How to achieve supermom status in 2018
The pressures of modern parenting are enough to drive any mom to insanity, but if you take a step back and really look at your life as a parent, your kids don’t need as much from you as you think they do. Not much has changed since you were a kid yourself, begging your mom to look at the Lego structure you spent hours building – kids just want to spend time with their parents and feel their love. It’s easy to get distracted by our phones and busy schedules and to spend too much time comparing ourselves to the polished moms we see on social media, but the truth is, being a great mom isn’t about how good the little square photos on our Instagram profiles look, it’s about the connections we make with our kids and the things we do that will stick with them for a lifetime.
We’re here to remind you that you’re already a great mom, but if you’re looking for ways to be a better parent in 2018, here are some simple things you can do to achieve your highest supermom status in the coming year.
PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN MORE, OR AT LEAST FOR A SET AMOUNT OF TIME EACH DAY.
While everyone fights over the “right” amount of screen time kids should be allowed, most parents aren’t considering how much time they spend on their own devices and the fact that their kids certainly notice when their mom or dad is paying attention to their phone instead of them. Carve out a realistic slot of time each day to put your phone down and make real connections with your kids.
TAKE TIME TO SELF-CARE.
Feeling tired and ragged? Us, too. You may feel guilty taking time for yourself, but between carting kids to and from school and activities, preparing meals, keeping a tidy house, and the incredible mental load you are carrying, self-care is a necessity. Taking some time for yourself every day, or at least every week will make you a better mom.
Go for a monthly manicure, take a walk around the block every night after dinner, soak in the bathtub once the kids are asleep – do whatever you need to do to recharge your batteries so that you can return to your kids relaxed, calm, and ready to take on a new day.
DROP SOME OF YOUR CHILD/FAMILY’S ACTIVITIES.
Although it’s tempting to pack our kids’ schedules with tons of activities that will enrich their lives, teach them new skills, and complement what they learn at school, it’s also important to give everyone’s schedule a break now and then. For you, that means fewer drop offs and pick ups at various dance studios, science clubs, and karate lessons and less time sitting through your kids’ soccer tournaments at the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning. For your kids, that means time to relax and recharge after school, to play with their siblings, and to connect with you. Most importantly, everyone will feel less stressed.
ASK YOUR KIDS QUESTIONS THAT WILL INSPIRE MEANINGFUL ANSWERS.
Once our kids are school age, it’s easy to get into the “How was school?” “Good,” pattern with them, which doesn’t serve either party in any way, shape, or form. Whether it’s when they walk in the door off the bus or while you’re sitting at the dinner table as a family, ask them thought-provoking questions that will inspire honest and meaningful responses.
STOP FOCUSING ON ACHIEVING PERFECTION.
Not comparing ourselves to other parents really is half the battle of modern parenting. Between picture-perfect mom bloggers and the moms at school drop off who are really great at projecting themselves as having their sh*t together, it can seem like you’re doing everything wrong – but here’s a secret: none of us has our sh*t together. Once you allow yourself to drop the notion of perfection – there’s truly no such thing as being the “perfect mom” anyway – to focus more on the things that actually matter, you’ll find it’s easier to be a present and less-stressed parent for your kids.
GIVE YOUR CHILDREN POSITIVE FEEDBACK THEY’LL APPRECIATE.
In a world where saying “no” is usually a lot easier than saying “yes,” it is important to bring up children who don’t feel that negativity has a higher value than positivity. Encouraging words can have a truly lasting effect on your kids years and years after you’ve said them, so we should choose to use phrases that will make them feel good about themselves inside and out, things that will stick with them as words that got them through tough times.
STOP DOING IT ALL FOR YOUR KIDS.
There is such thing as doing “too much” for your kids, and constant overparenting isn’t going to help them in the long run. Let them be bored and figure out how to entertain themselves, show them how to make simple snacks so they can do it themselves in the future, don’t jump to help them with their homework unless they really need assistance, and give them chores and responsibilities from a young age. Handing life to your child on a silver platter is doing a disservice to you both.
When you’re with your kids, be with them. Engage with them in any way you can, whether it be through talking, playing, laughing, cooking, exercising, or reading. Put aside the things on your mental to-do list that can wait – your kids won’t be kids forever, so the dishes and laundry can wait.
DO ONE THING A WEEK TO REALLY CONNECT WITH EACH OF YOUR KIDS.
Whether it’s a big outing or something small like taking a bike ride around the neighbourhood together, pick one thing each week that you can do to connect with your kids. If you have more than one child, it’s especially important to get this one-on-one bonding time with each of them so that they can feel special, valued, and that they have your full attention, if only for a short time.
This post first appeared in MSN Lifestyle