Motherhood is tough. It’s more than worth it. It’s also beset by challenges. But those challenges can be overcome. As you can see, motherhood is an incredibly fractious yet amazing experience to go through, something that will define you as more than yourself, something that can be exemplified no matter if you have biological children, if you adopt, or if you just have those instincts through and through.
It’s very easy to quantify just what ‘makes’ a great mother. Is it the ability to juggle ten things at once? Is it chasing a career or staying at home? What relationship dynamics are the most conducive to great motherhood, and can you do it alone? What if you’re not sure if you can be a great mother, but you’ll do everything you can to be a good mother? Is that enough? Well, yes, we believe it is. But it’s also important to consider that, according to reason, rationality and good sense, you can only be a good mother IF…
You Take Care Of Yourself
It may seem as though the primary task of a parent is to care for their child. That’s probably true. That said, you can only care for them if you care for yourself. Sure, you can stay up all night every night keeping close watch over them, fret over every little threat out there, and refuse to take care of yourself if it means taking time away from your child. You’ll last about a week with this mindset.
It’s important to prioritize yourself sometimes, provided that doesn’t come at the major expense of your child. Getting sleep where you can, for instance (perhaps when you place your baby down for a nap), can be extremely important. These tips for relaxation and well being are essential. Eating well, and steering clear from too much caffeine or alcohol is also essential. Remember, motherhood is tough on your mind and body. Treat them well. Meditate if you get chance. And keep in mind, any investment in your own health is by extension investment in your child’s health.
You Understand That You’ll Make Mistakes
If you understand that you’ll make mistakes, you don’t have to chastise yourself every time you make one. Of course, there are several gradations of mistake. Leaving your child in a shopping mall accidentally is perhaps something to think about and consider, but being a little too forceful in your discipline and admonishment? Being a little cranky from time to time?
Not realizing they might be suffering from a minor health issue for a couple of days, a couple of days more than you would have liked? It doesn’t mean you’re a terrible mother or parent at large. It means you’re human. Provided you truly do care for your child (we’re stating the obvious here), it’s unlikely any of these mistakes were intentional. So, don’t beat yourself up about them, just learn the lesson if you have to. This saves you heaps of needless mental anguish.
You Don’t Force Your Feelings
It’s okay to feel tired, irritable, annoyed, to miss the freedom of youth, to wish your child would just go to sleep already, and to feel embarrassment if your child acts up in public. You can’t force yourself to feel any other way, but many people try to. They might think that unless they are completely benevolent they have no chance of being a great mother, and will instead pass their trauma down onto their children and the cycle will repeat.
You don’t have to force your feelings. Try not to think in end-of-the-world scenarios. If you feel irritable, you feel irritable. It’s not a great statement about your fitness of a parent, it just means you’re a calibrated human. Understanding that can help you feel a little less guilt about negative emotion, because (reasonable) negative emotion can be healthy. If it gets too much, don’t be afraid to visit a Doctor or mental health professional – they’re here to help.
You Ask For Help When You Need It
If you need help, ask for it. No matter if this is in the form of a Doctor’s visit, crying on your friend’s shoulder, or asking your parents for a favor. Great mothers do this. Misguided mothers think they can do everything themselves and bottle up all of their frustration (even if they are amazing in a broader sense, which most sole mothers are, for example). This help can, sometimes, be a serious aid in times of serious need.
With this advice, we hope you can become the best mother you can be. We have no doubt you’re more than approaching that status.