5 Simple Ways To Be a Better Mom, Today

I’ve been thinking about this post for a while…

I’m not really one to give parenting advice and honestly I still question if I am at a place in life where I should. I’ve been doing this mom thing for 8 years now and in those 8 years things have been in a constant state of change. I was a full-time working mom, a part-time working mom, a stay at home mom and now a home school mom. My point in listing all the “labels” I’ve worn is that I feel like I can relate to SO many moms.

But, no matter what kind of mom you are one thing never changes. 
Being a mom is hard.

Today I want to share with you 5 simple things I have been implementing in my life to help me be a better mom. My hope is that not only will these help you be a better mom, but that your children would be positively affected by you being more intentional too. Some things may be new, some I am sure you have heard of, but hopefully they will all serve as good reminders.

5 Simple ways to be a better mom, today!

1 // Use your ears & your eyes
There are a few things I have been guilty of and this is a big one. Not looking at my kids when they talk to me or tuning them out while I’m working on other things until their voice reaches a certain level of desperation. Both of these disappoint me, why do I do this? By using my eyes and my ears to be more attentive to my kids I am sending them the message that they are the most important thing and 99% of the time they are. 

2 // Be their fan, not their critic
Always offer praise over criticism. Few things are more crushing to a child than them showing you something and you immediately pointing out its flaws. I know we can’t always let mistakes go unnoticed, but try to be sensitive about giving criticism. When it can’t be avoided I always try to say 3 good things before I say anything bad. 

3 // Say yes more
A couple of years ago I realized how selfishly I was using the word no. I had become the Newman family fun police.If anything was going to cause extra work or require me to change my plans I was quick to answer with a snappy no. Thankfully I realized this and have worked hard to consider the motives behind my answers. I say yes A LOT more now days. 

4 // Talk about everything and nothing
Do you ever forget that behind all of those crazy emotions that flare up your kids are totally sensible people?! I sure do and sometimes I forget that they need to talk too. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions and find out how they feel. From the big things in life to the little things. The sooner you start talking to your kids the better. 

5 // Utilize a mommy time out 
Sometimes my kids aren’t the only ones who need a time out. There has been more than one occasion that I have sent my kids to their rooms to play for 10 minutes so I could put myself in a “time out”. Breathe, pray, cry, text or call a friend. Whatever I need to do to calm down. The least thing I want to do is to take my bad attitude out on my kids.

What is one thing you do to be a better mom?

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Beth at Our Pretty Little Girls | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram 
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  • Amy Smith

    Saying yes more is something that I’ve been working on, too. They are only this little once, right?

    • Yes! I wish I had started saying yes more sooner. So glad you are working on this now Amy :).

  • I know that I need a break from C on a weekly basis. Usually this is just me going to the grocery alone but I crave some quiet time away from everything and everyone so running errands solo or going on a walk by myself, just something that I can do by myself really helps me.

    • Definitely mommy needs to get out to be alone before she flips her lid. Even being able to send the kids outside as they have gotten older has really helped.

  • Jessica

    I love this so much! Such great tips and things I want to work on as a mom. I need to say yes more. Thanks for this.

    • You are so welcome Jess. Glad you found it helpful.

  • Meghan Flinn

    Yes! These are great tips! I need to be better at being totally in tune and saying yes more! And I couldn’t agree more about being their fan not their critic. I know too many parents who are constantly criticizing and it didn’t do their kids any good!

    • I grew up with a mom who was always quick to tell me what she would have done to improve whatever I had done. It was hard. If I am being honest I have to fight against being that way with my girls tooth and nail but I really try hard to not be like what was so hard on me.

  • Oh boy, these are wonderful tips! I’ve been guilty of all of these at one point or another!

  • Great tips! I could definitely use mommy time outs throughout the day!

    • I think I started doing that when I realized I was snapping at the kids and how hard that was on them. Now I am trying to stop the ride before it gets all the way to crazy town.

  • Newman family fun police…ha! I love that. 🙂

    Talk about everything and nothing…that is a good reminder. I read once that we need to be willing to listen to the little (seemingly unimportant things) NOW because those little things are important to our children. If we don’t listen to the things that are important to them now, they won’t bother coming to us when the issues are deeper and even more important.

    • It is SO true Emily. Yes! I have read the same exact things. I really try to work on this one. I want my girls to feel like they can say anything to me.

  • Listen, really listen to my kids and now my grandkids. You’re so right, the undivided attention, focusing on their words/expressions and eye contact. Because we are actually modeling this exact thing we expect from them.

    • Oh that is such a good way to look at it and I have never even thought of it that way. The way I act is a reflection. I am going to ponder that (possibly too much) the rest of the week.

  • #4 and 5 are my favourite and most important in my books! Great list!

  • Love the advice. I try to listen better and say yes more when I can!

    • Thank you Dara. Those are always good things to be more intentional about doing.

  • These are wonderful reminders to be a more engaged parent! Im guilty of several :/ But thats not to say I don’t try. Thanks for always being a voice of love and reason.

    • Oh goodness friend. I am not so sure about that but I can try my hardest right along side you ladies and we can all encourage each other to be better versions of ourselves :).

  • chall1018

    Love this post so much, friend! And I needed this. I went to bed with so much mom-guilt yesterday because I didn’t feel like I mom’d to the best of my ability! All of these things you listed, I failed at yesterday. I was easily irritated all day yesterday and raised my voice more times than I should have. I prayed hard last night for a better day today. Thanks for sharing these amazing tips! Striving to accomplish all of these!

    • Big hugs mama! We all have days where we feel like completely blow it… but we must remember grace. I hope today was much better for you.

