Every year, right around this time, everyone is busy coming up with New Year resolutions. So many of these resolutions have to do with creating a better you. But what does that look like when really, you just want to be a better mom this year?
Look, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a better version of yourself. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting personal growth as a mom and an individual. But sometimes, I think we get too hung up on being a “perfect” version of ourselves.
No one is perfect–not even that mom you follow on Instagram with a perfectly curated feed. You have to keep that in perspective, even as you work to become better in the areas of your life that you feel are lacking.
In this post, I’m going to cover a lot of different, practical ways that you can become a better mom this year. It’s not mind blowing, but each of these things will make a difference in your life.
Don’t feel like you have to do it all–that’s not the point, and will only lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed. Focus on picking one or two things to work on, and as you master those few things, add another, and so forth.
The goal isn’t to be perfect. It’s to improve a little bit at a time, as you slowly grow to be a better mom to your kids.
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Ways To Be A Better Mom This Year
Make One Small Step, Today
Often times, we fail to succeed at our goals and resolutions because we feel like it’s an astronomical commitment. We end up feeling overwhelmed, and then discouraged. And then we quit, long before we’ve seen the real benefits of our newly attempted habits.
Instead of trying to “over commit” to an improvement in your life, try taking just one small step in the right direction, today. (And give yourself credit for it!)
Don’t wait for all the circumstances to be right, for all the stars to align. Just start doing it, one small step at a time. You will never improve if you don’t start moving.
Maybe your goal is to start exercising more. Don’t wait for the weather to be right or to buy a gym membership. Start by walking to the mailbox, walking around the block, or doing a few sit-ups whenever you have a spare minute.
Stop waiting for things to fall into place and just start trying.
Drink More Water
I don’t know about you, but I’m really bad at this one. But the truth is, I felt way better physically when I was breastfeeding Elijah–because I was drinking consistently.
Every time I breastfed him, I made a point to drink some water right after. Sometimes it was just a few sips, sometimes it was a whole glass. But the consistency of drinking more water made me feel way better.
Truth is, most of us are not drinking nearly as much water as we should be. I know it’s hard. It’s hard to remember to do it, and it’s hard to choose water over other drink options.
But choosing to drink more water, even just one extra glass per day, will make a huge difference in your life. You’ll feel better, function better, think better, react better. Being a better mom starts with being a better you, and that starts with getting enough water throughout the day.
Get Enough Sleep
I know, a lot of you are going to laugh at me for this one, but it’s true. Everyone says it, and we all struggle with it. Personally, when I get enough sleep, everything is just better. My day goes better, I have more patience with my toddler (especially when he has tantrums or doesn’t listen).
It can be hard, I know. I have a hard time choosing to go to sleep instead of staying up doing the things I want to do. I spend all day taking care of Elijah and the house, and the evening hours are the only time I really have to myself.
And for me, that personal time is really important for me to recharge from the day. I’m willing to bet you likely feel the same way.
As tempting as all that personal time can be, it’s important to know when you need to go to sleep. I’m not saying doing have time to yourself in the evening (or whenever you have it). I’m just saying it’s important to learn the balance between personal time and sleep.
Learn To Pause
Do you really want to become a better mom this year? Learn to pause.
Pause before you speak. Pause before you discipline. Learn to pause before acting. Honestly, pausing helps so much when you’re frustrated, angry, and just worn out.
Pausing helps to prevent you from saying things you shouldn’t say, and don’t mean. It helps you to be more patient, to catch yourself before you snap. Learning to pause will help you to discipline and parent more intentionally. To understand why your child is behaving the way he is.
It’s not easy, and I am by no means saying that I have this down, because I don’t. But I’ve found that when I do intentionally pause throughout my day, there tends to be less friction, less tension, and less frustration.
Prioritize That Shower
Girl, you need to shower. There, I said it.
I know, I’m probably ruffling someone’s feathers. And I’m not saying you should take a super long shower ever day–that’s just not practical in most cases.
But showering is a very basic form of self care that a lot of new (and not new) moms neglect. I know it’s hard taking care of a baby. And at times it feels very hard to get that five minutes of free time to shower.
Do what you need to do to make it happen. It’s okay to put your baby down in his/her crib for a few minutes while you shower. It’s okay to ask someone else to watch him/her while you clean up.
But taking the time to shower will make you feel better, both mentally and physically. Prioritize it.
Learn To Say No
I think this is one many of us struggle with. Too often we feel like we have to say yes to everything–or we want to say yes to everything.
But the truth is, you can’t say yes to everything. There isn’t enough time in the day, or energy in your body, to be doing everything. Learn to say no to the things that you don’t have time or energy for. Learn to say no the things that aren’t beneficial for you and your family.
