How to be a better mom for your toddler

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Do you ever feel like you want to be a better mom?

I know I wish I was a better mom to my toddler, and as each day passes, I try to be better for him but to be honest motherhood and parenting just isn’t easy.

Even though on some days we probably feel like we have completely failed the whole parenting thing and you throw ourselves into the “worst mom” category. Give yourself some credit, because you are doing great!

Life is full of ups and downs and motherhood is no different. Raising little ones is no easy feat, and unfortunately, they don’t come with an instruction guide. So it is kind of a “learning as you go” type of experience.

How can a single life’s task cover a whole spectrum of emotions, feelings and highs and lows? I guess that that why it’s called the journey of motherhood!

Ways to be a better mom pinterest pin

12 ways to be a better mom!

Here are 12 ways you can be a better mom to your toddler (or child for that matter).

And don’t worry, I am FAR from perfect and still work on every single one of these each day.

I think the point I am trying to make is that motherhood isn’t a contest.

  • Practice patience
  • Express more love
  • Be present
  • Be a good listener
  • Prioritize
  • Don’t talk negatively about your child
  • Keep you cool
  • Put yourself in their shoes
  • Avoid contention when around your toddler
  • Teach your child
  • Implement positive parenting
  • Make time for YOURSELF

You don’t have to be perfect to be a better mom. Being a better mom is a continual process so don’t give yourself a hard time.

We are all here just trying to do our best as mothers.

1. Practice patience

I am starting out with this one because this one is tough! For me, at least! Hopefully, I am not the only one who struggles BIG TIME with having patience?!

I am pretty dang sure that a toddler’s number 1 role is to test a mother’s patience. And I don’t know how, but they are pretty dang good at it.

It is like they went to “How to push your mother’s patience” school and got straight A’s.

At least toddlers have the cute factor going for them, right?!

The thing is our children need us to be patient with them. Toddlers are ever-growing, learning and developing. When your patience is constantly running down the drain it can begin to have an impact on them.

practice patience

I see myself constantly losing my patience with my toddler and all of a sudden, i’m in a bad mood and snapping at everything he does.

I have come to learn that my toddler is always watching and learning from me.

He observes how I react and when I show little patience, how can I expect him to learn patience himself? How can I expect him to exercise patience if I am not being a good role model?

Toddlers usually are a mix of jumbled words, sounds, and phrases that all tend to sound the same but certainly have different meanings.

It is pretty normal for these little busybodies to become easily frustrated when they can’t fully communicate their wants and needs.

When you respond to your toddler with little patience you then find the both of you in the same boat. Frustrated and short-tempered. Both of which are counterproductive to the situation.

Try to be a little more patient throughout the day when dealing with your toddler.

2. Express more love

Children are born with the need to be loved. Think about it, a brand-new baby is completely dependent on YOU! They solely rely on your nourishment, comfort, and love.

It is important to tell our children how much we love them and actually make the phrase “I love you” a common and meaningful occurrence.

Even though toddlers are still trying to develop their communication and speaking skills, they do understand A LOT (trust me). And they also can feel a lot too!

Somedays I can feel IMMENSE love for my toddler, and other days it feels like I am kind of on the other end of the spectrum.

But one thing I have noticed is that if I can always look at my child and think about that LOVE I have for him, it can change the whole situation for the better.

Love is honestly all that matters in the grand scheme of things. Showing your child how much you love them is one of the best things you can do.

3. Actually be present with them

This basically means put your PHONE AWAY. Stop aimlessly scrolling on social media in front of your child. Unglue the phone from your hand and just set it down in the other room.

Don’t feel bad, we are all guilty of it, but technology can really overtake our lives. I am constantly having to remind myself to be present with my toddler.

When we spend so much time engaged with the “virtual world” instead of engaging with those we love, it can really have a negative impact on our relationships.

Remind yourself:

“What is more important? Living life through the screen of social media or actually being present and living real life with my child?”

