This year has been incredibly hectic for me, both personally and professionally. First I got a new job, then I got engaged, and after that I got married. Of course, with all of that came lots of work, travel, wedding planning, and everything else that comes along with impending nuptials and a career advancement. The one constant in all of that was my Ayva. My little girl is seriously amazing! She is so flexible and open to new experiences, and even when I feel like I’m not being the best mom, she still thinks I’m the greatest.
It’s because of Ayva’s confidence in my mothering abilities that I made a commitment to being a better Mom. I beat myself up pretty bad, y’all, over my parenting deficiencies. I wanted to be that mom that baked delicious treats, and always engaged my little one with crafts. The truth is, I’m always so exhausted, and the thought of being SuperMom seemed daunting. Ayva deserves a SuperMom, though, so I’ve been making a few adjustments that are helping me to be able to give her more attention, and create more meaningful interactions with her. Really, with just a few simple changes and intentional additions to our routine, I’m becoming a better Mom every day in 20 minutes or less.
Make being a mom a priority.
So, what did I do? The main thing was to make being a mom a priority. It’s true, I have my shows that I like to veg out to. All of “The Real Housewives”, and their spinoffs, as well as anything reality based that I can indulge my voyeur tendencies on. Well, some of those had to go. I needed more rest in order to have more energy during the day when Ayva was awake and needed me. I also started saying no to non-essential travel that would take me away from her, and declining opportunities that would decrease the time we could spend together.
Be realistic about the time that being a better mom takes.
The greatest lesson I learned, though, was to to be realistic about the time that being a better mom actually took. For example, a few months ago, Ayva went to a friend’s house for a playdate. While she was there, the mom made muffins. Of course, the next day Ayva came home and asked for muffins. My first reaction was, “I don’t know if we have time, Ayva.” Then I pulled up a muffin recipe and realized that it’d take me about 5 minutes to mix everything up (8 if Ayva was helping), and 12 minutes to bake. I had 17 minutes. So, I made the muffins. And Ayva and I have been baking at least once a week every since.
Learn how to listen better. If influence is something you think you may need in your arsenal once children are beyond the phase of simply being told what to do, consider learning how to really listen. Patricia from Boomer Wizdom
Get up earlier.
Get up half hour earlier than the kids to get yourself together & have alone time so you can be refreshed & mentally available for the kids. - Pamela from Still Dating My Spouse
Reading together is awesome. Even when you have a teen. -Rachee from Say It Rah-Shay
I read him books, sometimes the same book 4 or 5 times. I admit it drives me insane but I’ve found my sanity in saying “OK! Your turn! Read to mommy” and actually NOT getting on my phone during his imaginary story telling. - Brittany from Project Student and Mom
Look at your child.
Look into your child’s eyes when you talk to them. Be focused on them and them alone when you are engaging with them. This lets them know you value them and are not distracted by life not to look them in the eye when you are talking. – Sarah from How I Pinch A Penny
Take time for yourself.
It’s ok to take time out for yourself everyday, even if it’s hiding in the bathroom with a book or your smartphone. It keeps us sane. – Thien-Kim from I’m Not The Nanny
Be in the moment.
Afterschool, be in the moment to review their school papers with them. Congratulate them for good papers, help them mentally prepare for the homework they have to do. – Jennifer from Jersey Family Fun
Just put away the screens. Telephone, computers…put them away.- Jeanne from Mom Hearts Pinot
Take a walk.
Talk a walk with them one-on-one, ask genuine questions and use those active listening skills. – Michelle from Divas With A Purpose
Play a game together.
A great game of Candyland always makes my son happy. He knows he goes first, because he’s the youngest! - Yolanda from Mama Knows It All Facebook page
Schedule time for your child.
When working from home with a little one take a 20 minute break to read a story, color a picture or work on puzzle. I think of it as a person working outside of the home would, when you have a scheduled break you aren’t doing any work. same goes for your scheduled break with the kid. No work, no phone calls, no quick emails. You are off the clock! -Natalie from Mama Knows It All Facebook page
I know a lot of Moms are struggling with balancing work and life and being a better mom. What solutions have worked for you and your family?