It’s okay to say no to things. And don’t feel like saying no now is saying no forever. Sometimes we’re just in seasons of life where we can’t do all the things, or even a lot of the things. It’s okay to say no for now, and pick it up later when you have the time and energy to do it.
Stop feeling obligated to do everything.
Spend 10 Minutes A Day Recharging
I remember in the early days of being a new mom, feeling like there was no time to recharge. Especially when I still had to breastfeed during the night, and pretty much lived life in a repeated 3-4 hour cycle.
The newborn days are no joke. And if you’re in that season, you may just need to hang on tight and wait it out. But I promise you, those days do come to an end, and it does get better.
And when it does, don’t forget to take some time to recharge. Don’t put pressure on yourself to have a huge block of time to commit to recharging. Learn to take ten minutes every day to spend recharging. Maybe that means reading for ten minutes, or watching ten minutes of a tv show.
Perhaps it means squeezing in that shower, or taking a few minutes to do your make up. Maybe it just means spending ten minutes by yourself in silence. Whatever it is, start taking ten minutes every day to recharge.
It may not seem like a lot, but often times the consistency of even a small amount of time is what helps us get through the day and be better moms.
Squeeze In Some Exercise (Just 10 Minutes)
I cannot even begin to tell you how much better I feel when I get in some exercise every day. And here’s the thing–it doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment. If you can be intentional with your exercise time, you can see some great results with just 10-30 minutes a day.
For a couple months this year, I tried out an online Pilate’s program by Robin Long at the Balanced Life. I was skeptical that 10-15 minutes a day could make a difference, but it did! Within a week I was feeling better overall, had more mobility, and more energy and motivation to get stuff done.
If you’re interested in giving it a shot, you can sign up here for a free 5-day challenge to see if it’s right for you. It’ll be worth it!
Eat An Extra Serving Of Fruit/Veggies
I know, this is another thing that may not seem like a big thing to change. But eating just one more serving of fruit or veggies a day can make a difference in your body. And feeling better physically leads to feeling better mentally, which both contribute to how you parent.
The better you take care of yourself, the better you’ll feel, and the more able you will be to make good parenting decisions that benefit your family. When you feel better, you’ll be more patient, more perceptive, and less inclined to live on “survival mode.”
Learn To Say Sorry
Look, none of us are perfect. We do the best we can, but sometimes we mess up. And I think we need to be willing to recognize that fact, and apologize when we fail.
I think too often as parents we tend to think that we don’t need to apologize to our kids. But we make mistakes, and that’s not our kid’s fault. Our kids are individuals, with real thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Lately I’ve been a bit convicted on this. As a result, I’ve been trying to make a point to apologize to my two year old when I overreact, or yell at him when I shouldn’t have. Sometimes it’s just misreading a situation, sometimes it’s losing our cool. Whatever it is, learn to have the humility to say sorry when you mess up. It will go a long way in your relationship, and will model that behavior to your child.
Stop Worrying About What Everyone Else Is Doing
I hate that I fall prey to this sometimes, but I wouldn’t be honest if I said I didn’t. It’s so easy to feel like you have to do all the things that other mom is doing, or make the same parenting decision as her.
With social media, this issue has only gotten worse. Stop feeling like you have to have all the stuff and do all the things that other moms do. Focus on what what works best for you and your family.
Quit comparing yourself to the other moms in your life and focus on finding what brings you joy. What makes your family work better. The things that bring life to your family. And quit worrying about how it will be perceived by everyone else.
Ask For Help
Again, another thing I’m not particularly good at. I think it’s a pretty common thing for moms–especially new moms–to feel like they have to do it all. You don’t.
Learn to ask for help when you need it. It’s not a sign of weakness. It doesn’t make you “less than” someone else. Whether it’s help with the dishes or making dinner, or putting the kids to bed, or asking for a babysitter, make the effort to seek out help.
You don’t have to do it all, and you don’t have to do it all yourself.
Everything In Balance
Finally, learn to have balance in your life. Honestly, it will make things so much better. It’s okay to want your kids to eat healthy, or not have a lot of screen time, or whatever it is. Limiting things to a reasonable amount is perfectly fine.
But don’t feel like you’re being a bad mom if you let your kids slide sometimes. It’s okay to have treats. It’s okay to do what you need to do to be a better mom. I’ll be honest–I let my two year old watch a little TV in the morning while I shower. Why? Because showering first thing in the morning puts me in a better mental state, which ultimately makes me a better mom. This won’t work for everyone, but it works for us.
Learn to have balance in your life. Everything doesn’t have to be “all or nothing.”
What are your tips?
How about you? What do you do to be a better mom to your kids? Share with me in the comments below!