How to be the best mom I can be
Discover how to be the best mom I can be
Do you ever ask yourself, “How can I be the mom I want to be?” Do you feel like sometimes that being the mom you envision yourself to be is out of your reach?
One time a friend asked me, “When will I have it all together?” As I thought about her question, I realized that while we are on earth we will never completely have it all together. This is because life is not the same every day. We need to grow and adapt to the changes in our lives, within ourselves, and in our family members.
Life is not stagnant, is it? You change and grow, your kids change and grow, and your marriage relationship changes and grows as well.
So, then, with changes in life happening frequently, how can you be the mom you want to be? Are there any unchanging elements you can hold on to?
Yes. There are four areas you can focus on to help you to be the best mom you can be.
Four areas to focus on to help you to be a good mother and wife and follower of Christ.
Being the mom you want to be starts with being the person you are called to be. This means spending time with God, your creator, to get to know Him better and therefore know yourself better.
God knew what He was doing when He created you. He created you with a unique set of gifts and talents that only you possess. When you spend time getting to know Him better, you can more easily see how you fit into the world He created. You can better see and understand your gifts and talents and know how to use them in the ways He designed for you to use them.
By knowing how God calls you, you will also understand how God is not calling you. Knowing this will simplify your life because you will know what activities to be involved in (like leading a prayer group at Church) and which ones you were not designed for (like planning a class party).
How can you know God and yourself better? Spend time with God and spend time with yourself.
Putting God first each day can be a key component to helping you do this. You can begin each day with a simple Morning Offering before you even get out of bed. Or, you can spend more time in prayer each day, either in the morning or at a different time. Figure out what is best for you. Maybe getting up 20 minutes earlier to pray is ideal. Perhaps having a quiet family prayer time during the day works the best. You can try different ideas to find out which one will work best for you.
The easiest way to make prayer a habit in your life is to have your prayer at the same time every day. Doing so helps you to remember to make time for prayer each day.
Make sure that you have time for quiet reflection when you pray. It can be in the quiet moments when you hear God’s voice. You may want to have a notebook for writing down reflections and insights that you have during your prayer time.
A final note: It is good to remember that you are not perfect. No person is. Only God is perfect, and He is walking with us to help us to be the person He has called for us to be. If you miss a day or two of prayer or struggle to find a prayer routine that works for you, don’t give up. It may take a bit of time, but you will find what works for you. Ask God to help you out.
Make the time to take care of yourself. This can be challenging to do, but it is so important.
Eat good food to nourish your body.
Exercise. You don't need a crazy exercise regimen to get started. Simple works. Spend a few minutes stretching and do a few crunches or push-ups before you leave your bedroom in the morning. Walking is great exercise. If you can't get outside to take a walk, walk around your house. Walk around while you are talking on the phone. Make a few extra trips to put the laundry away or get items from your pantry or refrigerator for dinner. Play tag with your kids. Be creative. You will be able to think of ways to be more active in your day.
Sleep. Oh, yes. Sleep. Sometimes sleep and kids do seem like words that are opposite to each other. Just as your kids have a bedtime because they need their rest, consider giving yourself a bedtime, too. To figure this out, it can be helpful to work backward. First, figure out how much sleep you need each night. Next, decide when you want to get up each morning. Lastly, count back the number of hours you need to sleep from when you want to wake up. This is your bedtime. For example, if you need 8 hours of sleep and you want to get up at 6:30 am, you need to be asleep by 10:30 pm.
Considering that you probably do not fall asleep the moment you get in bed, plan to get in bed with enough time so you can be asleep by 10:30. Do you like to read in bed before you go to sleep? Do you and your husband like to talk about your day each night? Make time in your bedtime routine for the things you do before you fall asleep.
Make time for yourself. Do you have hobbies you like to do? Crafting or reading, for example. Make sure you schedule time in your life to do the things that bring you joy.
Aside from God, your spouse is your most important relationship. Make the time to nourish your relationship with your husband. It is so easy to let your marriage relationship take a backseat to your kids when our kids are little. But, one day our kids will be gone from home. Do you and your husband want to look at each other one day and ask, "Who are you again?" Probably not.
You two got married in the first place for a reason! Keep that reason alive in your marriage. Go on date nights-even if they are in your living room after the kids are in bed.
Having a solid relationship is a good thing for many reasons. It makes life more enjoyable. You are both happier. Your kids are happier. Your kids see the example of you and your husband working on your marriage and making it a priority.
Life is short. Live it well now.
Your kids are amazing! They are growing and learning and discovering God and the world around them. It is a big responsibility, being a Mom. God entrusted you with this vocation and He invites you to walk with Him and your spouse to raise and educate your children.
God entrusted you and your husband with your children because you two are the best parents for them. He gave both of you your children because they are the best children for you two. As a family, you are able to help each other to grow in holiness and learn from each other as you uncover and use the unique gifts and talents God gave each of you. A family is a powerful unit.
Sometimes life with kids may seem mundane or more than you can handle. Other days may be so joyful that you don't know how to tell God how much you appreciate His gift of your children. Still, on other days you may find yourself saying things you never thought you would say. There is rarely a dull moment!
Your children (while sometimes it feels like forever when they are young) will one day leave home and continue the adventure that is life on their own. The time that you have with them at home is a fraction of their lifetime-just a short time. How can you make the most of it? Prayerfully make a plan.
Plan the life you want for them to have, the atmosphere in your home, and vision you want to have for your family. Know what values you and your husband want your children to have. Know how much you want them to know they are loved. How will you teach them these things by word and example? How will you show them love you love them?
Take the time to think about these things, pray, and make a plan. Work together with your husband and your kids to have the best family life you possibly can.
For more resources on this topic, see Why it is Okay to Feel Overwhelmed as a Catholic Mom and Not Just a Mom.
Be the mom you want to be.
Are you still asking yourself, "How can I be the mom I want to be?" Focus on these four areas of your life: God, yourself, spouse, and kids, and you can be the mom you envision yourself to be.
For more resources to help you to be the mom you want to be, see Get Your Life Together: A Gift Guide for the Catholic Mom.