By: Christine Cox, The Choosy Mommy
There is a great post floating around social media that talks about how to be a mom in 2017. It lists out everything you need to do to ensure you are raising your children well. Literally, everything. See below. After reading this post, I thought to myself, no wonder my head is spinning constantly. I am being told to do this, do that, don’t do this or that, etc. all for the benefit of my children and family. But how can one person literally check all of these things off and still just enjoy life? Besides, I couldn’t imagine what would be going on in the little minds of my children should I follow these “rules” because it is just confusing! Too much worry and too little time on this Earth. So, to help all of the moms like me out there sort through this list, I have come up with my own suggestions on how to be the best mom.
Find Your Family’s Key to Happiness
Just because leading experts recommend something about raising your children doesn’t mean you have to follow what they say. I am learning from experience, and quite frankly from my children, that the key to happiness isn’t eating exactly 1200 calories a day, running 4 miles in the pouring down rain to make sure I got my workout in and not watching that cool new show on TV.
I have learned that doing things together as a family, making cookies because we like to eat them, and watching that show on TV because it is something we all can laugh at is our key to happiness. Togetherness. And when you are happy (mom) the people around you tend to be happier too, right? So go ahead and eat that candy bar you’ve been eyeing up at the store and share it with your kids because together you can all enjoy the sweet taste of chocolate as a special treat. And be sure to breakout your swimsuit you’ve been hesitant to wear because swimming in the pool with your kids is fun (and good exercise!). Whatever you deem makes your family happy, then go for it.
Don’t Put a Stop to Being a Kid
When I put myself into my kid’s shoes, I see that they just want to live a simple life. They want to eat a good breakfast because their bodies are hungry when they wake up and they want to go outside to play because they like being outdoors. It would be me who would be stopping their natural desire to want to be a kid. So, instead of being the adult and saying no we can’t go outside because it is too cold, be a kid again and put on your hat and boots and get outside!
My point is that kids just want to have fun and not be super serious all of the time. They need a leader, you, to show them the way. Think back to the things you used to love to do as a child and share those memories with your family. My tip is to do something at least once a day that makes you feel like a kid again. So whether that is jumping in a puddle, playing with playdough or even putting on your makeup so ridiculously that you look like you could join the circus, just do it and have a laugh!
Know What Experts You Want Advice From
I bet if you Googled some random question, you could find an expert that agrees or disagrees with whatever you believe is right. You could also ask 100 other moms and hear 100 opinions as well. But sometimes you know the right answer without having to consult someone else, and other times you really do need a second party’s opinion. Regardless, do your research and figure out who meshes well with your family’s lifestyle and go to them for advice. Don’t just Google or ask Facebook because then your answer is going to look like that image above with the way to be a mom in 2017. Find a doctor who says to eat the candy bar (if that’s what you want), find a teacher who could teach a rock to roll (because clearly they could teach you anything!), find another parent who believes in your parenting ways, and find a friend who can chip in when you want to throw in the towel (because parenting is hard!)
How to Be the Best Mom
Besides my three little tips above, I bet if you simply do these things, you will be the best mom: feed your kids, play with them, wash between their ears sometimes and kiss their boo-boos. Ta da! I bet you do all of those things already. So guess what? You’re the best mom!
Being the best mom doesn’t have a checklist that comes along with it. Just like when you leave the hospital with your newborn baby…no instructions. We figure it all out as we go and we learn from each other. So take my advice with a grain of salt, but remember, do what is best for YOUR family, your children and yourself and you will be the best mom!