11 Crucial Ways to be a Better Mom

mom who knows the ways to be a better mom, hugging her daughter

Being a mom is one of the most rewarding yet challenging roles we can take on.

We all want to be the best moms we can be, but let’s face it—some days are tougher than others. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed or wondered how you could be a better mom, you’re not alone. I’ve been there too, pulled in so many different directions, not sure what to tackle first. Since becoming a mom over 6 years ago, I’ve discovered a few simple tips that have helped me feel like a better mom. They’re easy to follow and can make a big difference in creating a happier home. Because let’s face it, everyone feeds off Mom’s mood! When I’m in a happier mood, my whole family is happier too.

11 Ways to be a Better Mom

Here are some ways to be a better mom that are relatively easy to implement once you get familiar with them.

mom trying to be a better mom by reading with flashlight under tent with daughter

1. Turn on some music.

A fun song can instantly change your mood. Put on a song that you or your kids love and dance around. I know when a song like “Shut Up and Dance” comes on, my mood can go from tired to energized!

If you need some inspiration here are the songs I’ve included on a playlist for my kids:

  • “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon
  • “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake
  • “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus
  • “Animal Freeze Dance” by The Kiboomers
  • “Shake Your Sillies Out” by The Learning Station
  • “The Goldfish (Let’s Go Swimming)” by The Laurie Berkner Band
  • “Party Freeze Dance Song” by The Kiboomers
  • “Floor is Lava Song” by The Kiboomers

Good music can genuinely change your mood, which can be much more enjoyable than pretending that you’re in a good mood.

2. Get down and play with your kids.

Take a break from your to-do list and just play with your children. I find that when I have those moments, where I just focus on my children and am present with them I feel so much love and get a mood boost. Being fully present can definitely be hard. There are days when my girls want me to play with them but I try to multitask and just feel like I’m not doing a good job at anything. I’ve been making more of an effort lately to take those fully present moments with my girls. I’m happier, and I feel like a better mom when I have those moments.

Some activities that can help you be really present with your children are reading, coloring, or just following your child’s lead. Little ones have great imagination!

3. Open your windows.

Fresh air and sunshine can instantly boost your mood too. Most people are happier in the summertime, when you’re able to spend more time outdoors and the days are longer. On nice days open your windows and breathe in the fresh air. Take a break to just sit outside in the sun or take a walk around the block. I feel so much happier on the days that I get some outdoor time.

On those days that may not be warm enough to spend time outside, you can open your blinds and curtains and let the sunshine into your home for a mood boost.

4. Build a puzzle or play a game.

Another way to be a better mom is to participate in cooperative or competitive activities that require you to focus and work together. I really enjoy doing puzzles with my children, working together and cheering them on. Playing a board game like Trouble can be fun too. My older daughter loves when she gets to send me back to Home!

Chores will always be there but our children won’t. My girls are still young at 6 and 3 but I see how their personalities have changed so much already. I know there will be a time when they don’t care to do a puzzle with me, so I’m really trying to make more of an effort and say “yes” when my kids want to do things with me.

5. Bake something.

Baking together can be a fun activity that brings you and your child closer. And who doesn’t enjoy some nice treats? Both my girls enjoy baking whether that’s pouring ingredients, stirring, or putting dough on a cookie sheet. Just try to laugh about the mess, because I’m sure you’ll end up with one when baking with kids!

The baking project definitely doesn’t have to be anything extensive to be fun. My younger daughter’s school does an annual fundraiser for frozen cookie dough and the dough is already formed into cookies. All you have to do is put the frozen dough on the cookie sheet. My girls enjoy helping with that even though it’s not super involved.

pin for 11 crucial ways to be a better mom, #11 is key!  image shows mom baking and making a mess with daughter

6. Look through photo albums.

Looking at old photos – whether it’s your children when they were younger or you when you were your children’s age – can be an incredibly bonding experience. My mom made me a photo album of my first 16 years for my 16th birthday and my girls love looking at it now! They like to see if they look like me and get excited when they see me as a kid in places that they go to now.

These days I don’t make many physical albums but store my photos digitally. My older daughter especially loves looking at photos and videos of her on my phone from when she was younger. The other night she was looking at a video of her playing with her Kick & Play piano as a newborn and it brought back memories of those exhausting days! Looking through old photos can help you see how far you’ve come as a mother.