  • This is seriously awesome advice. I am definitely guilty of saying no too often. I need to work on that one!

    • Thanks Leslie. It is so hard but start working on it now for sure! You will not regret it, trust me on that.

  • Whitney Jordan

    You are such a good mom! I love that you came up with this list from the things you’ve worked to improve on over the years. The looking your kids in the eye one is one I’ve been working to improve. I once had a student ask me how come I didn’t look at him when he was talking to me. That hurt and stuck with me to this day. I was too busy multitasking to give the attention he was wanting. I never want my kids to feel that way so he taught me a great lesson. I also love the mommy time out, the saying yes more, talking to your family and well I actually loved everything you said. I’ll be sharing this on my next good reads blog post because I think everyone would benefit from reading your tips!

    • Oh wow! What an observant little boy and such a good lesson to learn both as a teacher and a future mama. The saying yes more can be oh so hard when your not “the fun parent” too. I know I struggled with this for years and still do. Thank you so much Whitney, that means a lot to me. I never know if I should share stuff like this but I am always so glad when I do.

  • I adore this post, Beth! I definitely say NO too much. Lately I have been catching myself and trying to say YES more often. I mean, life is so short… why not??

    • Exactly. The least thing I want is my kids to remember all of those no’s too! Thank you.

  • Yes. This list is so great. I need it so much this summer. I’m trying to seek first to understand, then be understood which includes listening with eyes/ears.

    • Oh that is so good Becky. I am going to write that down :).

      • 🙂 It’s from the 7 Habits. I can’t take credit 🙂

  • Such great reminders! I’m so guilty of the eyes and ears thing…that is Carly Jo’s biggest complaint. I totally know God saved her for last because she never hesitates to call me out!

    • That is awesome really. I would fully give my girls permission to lovingly call me out :).

  • This is perfect, Beth! I am guilty of not looking at my kids when they talk. My four year old’s love language is quality time. It’s amazing how much better his behavior is when I engage him. He just needs to know he’s special. Now, on the completely opposite end of the spectrum, I find my teenage daughter talks more to me in the car. I think it’s less intimidating to open up to me when we’re not making eye contact. I guess all kids (& their ages) are different. Thanks again for sharing. You nailed it!

    • Thank you so much. I’ll have to remember that car thing for sure. My mom used to talk to me in the car when she didn’t want me to be able to walk away, lololol. So funny to think back on that now.

  • I absolutely love these and are definitely great reminders! I love when you share little parenting tidbits. You might not feel like any of it is particularly revolutionary, but since you’ve been in the parenting ‘game’ for a few years longer, it’s nice to hear how you get it!

    • Thanks Amanda. I hope that by sharing what’s up in my world I can maybe save some younger mama’s a bit of regret and heartache. We can all learn so much from each other just by sharing.

  • I love your tip to say three good things before you say one bad. I am totally going to remember that. Such good advice.
    Evelina @ Fortunate House

    • That is the HARDEST one for me lately. Put it into practice now when you can friend. You’ll be so glad that you have this one down later the road :).

  • Such great advice!!

  • I love this so much! I need to really remember advice #1, listen and look, sometimes I can hear them but I just don’t want to talk, so let them keep calling my name, why do I do that?! I think you really covered it all!

    • Oh friend I do the same exact thing too. I think a lot of moms struggle with that. And then sometimes when I do respond I’m snappy because I thought they’d leave me alone if I ignored it. Isn’t that terrible. Being a mom is hard.

      • I am so happy that I am not alone in this thinking…makes me feel a bit normal. 🙂 Or maybe we can just be weird together.

  • Great points to remember! I’ve definitely been a little harsh with Wyatt lately and I need to remember to chill. It’s really hard when his favorite word is “no”… no matter the scenario. grrrr.

    • Lol. Yes it is. I still have to remind myself to chill out quite often.

  • Isn’t that first one a heart breaker. Really good tips =)

  • Lizzie Simantz

    This was a really good post! It’s always nice to hear reminders on how to be better. I for sure need to look more when my kids talk to me, and yes to the Mommy time outs, I’ve been there plenty of times!

    Lizzie
    http://www.thishappylifeblog.com

    • So glad I’m not the only one going to time out :P. Thank you so much.

  • I love this, Beth! The idea of saying yes more is something I’ve tried to implement with my daughter ( I even wrote a post about it!). It’s so important to take time and really think about why children are requesting certain things, and use that as one of the basis for our decision. Thanks for such a beautiful reminder! Saying hello from Tuesday Talk 🙂

    • Oh I’ll have to go look for that post. I can always use help in that department. Love your advice to think on their reasons too. Thank you!

  • Oh I struggle on number 3. Sometimes there is just so much to do and I feel exhausted, but I am a work in progress on changing. That counts for something right?

    • Definitely. The day any of us perfect all of these on a consistent basis is just never going to happen. Grace, upon grace, upon grace!

  • These are some great tips! I especially have taken note to the eyes and ears suggestion. That’s something I’m currently working on. It is hard to stop what you are doing or when your hands are messy from making dinner but there time and acknowledgment is so important. My husband and I have also been trying to implement putting our phones down. It’s so easy to get lost in social media, texts, email etc. It’s something we try not to get involved with until the kids are in bed.

    • Yes I have lots of friends that have implemented no social media after dinner times and have reported great results. I also hear you on the awkward timing stuff. It’s like Murphy’s law or something, lol.

  • Julie

    These are great tips! I totally needed this today!

    • So glad you found them helpful. Hope you had a great Monday Julie :).