The motherhood club is a very special group. It’s an exclusive club, and membership is for life. When you became a member of this club or how you joined is irrelevant because once you become a mom, there’s no more powerful role in life. Regardless of your age, income, educational background or zip code, members of this club share one mutual goal--to raise happy, healthy and competent human beings. Because all mothers have this same focus, they need to concentrate on what really matters--empowering and supporting other moms--and the decisions they make for their families.
According to child development studies, a critical factor contributing to effective mothering has nothing to do with what you say or what you do with your kids. It’s all about managing your own stress. The real reason moms are advised to take care of themselves is because stress trickles down to kids, which can be detrimental to kids of all ages.
Another critical factor contributing to effective mothering is the level of a mother’s self-esteem. Kids pick up on how parents see themselves, so it is important to maintain your self-esteem. One of the best ways to do this is to make time for your passions. Find something you’re good at and that you enjoy, and do it. This can be a huge confidence builder.
Listen to women whose advice you trust and respect. Spend time with strong, confident women, who are part of your inner support circle.
Support other mothers. We need to empower moms to feel good about the decisions they make for their family. Make a pledge to support and empower other moms, and stick to your pledge by telling a friend, making visual reminders and appointing your child as a reminder and personal cheerleader.
There is no cookie-cutter approach to raising a child. Every mother goes about her role a little differently. You’ll never find two moms who use the same discipline, daily rituals, values or routines. Each mother has to decide what works best for her family and for herself. And it’s up to the rest of us to honor and support the choices that each mother makes.
Self-esteem and confidence are critically important to raising happy, healthy and safe children. Ensure that your inner self-talk is always kind, and be your own #1 fan. Motherhood is hard enough as it is, and mothers need as much support and confidence as possible.
Criticism and judgments are disastrous to mothering. And even more, it affects children. Judging lowers confidence levels, boosts stress, and reduces the effectiveness of mothers. This also sends a bad example to kids. We may tell our kids to “be nice” and ‘don’t bully,” but if mothers judge other mothers, kids end up learning that judging is acceptable.
When you sense judgment from others, do not become defensive. Instead, take a deep breath and think before you act. Try shifting the conversation to a different topic or just walk away if you need to escape the situation.
Mothers need to focus on the important business of raising happy and healthy kids with confidence, inner strength and support. If you’re a member of the motherhood club, give yourself a pat on the back and give your fellow moms a high-five. After all, moms are fueled by the support they get from everybody else, particularly other moms. And remember that nothing is more important in life than raising good human beings.
For more information, the StrongMoms Empower program conducted the National Motherhood Decisions Survey. View the results of this survey here.
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