Useful Tips for Surviving the Struggles of Being a Mom
It’s no secret, parenting is hard.
It’s also one of the most rewarding things a person can do in life- be a parent.
There are a lot of challenges that come with being a mother, but there is also a lot of amazing blessings we wouldn’t get otherwise.
For me, one of the greatest struggles of being a mom is the hard stages. And my kids aren’t even teenagers yet!
Even so, as moms, there are plenty of hard stages along the way.
There’s the newborn stage, the terrible two’s, sending your kids to school, etc.
No one tells you how hard motherhood is. If they did, a lot of people would pass up the opportunity and move on with their lives.
But as moms who get it, you can love motherhood and just have bad days.
Bad days are going to happen.
The best thing you can do for yourself is know how to deal with the bad days and the rough seasons of parenting, and come out on the other side as a better parent.
Here are some tips to help you be a good mom, even when parenting is hard.
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Take a Breath
I know for myself, when my kids mess up, I am quick to either yell at them or show my obvious frustration.
This is totally acceptable in a situation that could be potentially dangerous for them.
In other situations, it may be a good time to start taking a breath before you open your mouth.
Is what they’re doing going to hurt someone or themselves?
Should they know better?
Is it only bothering you?
All of these questions are good questions.
One of my pet peeves is repetitive things.
Kids, especially little ones repeat themselves. Their vocabulary is limited so when they realize they can communicate with you, they repeat what they know.
It makes me CRAZY!!
I love my kids, but repetition makes me lose my mind.
I’m learning to take a breath before I open my mouth.
They aren’t hurting anyone, including me.
Embrace the moment, take a breath, and move on.
Sometimes you need to open your mouth, but other times, everyone is better off if you keep it shut and walk away.
Put Yourself in Their Position
Society today is quick to jump on a situation before taking into consideration a variety of factors.
As parents, at least for me, we can be quick to jump to conclusions before hearing the entire situation.
One thing I was told by a friend’s mom one time is that there are 3 sides to every story. The side of the story for the two people, and the truth. The truth lies somewhere in between.
You’ll want to believe your kids, but kids lie. Deciphering that is one of the greatest parenting challenges.
Everyone wants to save face and try to not get into trouble.
You can be a better mom by just putting yourself in their position.
Did your child react in a situation based upon something that has been bothering them long before the current incident?
Bullying is bad. Really bad.
When I was teaching middle school, I saw bullying often. Hateful bullying at that.
Kids can be mean, and oftentimes, they’ll only put up with it for so long before they react.
As adults, we do the same thing.
You’ll only put up with someone’s crap for so long before you take matters into your own hands.
Listen to their stories.
Even your little ones. They have stories too.
Maybe they threw a book away. Instead of yelling at them for throwing the book away, and expecting them to know better, ask why they did it. Maybe they were just trying to help clean up, in which case you missed out on a serious teaching moment.
Put yourself in their position, you may suddenly see something you were once oblivious to.
One of the struggles of being a mom is that we often want to empathize with our kids.
We don’t want them to have done wrong.
We don’t want to admit that they messed up and we may be part of that blame.
Maybe we didn’t teach them well enough. Maybe we should have done a better job of guiding them. Or maybe if you had said it to them just one more time, the outcome would’ve been different.
No really, walk away. Gather your thoughts and come back to the situation.
I struggle with walking away. I want to fix the problem and have it be better, NOW.
But as moms, we can’t always fix the situations our kids have gotten themselves in.
Sometimes we need to walk away before we can assess and handle the situation.
When my kids make a disaster of the playroom while I’m taking 2 minutes to go to the bathroom, I often have to walk away.
They had fun. It’s OK.
Instead of rushing in and automatically starting to pick things up while yelling about the mess they made, maybe I could just walk away and come back when I’ve convinced myself it’s no big deal. They’re toys, and they’re kids.
It’s a teaching opportunity for them to learn how to clean it up.
Sometimes, the best way to be a good mom in a rough situation is just to walk away.
But, always come back.
As a mother and Christian woman, I often feel like my first line of defense during rough days and tough seasons should be prayer.