7. Acknowledge feelings.

Our children will be more comfortable talking about their feelings when they learn how to from us. When I was a child I was told not to cry, to just be happy, etc. However, studies have shown that naming and accepting toddler’s big feelings is important. When I’m upset about something, I tell my children that I’m upset and why. Recently, I had a breast biopsy, which came back benign thankfully. Leading up to getting the result I was a complete wreck. My older daughter caught me crying at one point and asked me what was wrong. I didn’t want to go through the specifics and scare her but I did tell her that I had a test done and was nervous about getting the results.

Children can sense when things are wrong and it makes them uncomfortable if we don’t talk about it. When my girls have their own tantrums, I try to acknowledge their own feelings by saying things like “I understand you are mad that we have to leave the park now…” I’ve noticed that has helped my children name their own feelings. They still have meltdowns, but they are getting better at saying they are sad, scared, mad, or whatever they are feeling. There are still times where I just want the tantrums to end and may not do the best job of acknowledging their feelings so I don’t want to make it sound like that shift is easy. It all takes practice.

8. Apologize to your children.

Speaking of feelings, when we lose our cool with our kids (because as much as we try not to, it does happen!) it is important to repair and apologize. One of my favorite podcasts for moms, After Bedtime, has a great episode on this topic. When I yell at my girls, after we all calm down, I bring it up again telling them that I’m sorry for yelling at them. I say that I was just feeling frustrated but shouldn’t have yelled. I tell them that I love them very much and that I will try a healthier reaction the next time I am frustrated, such as by taking some deep breaths.

This is definitely another tip that takes practice. You may feel embarrassed or guilty about yelling, I know I do! Apologizing can heal, and help your child feel loved. That’s one of our most important jobs as moms.

9. Say no.

It’s also important to hold boundaries and say no to our children. If we give in to them all the time, they will know that if they cry and yell they will get what they want, so they will keep crying and yelling whenever they want something.

One day recently my daughter wanted 3 scoops of ice cream but I told her she could only have one (she gets hyper when she has too many sweets). She of course didn’t like that. She had a tantrum and ended up not having ice cream because she didn’t want just one scoop. The same thing happened the following day but I again held the boundary. Believe me, it was hard! The third day she again asked for ice cream and I told her she could have one scoop and she said “okay!”.

It can be hard to hold those boundaries! My initial inclination is usually just to give in, and sometimes I just do because I don’t have the energy to hold the boundary. And that’s okay! None of us are perfect, we can just try to be better.

10. Ask for help.

There is so much pressure on moms to be able to do it all – have a job, be a great mom, spend time with your partner, have a clean house…In my opinion, it’s impossible to do it all and stay sane. When I take on too much I may be doing a lot, but I’m not doing anything well and that makes me feel worse about myself.

Ask for help. Set up a system with your partner for splitting up the household duties. If you’re able to afford it, hire childcare or a house cleaner. When I delegate and am able to focus more on what’s most important to me, I feel like I’m able to be a better mom.

11. Take care of yourself.

One of the most important words of advice that you can follow in order to be a better mom is to take care of yourself. I’ve heard it many times before, but there is a reason why we’re told to put on our own oxygen masks on a plane before helping others. The same holds for parenting. If we’re depleted and run down, it will be much harder, or impossible, to be a better mom.

Some of my favorite self-care tips for busy moms are to work out, read, and spend time outside on a beautiful day. Even just 15 minutes where you choose to do something that you enjoy because you want to do it, instead of doing something that you think you should be doing, can help so much.

mom wanting to be a better mom by having fun painting with son

Wanting to be a better mom is a journey filled with love, challenges, and growth.

Remember, there’s no perfect way to be a better mom, or a fun mom; it’s about finding what works best for you and your family. By incorporating these simple tips, you can create a more positive environment for your family. Take it one step at a time, be kind to yourself, and celebrate the small victories. Remember, being a better mom doesn’t mean being perfect; it means making small, meaningful changes that lead to a happier home.

I would love to hear any other ideas for how to be a better mom. It’s something I try to be each day!

Here’s to striving to be a better mom, one day at a time.

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