There’s a quote by Jill Churchill, “There’s no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.” It’s a favorite quote of mine, and while I agree with the million, I am taking it down to 12 for today.
1. SELF WORTH
Know our absolute-more-than-enough-worthiness and hold it as a truth that we never ever doubt. This is the number one way to live into our true selves, shine our light as a mom and model to our family that we are the real deal. We know that being who we really are is way beyond enough, and being a mom has nothing to do with that.
2. TELL THE TRUTH
Face the hard and sometimes cold or scary truth. When we can tell the truth about what is happening rather than avoid or deny it, this is when we can get a sense of control over it. Moms are naturally going to want to protect their family from pain, and that’s normal, but the truth is freeing even if it is painful sometimes. Just as important is facing our own truths. Sometimes these are even harder for us but going through hard things instead of around or over them is one way that we can stay in integrity with ourselves.
3. FEEL OUR FEELINGS
Our emotions are our greatest weakness and greatest strength as moms. When we are aware of our emotional baseline, our typical mood, we can be aware of intense emotion when it comes in. If we notice, feel, and allow our emotions, no matter whether they are positive or negative we show our families that we are human. We can handle most any emotion when we remember that it is created from our thoughts. Again, modeling this for our loved ones shows them and us that we can handle life (at least most of the time), no matter what happens.
4. LET OUR KIDS FEEL PAIN and FAIL
Knowing as a mom that our kids are supposed to experience pain as well as joy is a hard one. Remember this is how being a human works – to have happiness and disappointment, to be successful and to also have failures. It’s not our job to protect our kids or rob them of any of this. It is, after all, in their journeys that they learn and adapt and grow and this is how they will achieve their goals. Each of our kids’ journeys are uniquely their own, and our job is to just be there at each mile marker, cheering them on, and being their biggest fan.
Know the responsibilities that are ours to own and the ones that are absolutely not. An easy way to decide is based on this concept: We each take responsibility for our own emotions and actions, period. This means that I don’t blame my husband for “causing” me to feel stressed. Our kids, even when young, can also be taught that their feelings are valid, and they can learn how to show and share them (with support of course). This way we do not get caught up in “making everyone happy.”
6. UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
We love every person in our family with as much unconditional love as the moment we first held them and fell in love with them. This love is without any expectation of the other person to do, or be, or act in any certain way. This also means we can love others and still tell them no, without apology. We can set boundaries out of love for everyone, including, and most of all sometimes, for us. And, we can extend the same unconditional love and grace to ourselves that we give to others.
7. TIME FOR FUN!
We intentionally find ways to have fun and experience joy, pleasure and laughter with our families and sometimes without our families. We make plans every day to spend time just being in a state of emotion that we want to be in. Moms who make plans with their friends give their families time and space to build independence and healthy relationships without them, which is the ultimate goal after all.
We don’t get everything done. We’re ok with being the only mom who chooses sugar cereals sometimes for our kids. We yell sometimes too. We don’t have the perfectly clean, decorated, and organized home and we do not worry what other people think about that. Some days we do a great job doing it all and some days we don’t, at all. When we know that being perfect is such a waste of our limited energy, and know also that being imperfect helps our kids know that making mistakes is part of real life, we can take pressure off. It’s a relief! Clean house? Maybe it’s time to clean, yes. Let it go another day? That’s OK too.
Life is not fair. That’s the actual truth of the matter, bummer that it is. A rule we have in our family is this: Everyone gets what they need, and fair does not mean equal. This helps so much when one kid needs shoes and a musical instrument for their passion and another needs a softball glove and mascara. It also works really well when one gets their driver’s license at one age and another gets it later. Trying to make things equal in a family is not necessary. Life is not fair and we do our best with that by making sure everyone gets what they need.
10. LOVE IS ALWAYS AN OPTION
Whenever we do not know what to do, and there are many times this happens as moms, we know that we can always ask this question, “What would love do in this situation?” and then we will know exactly what to do.
Taking a moment every day or evening to just stop and say thank you for each of our family members in our life is a beautiful way to feel gratitude. We do not have to tell them thank you, but we can write in a journal or just think in our minds about them and about all the things that we appreciate about them. The practice of gratitude is simple, intentional and free, but when we align ourselves to our heart when we do it it feels amazing.
Having easy conversations is easy, so we can do that often and it builds connection. Having hard conversations is harder, so we often don’t do it and it builds disconnection. To have hard conversations, start by starting with love. Love for the other person, love for yourself, and love for the relationship. When it’s coming from pure love it cannot go wrong.
Which of these are your favorites, mama? As the Good Mom Coach, I coach moms on so many of these concepts, because the truth is, many moms doubt their momabilities! There is often just a simple mindset shift needed and the same mom regains her confidence with ease. Visit my website at www.goodmomcoach.com to learn more about me and my coaching and you can also listen to The Good Mom podcast there too.
The Good Mom Coach
Jodi is a compassionate and relatable life coach for moms who have neurodiversity in their families. Jodi helps moms uncover who they are and what they really want without apology or guilt, through her proven personalized coaching program! She is a mom of four herself, with 20 years of experience in education plus expertise in autism, bipolar disorder, positive psychology, and DBT. Jodi holds a M.S. in Educational Leadership and is certified as a life coach and weight coach with The Life Coach School. You can learn more by chatting with Jodi on a free Turning Point call.
Jodi invites you to listen to her weekly ad-free podcast, The Good Mom Podcast, where she shares short stories with unconventional solutions that will uplift and inspire you.
Listen here: The Good Mom Podcast
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