But, I’m not always good at remembering that.
Praying does a lot of things.
I believe in God and know full well what He’s capable of.
But if nothing else, praying often allows me to be honest with myself.
Have you ever spoken something out loud and suddenly it became more than just a thought?
When our kids go through hard stages, we are likely to struggle right along with them.
Our struggle will look different than theirs, but it’s a struggle, nonetheless.
Praying allows us as moms to take some of the pressure off our shoulders, and let God have a shot at it.
It may not always end up how we want it to, but it gives us quiet time to process through things and figure out if we should be doing something different.
Remember They’re Kids
Kids will be kids.
No really, they will, they’re age says so.
A two-year-old will do two-year-old things, like tear every single book off the bookshelf and then walk away.
A 10-year-old will say mean things to other kids because they saw someone else do it and they didn’t get in trouble.
And then we have the tough teenage years. They may try drugs, drinking, or have pre-marital sex, and as a parent, you get to figure out how to handle it.
Parenting is hard, but they’re still kids.
Their brains aren’t fully developed at any of these stages, and oftentimes, they don’t really grasp the full scope of potential outcomes.
Kids will be kids and it’s our job as their mom to try and guide them the best we can.
Have the two-year-old help you pick up the books.
Take your 10-year-old to apologize face to face with the kid they were rude to, and a sincere apology at that.
Have a heart to heart with your teenager about what can happen if they were to get hooked on drugs or alcohol or become pregnant at a young age.
Sometimes kids just don’t get it. They haven’t been exposed enough to know the real outcomes.
Teaching is a HUGE part of our jobs as parents.
When our kids make silly choices, it doesn’t mean they don’t love and respect you.
It could just mean they had a serious lapse in judgment and that’s it.
Guide them to better choices but remember that kids will act their age. They just do.
Related Post: How to be a Better Mom to Your Toddler
Give Yourself Grace
Momma’s, listen up, it’s OK to not be perfect.
I know society tells us otherwise, but no one’s perfect.
There is no perfect mom, she is a product of our imaginations, and she doesn’t exist. And motherhood isn’t a competition, so stop letting it be one!
Give yourself grace.
When you’ve had a day that you’ve yelled at your kids more than you like, apologize. It’s healthy to apologize to your children no matter their age.
When you didn’t get the sink of dishes washed because your teething baby needed you, give yourself a break.
And when your teen was bullied at school and needs to reminded how amazing they truly are, forget about everything else and be a mom.
One of the greatest challenge’s parents face in the 21st century is comparison.
We are always comparing ourselves to other parents instead of creating our own expectations.
Don’t set your expectations of yourself as a mom too high, or you’ll likely end up disappointed and frustrated.
You don’t have to be the Pinterest Mom.
But if you are, that’s awesome.
Just be the mom you always wanted for your kids, and you’ll be fine.
This is a Season
As with all good and bad things, they end.
The good seasons, they end.
The bad seasons do too.
As I get older, I realize that nothing lasts forever.
And as a mother, that’s one of my greatest realizations.
It has allowed me to really soak in the precious moments with my kids when I realize that this isn’t going to be like this FOREVER.
And when I have really rough days, I can remember that it won’t be like this FOREVER.
Every bit of this is temporary, and it’s up to you how you deal with it.
Related Post: Helpful Books for Parenting Toddlers
The Struggles of Being a Mom Aren’t Easy, But They’re Worth It!
There are a lot of amazing rewards of being a parent.
You have a person to love unconditionally. No one said that was easy.
It’s one of the greatest inner struggles of being a mom.
Trying to figure out how to love your kids through the hardest seasons of their lives is like navigating a never-ending maze without any kind of map.
There are always going to be bumps in the road as a parent. It’s part of the journey.
I think every mom has their own opinion of the hardest stage of life.
For some, it may be the baby years. For others, the teenage years. Thankfully, some stages are easier to navigate than others.
We all have motherhood problems. It comes with the title of, “MOM”.
But let me tell you something.
No one loves as fiercely as a mom. No one.
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