Mom and son laying on bed

10 Ways to Be a Caring Mother

This post was written by FamilyArc marketing manager, Selwa Luke. Please join us in congratulating her on the birth of her son, Kale, by leaving a comment below!

Last month, I gave birth to a healthy baby boy and became a mom for the second time.

With Mother’s Day coming up soon, I’ve been thinking a lot about motherhood and what it really means to be a mother. When I look at my own mom, I see a woman who is strong, selfless, and who loves her children with every ounce of her being. To me, she is the epitome of motherhood.

My mother has taught me many lessons over the years, but the number one lesson I learned from her was how to be a mom. Here are ten things I try to keep in mind when it comes to raising my kids and being a caring mother. I hope these are an inspiration to you as you celebrate Mother’s Day with your family this year!

1. Spend quality time with your children.

As a working mother, I must admit this is hard for me. I work from home, so I’m around them often, but I still have to set aside blocks of time to really be present. And even then, sometimes I find myself checking email on my phone or doing chores when I should be spending quality time with my kids.

Spending quality time with your children requires putting aside all other distractions and giving them your undivided attention. Parenting is messy. The house will get dirtier, the laundry and the dishes will continue to pile up, but these are things we must accept in order to relish the moments we have with our children and be an influence in their lives.

2. Exercise simplicity.

We purposely try to keep the amount of “stuff” in our house to a minimum, and by “stuff” I mean kids’ stuff—toys, books, clothing, etc. We also try to minimize screen time and encourage them to play outdoors. By exercising simplicity and leading minimal lives, we are actually more present during the time that we spend with them. It also challenges all of us to be more creative when it comes to play and learning.

3. Leave doors open.

Literally and figuratively. Yes, there are certain doors you don’t want your children getting into, and for their safety, we do have child-proof locks installed on a few of the doors and cabinets in our home, but for the most part, we try to leave the doors open so they can explore at their will. I believe that by doing this now, we symbolically communicate that “the door is always open” for them to come to us with any of their needs, and that’s something I hope they feel confident doing when they get older.

4. Ask questions, and listen attentively.

Really listen. Don’t tune your children out when they’re trying to get your attention.

This is probably my biggest struggle as a mom of two. When they’re both crying and communicating that they need you, it’s easy to feel like you’re being pulled in different directions and to get overwhelmed. As a matter of fact, just last night, my daughter was crying “Mama, Mama,” as I was responding to a text message on my phone, and when I didn’t answer her, she bit me. Hard. It was the first time my child had bitten me, and I was completely caught off guard. In that moment, I not only had to discipline her for her actions, I also had to exercise a bit of self-discipline as I realized I had failed to be attentive when she was trying to communicate.

5. Be a mom first and a friend second.

My mom is my best friend. But she’s also my mother, and she made sure I knew that first and foremost. Sometimes we want to spoil our children and we find it hard to discipline them when they do something wrong (especially when they’re so little and cute!). But it’s important to remember that we are parents, and exercising discipline communicates that we really care and want what’s best for our kids.

6. Encourage independence.

Allow them to make mistakes and learn from them. This is especially difficult, yet critical, when they become adolescents. Of course you’re going to worry about them when they’re out with friends or on a date. If you didn’t worry, you wouldn’t care. And they will probably do a lot of dumb things that you don’t agree with. But we must remember that we are all human, and we all do dumb things, but we learn from our failures. Keep the lines of communication open while encouraging your children to explore this vast, beautiful world we live in, and they’re likely to turn out just fine.

7. Use positive language.

Our daughter hears the word “no” a lot (mostly because we say it to our dog). But she also hears “I love you,” “I’m so proud of you,” and “You’re so smart” at least twenty times a day. Be empathetic, tell your children “yes” as much as you can, and when you must say “no,” say it in a positive way. For example, instead of saying, “No, you can’t have any more cake,” try saying, “I understand that you’re still hungry; how about eating a banana instead?”

8. Let Grandma be Grandma.

Grandmothers will spoil their grandchildren. It’s what they do. They will also play the “friend” role quite often, which can drive you nuts, especially when you’re trying to exercise discipline and “be the mom.” But remember that someday, you may be a grandmother too, and you will probably want to spoil your grandchildren as well. Also, Grandma won’t be around forever. Let your children cherish the moments they have with her now—and vice versa.

9. Take care of yourself.

If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of your family. Eat healthy, exercise, and take time out for a date night with your husband or a day at the spa with your girlfriends when you need it. (Grandma will probably be more than happy to babysit!) Yes, being a mom requires a lot of sacrifice and selflessness, but sometimes caring for your children requires caring for yourself as well.

10. Document their childhood.

When I was pregnant with my first, I often heard the phrase “don’t blink.” As I’ve witnessed over the last two years since my daughter was born, these moments are fleeting. Thankfully, with today’s technology, capturing and preserving your memories is easier than ever, and FamilyArc is here to help. Our private, cloud-based platform lets you preserve your stories, photos, videos, and important documents in a secure, museum-quality archive for generations to come.

Click the button below to request more information.

PRESERVE YOUR LEGACY WITH FAMILYARC

This post was written by FamilyArc marketing manager, Selwa Luke. Please join us in congratulating her on the birth of her son, Kale, by leaving a comment below!

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