Being a mom is one of the most rewarding experiences in life, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. From lack of sleep to never-ending laundry, moms have to juggle a lot on a daily basis. To make your life a little easier, we’ve put together a list of 10 things every mom should know.
You are enough
Motherhood can make you question if you are enough. You might ask yourself questions like,
Do we read enough?
Was I gentle enough?
Am I doing enough?
It’s time to stop doubts from creeping in. You don’t need to be anything different than what you are right now. Stop comparing your life with the others mom’s around you.
Sure, they might throw that perfect birthday party, have a sleek body, or picture perfect family life. But, remember, everyone has something else going on behind the scenes that you don’t know about. Don’t compare, and don’t get too hard on yourself. Your kids love you as you are right now. Today. You are enough for them. You are all they need.
Your mental health matters
One thing that I’ve learned is that “If mom isn’t happy, no one is happy.” Mother’s set the tone for the entire household. If mom is feeling down and discouraged, it can affect the entire family. That’s why it’s incredibly important to take care of yourself mentally. Decide today to make your mental health a priority.
Spend time talking with friends or counseling professionals. Exercise every day. Use a gratitude journal to help you look for the good. Allow yourself to rest. As you take care of yourself and your own mental health, you are also modeling to your kids how they can do the same for themselves.
- brand: Penguin
- Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?
No one knows what they are doing
Pssst….can I let you in on a secret? No one knows what they are doing. Our kids come to us without any kind of users guide or manual. It’s tempting to watch other mom’s and think, “They know how to do this so much better than I do.”
But, the truth is that no one knows exactly what they are doing. We all make mistakes and learn along the way. The best thing you can do is be kind to yourself, ask for help when you need it, and know that you are always learning and growing in this journey of motherhood.
You can’t be perfect
We tend to have this vision in our heads of what kind of mother we will be. We picture the perfect mother that never gets mad, always has patience, and says all the right things. The truth is, it’s impossible to be a perfect mom. You will mess up at times; you will get angry when you don’t want to; and you won’t have all the answers.
That’s part of being human. What makes you a good mom is when you can accept yourself (and your kids) as imperfect people. When you mess up, own it, apologize, and learn from it. Every person is being raised by someone else who is imperfect. What our kids don’t know, is that we as mother’s are growing up as they do.
Be careful who you go to for advice
You know that your cousin’s friend’s boyfriend said that kids over 9-months-old can potty train right? Or that lady in your online mommy forum said that breastmilk can cure everything from warts to bad eyesight? As mother’s we tend to get a lot of advice from well-meaning people. Trick is to know which advice to use.
Be careful of where you get your advice from. Everyone has an opinion on how to raise children, but that doesn’t mean it is the right fit for you or your family. Do research and talk to professionals before making a decision. You’ll know what works best for your family.
- Hardcover Book
- Siegel M.D., Daniel J. (Author)
Your kid is probably not an outlier, but go with your gut
I can’t tell you how many times I thought my first toddler was a little outside the norm. It wasn’t until I made a few mom friends and their kids that I started to realize what looked normal in child development. If you’ve never spent a lot of time around kids, just know that your kid is probably not an outlier.
Did your 2-year-old hit their baby brother? They are not a savage sociopath. Did your 5-year-old pee their pants at church so they didn’t have to go to Sunday School? Still normal. Spend time with other mom’s and their kids to get a feel for the normal range of behavior. It’ll help you see what to expect.
However, if you truly feel like something is off with your child and it’s concerning you, always trust your gut and reach out to a professional for help.
You can’t pour from an empty cup
As much as we all want the world to think that we are supermom’s, we can’t pour from an empty cup. As a mother, you will be asked to do so much and give so much of yourself that you may forget about taking care of yourself. It’s okay to put your needs first sometimes.
You need time for yourself to recharge, relax, and enjoy life. Find ways to carve out moments when you can go out with friends, go to the gym, or go on a date with your partner. You need time and space away from your kids. Every mom does. It’ll help you come back to your kids feeling refreshed and ready to be the best you can for them.
Read: Self Care for Moms
Things will change
The one constant in motherhood is change. This is easy to see from the earliest of days. You finally get your baby to sleep for (slightly) longer stretches, when they have a sleep regression and stop sleeping for you. Or you just figure out your 3-year-old actually likes broccoli, when they decide a week later that it’s the worst. No matter what it is, things will change.
If you are ever experiencing a difficult season in motherhood, wait it out. It won’t last forever and things will change soon. It’s easy to get overwhelmed in the moment, so take a few deep breaths and remember that this too shall pass.
On the flip side, the good changes too. The sweet hugs turn into a sideways pat from your teenage son. The sleepy days of having a newborn turn into the busy run of a toddler. So soak up every moment.
When things feel hard, sleep
Sleep has this amazing power to turn a hard day into something better. Yes, it’s hard to get our kids down for their naps, and even harder to shut the door on our own rest time, but if you can squeeze in a few minutes of sleep – do it.
Sleep will give you an energy boost and help you tackle the day with a renewed sense of perspective. It’ll also soothe the broken heart of a teenager and calm the chaos of a toddler. If you are ever not sure what the answer to life’s problems are, sleep. Sleep solves things for both you and your kids.
Build your village
Most of us don’t live the same lives that our mother’s and grandmother’s did. We are not down the street from family. We live far away and don’t have the same support systems. So we must build our own.
Find your village of moms, aunties, nannies, friends – whoever it is that will have your back when you need it most. It’s hard to do motherhood alone, so make sure you have people who can pick up the pieces when you need it. I know this isn’t easy. You’ll have to put yourself out there. Make friends. Pay a nanny for help. Gather your people. But motherhood gets so much better when you have a village. You can do it!
Motherhood is a wild, wonderful ride. That’s why we’ve shared 10 things every mom should know. It’s normal to have days when you feel like you are just trying to survive and other days when you feel like a rockstar mom. The important thing is to remember that your job is hard, but worth it! You can do this and make it through each day with grace, love, and a little bit of patience.