Avoid as much distraction as you can when spending time with your toddler.

I know I make it sound like phones are the only culprit, but even though they play a big role, they aren’t the only problem.

We all live such busy lives that is easy to find yourself thinking about a million different things while nodding your head and handing out the same exact phrase to your toddler, while they tug at your hand to follow them.

Try to do your best to focus on the actual moment.

Stop thinking about the long list of to-do’s and the dishes that need to be done and give your time and attention to your child.

I know this isn’t always feasible but if you can strive to live in the actual moment and give your toddler your 100% attention it will do wonders for you both.

Being more present will help you be a better mom and help your child feel like they are important.

Toddlers, especially, yearn for your attention and presence, don’t miss out on those special moments, because they don’t last forever.

4. Be a good listener

Being a good listener is one of those attributes that is pretty universal in all relationships. Kids want to be heard. Kids want to know and see that you are actually listening.

They want to know they can feel safe and secure and showing them from a young age that you will always be there to listen will help them feel comfortable always sharing things with you.

Listening to your toddler

Toddlers have a way of jabbering along in their own little language, with you not even being able to interpret half of their vocabulary.

That’s life with a toddler, right?! But if they are trying to tell you something, show you something, share a story with you, make sure you listen.

Like actually really listen.

Listen to every jabber, every word, every sound, and every question and show interest and engage in their conversation.

5. Prioritize

Prioritizing is one of those things that can be applied to so many different areas of life, but in real truth, when we prioritize correctly everything else just seems to fall into place.

Obviously, every mothers’ priorities will vary quite a bit, but one thing I feel strongly about is that your child should rank pretty high up on that priority list.

Make sure you make time for those things that are most important to you.

It doesn’t mean your children completely take over and you don’t ever get to make yourself a priority (because that is important too) but just make sure those unimportant aspects of life don’t become overbearing.

6. Don’t talk negatively about your child

Whatever we talk about or instill into our children is essentially what they become.

One thing that I have quickly learned since being a mother is that the way we talk about our children is important. I know those little tykes can wear our patience thin but if we are constantly saying

“He just doesn’t listen!”

“Or he is so stubborn and disobedient”

Those phrases will begin to shape those young minds and bodies and before you know it, all that negative talk will have evolved into a negative 10 year old or teenager.

I find myself sometimes always highlighting the bad things my toddler does or his bad behavior at times. Before I know it seems like all I can be is negative towards him.

Try to create a mental shift and highlight the POSITIVE in your toddler. Don’t think I am saying you aren’t going to experience rough patches BUT you don’t need to dwell on them.

Look to the positive, praise the positive and cut out all of the negative talk towards your toddler.

7. Try to keep your cool

Being a better mom isn’t something that happens overnight. Along with that, becoming a better mom isn’t down to one single thing.

It takes time, constant effort and is a continuous learning experience.

Since my baby has turned into a running toddler, there are some days where I find my patience completely absent and I end up frustrated and short-tempered with him.

This whole combination results in short and snappy responses to my child and usually keeping my cool has been long thrown out of the window.

I know saying “keep your cool” is a million times easier said than done but I really think it is worth the effort.

Being more conscious in the way you handle situations and respond to your child sets you right on the path to be a better mom.

Even just acknowledging that this might be an area you need to work on is huge! I know for me; I definitely could be better!

I have found if you just take a moment to breathe, step back from the situation and think before reacting you can have a much better end result.

Keeping your composure in front of your child teaches them how to handle the situation properly. If you are always quick to yell or snap at them, they will be quick to replicate those unwanted behaviors.

Along with that, when you are calm and composed you are usually in a better headspace to deal with whatever it is. Which in and of itself will lead to a better outcome.

8. Put yourself in their shoes

Sometimes when you get caught up in the moment it is SO easy to be consumed with your own wants and needs and not even care to think about the wants and needs of your child.

