Sometimes motherhood can feel like swimming upstream. And the fact that it doesn’t come with a manual on how to be a better mother, makes it even more difficult.

Feeling like you’re failing your children can be one of the most disheartening experiences for any mom.

Children that have an unfulfilling childhood can bear the scar for the rest of their life. But those with a happy childhood get a great head start to a fulfilling life.

There is no right way for being a great mother and everyone does it differently based on their child’s characteristics. But there are some things that we can do to become the best mothers we can be. Read on for our best advice on how to be a better mother for your child

1. Take Care of Yourself

The most important tip for how to become a better mother is to take proper care of yourself. Mothers that are physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy will have the strength and clarity to take proper care of their family.

Unfortunately, mothers tend to put themselves last due to the unconditional love they have for their children. This leads to them getting burned out and feeling resentful. Being stressed out and tired may also cause you to be snappy or irritable with your children─ making you feel like a horrible mother.

Avoid the negative cycle by prioritizing your self-care so that you may have the capacity to care for your family. Also, remember that your children will grow up and leave behind an empty nest. So try and maintain your interests and hobbies that are separate from your life as a mother.

2. Embrace Your Imperfections

As mothers, we often strive to be the best versions of ourselves but we often fall short. Holding ourselves to perfect standards creates unnecessary stress in our lives.

Reduce negative self-talk and love and accept yourself the same way you love your children – unconditionally. This will create an environment of love and acceptance in your home whereby your children won’t strive for unachievable levels of perfection.

3. Embrace Your New Reality

Once you become a mother you become a mom for life. Many women struggle with the extra responsibilities that motherhood thrusts at them. This resentment acts as a mental block that keeps them from learning how to be a better mother.

Accepting that it’s no longer just you (and your partner) and that you are fully responsible for another human being helps you create the mental shift to become a loving nurturer to your children.

4. Apologize When You Hurt Your Child

Mothers are pulled in several directions so sometimes you may end up snapping at your child or saying hurtful things. You may also end up neglecting some duties or breaking promises to them due to overcommitments. When this happens, learn to apologize to your child so that you may be able to overcome cycles of guilt and shame.

Some people feel that it is not necessary to apologize to children. But ignoring them when we are in the wrong could be damaging to their emotions and self-esteem. They will also learn from your example if you acknowledge instances whereby you were wrong.

Also, remember to be forgiving to yourself when you make mistakes.

5. Be Present With Your Children

Whenever you are spending time with your children, be present and give them your full attention. Whenever they are speaking with you listen to their words but also pay attention to their body language. Children communicate in many different ways and you often have to give them your full attention to understand what is going on with them.

Be curious about them and ask questions about their lives. If you have more than one child, ensure that you spend quality alone time with each child doing an activity that they love.

Use each moment to get closer to your child and create a special connection even through the little things. You can strengthen the bond you have with each child by having special matching outfits for your activities together.

Check out these fun examples from mommy and me collections for inspiration.

Also, pay attention to any changed behaviors or habits to establish if your child may be experiencing problems that they have not told you about. Giving your child your full attention will make them feel loved and build their self-confidence.

6. Be Patient When Your Child Misbehaves

Many times children misbehave as a way to communicate their frustrations. One of the best ways to be a better mother is to try and find the underlying cause of your child’s misbehavior.

Sometimes it may be a result of an inability to communicate their needs. Other times it may be a need for independence as is the case with teenagers. There must be consequences for bad behavior but take time to speak with your child to find out why they are acting out.

7. Give Your Child The Freedom To Be Themself

Parents tend to live vicariously through their children by wanting them to do things that they never did. This may sometimes be positive, for example, taking them to schools you were never able to attend. But our children may not want the same things we do and they may have different goals from us.

What makes a good mother is to allow a child the freedom to become who they want to be. Children are often very clear about who they are and what they want so it’s best to nurture this conviction from a young age. When they are adults they will be grateful to you for helping them to keep their individuality.

How To Be A Better Mother To Your Child

Working at being figuring out how to be a better mother is a noble pursuit because happy children get a great head start to life. Prioritizing your mental, physical, and emotional health is a great foundation for being a better mother.

Also, make sure to spend quality time with your child whereby you give them your full attention. This will enable you to know your child better while building their self-confidence.

Browse through the rest of our blog for more great tips on being a great mom.