselves – Want your daughter to love her body? Want your son to think he can ace that math test? Show them what loving yourself looks like. Exemplify it with your words and with your actions.
5. Good Moms Don’t Talk About Others – I would like to say that I’ve never said anything ugly about someone behind their back. I would like to say I have always taken the high road and never gossiped.
But I can’t. When I was younger, I wasn’t as comfortable in my own skin and as a result, defaulted to gossip (because let’s be honest…that’s why we talk about other people. Because we aren’t happy with ourselves).
But I’m older now…I’m a little wiser…and I have 2 little people who by some miracle can hear every little thing I say. So I try to make sure what they hear are words of affirmation…words praising others….words that build people up, not tear them down.
6. Good Moms Dole Out Compliments – You know how you feel when someone…a stranger…out of the blue, comes up and tells you they LOVE your blouse? It makes you feel special, invincible for just a few moments.
Well that’s how everyone feels when they get a true compliment. And we have that power…the power to make someone feel that special. Don’t keep it to yourself.
Share it…tell the girl at Walmart her hair looks great. Tell your son how proud you are that he didn’t give up on his times tables. Tell your husband he looks cute today.
Make someone’s day.
7. Good Moms Treat Their Spouse With Respect – If you are lucky enough to be in a good marriage, show your children what a blessing their father is. Brag on him. Lean on him. Trust him with the kids.
Because the example we are setting at home for our children is laying the foundation for many, many years to come. About what a healthy marriage looks like. About what love means. About mutual respect.
8. Good Moms Leave Their Kids – Not for long…and maybe not even often…but that saying “a little distance makes the heart grow fonder” works both ways.
When I go with my mom for a pedicure and my dad watches my youngest, she gets to see that someone besides me can take care of her. I get to see that it’s okay to still have a life outside of baby dolls and wiping tushies. And we both appreciate each other a little more when we get back together.
9. Good Moms Take Care Of Themselves – I’m pretty sure I’ve had a sinus infection for a week now. And every night my husband comes home, sees my face and asks if I’ve taken any medicine today. The answer is always no.
Not because I don’t believe in modern medicine but because in between school drop-offs, homework, doctor’s appointments, gymnastics, and cooking dinner, I actually forgot to take care of me.
Are you the same way? It’s easy to do as moms…put ourselves last. But if we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t actually take care of those we love.
So go to the gym…choose a salad over fries…read a good book…go to bed an hour earlier…do whatever it is that makes you feel good.
Because in 20 years, your kids will remember how YOU treated you…and they will think they deserve the same (for better or worse).
10. Good Moms Lose It – Yes, even good moms lose their cool, over-react, make a mountain out of a molehill. And it’s okay if your kids see you like this. They too need to be reminded that even though you may seem like Super Woman…you are really just like them (albeit older and potty trained).
You have good days and bad ones. You get angry. You get disappointed. Your feelings get hurt. You aren’t perfect.
Your children need to know these things about you as much as you need to accept them about yourself.
Because only when we can admit failure, acknowledge we don’t have it all together, accept that we are only human…
Only then can we truly step up to being the mother our kids deserve…the fallible one…the one who doesn’t have it all together…the one who will make mistakes along the way…
The one who is just like her children and whom she loves anyway.