That doesn’t mean you completely give into those wants. Toddlers can’t always have what they want (much to their dismay) but it does mean you can try to see things from their perspective.

Happy toddler and mom

If you can put yourself into your child’s shoes it will help you understand what they might be upset, angry or frustrated about. It also can help you feel more empathy for them and then, in turn, handle the situation better.

9. Avoid any contention when around your toddler

Contention is a sneaky little thing that seems to have its way of creeping in and practically tearing apart anything worthwhile.

Little children pick up on EVERYTHING. I know because I have one and it is a little creepy how much he picks up and he isn’t even two yet!

They pick up on the words we say. They pick up on the things we do and they also pick up on the way we act.

If we are contentious, that automatically puts a negative feeling into the atmosphere and can have an effect on your whole family.

You know how it is, when mom is angry, frustrated or mad it seems to take its toll on everyone.

Try to avoid any contention whether it be towards your spouse, your child or the dog. Do your best to eliminate as much of that harmful relationship breaker as you can.

10. Remember to teach your child

As a mother, one of the many roles that come with that title is a teacher. Teaching your children is your responsibility. Not grandma’s or Uncle John’s, nor the teachers or the next-door neighbor’s.

Of course, all of those people can have good impacts on your child but as a mother, it is your responsibility to teach your child.

And that starts right from the beginning.

Spending time together and teaching your toddler can be a great relationship builder.

Teaching can also help you learn more about each other and get to know what interests them and what they may struggle with.

You don’t have to have a scholar to be able to teach your child, they don’t care about your lack of credentials or schooling, but they will benefit from all of the learning experiences they will gain from you.

Plus, you will be a better mom for it!

11. Implement positive parenting

You have probably heard about positive training when it comes to your dog and how it is important to reward them through positive reinforcement.

Well, your child can benefit from that same mindset when you implement positive parenting.

happy toddler

Of course, children can’t just get away with everything and never receive consequences for certain actions. Because that’s not how life rolls.

But rewarding positive behavior and focusing on the good choices your toddler makes can make a huge difference in their behavior.

12. Making time for yourself

All of the points we have covered are all important but this one is the icing on top and I think one of the most important.

Being a better mom means taking care of yourself too. As mothers, we are designed to care, nurture and love others, especially our children, but for some reason, we forgot about ourselves.

This is when we lose ourselves through the journey of motherhood, become burned out, disengaged and often depressed and lonely.

Don’t forget about yourself. Taking care of YOU and meeting YOUR needs is vital to being a better mom. Trust me.

The laundry can wait and so can those dishes. If you need a nap or a bath, treat yourself to those things.

Don’t let go of your passions and dreams just because you are a mother. Still make time for them and do things that bring you joy that doesn’t always involve a 2-foot toddler and sippy in tow.

Have grandma watch your cutie while you and your husband go out on a date and spend some one on one time together. Remember to keep your marriage healthy even after you have kids.

These moments away from your regular busy mom life can help you come back the next day ready to tackle motherhood again!

Lastly, remember tomorrow is a new day

I will always say this.

Motherhood is hard! But I think that is how it is designed to be. So we might as well just keep learning and growing along the way.

Some days are better than others and then some are just downright terrible. But that is ok because you know what?

Tomorrow is a new day!

And toddlers have quite the ability to be pretty forgiving. Don’t beat yourself up if you feel like you just slaughtered motherhood and feel like you can’t carry on.

You are doing your best and that is all that matters. Plus, words like “I’m sorry” and “I love you” and evening snuggles can make everything better. Before you know it the sun is up again and you get to try it all again, so give yourself a pat on the back.

Being a better mom is something that doesn’t seem to have an end grade insight. There isn’t a time limit or a due date, it’s just an ongoing process, that if we try to be better we will get there.

Do your best to enjoy every moment because they’ll be over before you know it.

How are you striving to be a better mom? What things do you struggle with the most? Comment below, I’d love to hear.

      

better mom for your toddler
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