In the early days, I was often worrying about not being a “good enough” mom or making terrible mistakes in my parenting.
As time goes by, I began to gain greater confidence with my role as a mom. What really helped me though, was finding my own mantras that enable me to focus on what’s important, keep me grounded and lessen the stress, and frustrations.
My mommy mantras
1. This is just a phase.
It is hard when we are going through them, but many of the challenges we face in bringing up our kids are just passing phases as part of their growing up. From breastfeeding, dealing with numerous waking up throughout the night, to the seemingly endless diaper-changing and toddler tantrums, I’ve come to realize, and take comfort in the knowledge that these trying times don’t last forever. It’s true when other moms tell me “This too will pass.”
2. I don’t need to compare or compete.
Motherhood is not a comparison game. Neither is it a competition. I keep reminding myself that while we encounter similar challenges as moms, we are ultimately different because of the unique combination of our personalities, social, cultural, and professional backgrounds. Comparing or competing with another will not make us better moms. What matters is that we give the best we can to our children. Keeping this thought in my mind really helps to remove unnecessary stress I might have placed upon myself.
The same thing goes with comparing kids. As hard as it is, we should really stop comparing our kids with other children or even among siblings. Each child is special and unique, and that’s what we should focus on. Look for the gifts and talents that lie in each one of them and help them to blossom into their best selves.
3. Focus on what’s done well.
Instead of feeling bad about our parenting misses, focus on what’s done right or done well and do more of them. When we focus on the negative, we feel stressed and discouraged. So instead of putting ourselves down, give ourselves a pat on the back and celebrate how far we’ve come as parents, and the good we’ve done. It will motivate us to do better.
4. Enjoy more, worry less.
I was on a flight to Hong Kong with my then one-and-a-half year-old son and chatted with a female passenger next to me who left me a piece of advice. “Enjoy your son,” said the mom of grown up kids. What? Enjoy my son? I was at a point where I was struggling as a mom and didn’t get it at first. But slowly, it dawned on me what a great piece of advice it was. Instead of getting frustrated by my boy’s mischief or worry about 101 things that may not even happen, I can choose to relax and focus more on enjoying the relationship with him. At the end of the day, it’s the relationships with our kids that matter.
5. My needs are as important as my family’s.
As moms and women, we tend to be sacrificial and put our needs last. No wonder we often feel exhausted and unappreciated. If our needs go unmet for too long, we may even begin to resent our kids and spouse.
Reminding myself to honor my needs and make time for myself to rest, to do things I enjoy and to pursue my dreams, I am ensuring that I stay sane, happy and fulfilled. Guess that’s one of the best gifts I can give my family.
How about you? What other mommy mantras do you live by?
This is an original World Moms Blog post by Ruth from Mommy Cafe of Singapore.
The image used in this post is credited to Sura Nualpradid and downloaded from freedigitalphotos.net