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How To Become A Better Mom

In our society, we are told the ideal mother is the “perfect mother,” who is a model of virtue and good parenting. Does the opposite hold true? The best women, at this point in time, are the ones who make the least mistakes in children’s lives. As we all know, this is easier said than done. The key is to be your child’s friend when she needs it and to recognize that, for a child, she needs you to be “she.”

Audrey recently got a little “in the way” of her favorite part of maternity leave and had been thinking about how to do better for her family this time around. Her plan was the simplest and hardest to actually accept: “I’m not going on maternity leave this year. I’m going to take a six-week hiatus. From August 1st to September 2nd, I’m spending time with my husband and daughter, and I’m getting out of the house and into a different relationship with my body so I can better reflect what my mother raised me.”

In a world where people are so judgmental of the way women raise their children, it’s a refreshing change to be able to say to ourselves, “Look, our daughter is really beautiful — but she is also this. The things I love about her, I will never be able to have with another partner, because they were the only things I could do for her from the moment I saw her, and I will never be able to have them on my own.”

Audrey spent a few days with her husband and daughter at the beach. The first day was spent getting to know each other, the next to enjoying the natural beauty of Hawaii, and the last to be close to her son. “After an entire week of going from place to place and seeing everyone new every day, it was nice to go back home to my little town at the end of the beach,” she recalls.

A short time after she returned to work, Audrey’s baby daughter, Ella (named after Audrey’s daughter), was born.

This is the kind of girl I was never going to have. My mom and dad’s only real interest in parenting was to see how the world would treat their child, not how the world was going to treat my sister or sister-in-law. It was a real shock to find out that, even though I looked very similar to them, there was something that I had to overcome. It’s amazing how little I knew about the way parents raise us as children at that young age. It took some doing to be a good mom for Audrey. But the journey had it’s ups and downs, and it has made me both more understanding and more supportive of my daughter.

The bottom line for children who want to become better parents is this: Your relationship with your child is the first thing you have to do right. You have two people together who know who you are, who love you, who care about you and are not going to let you down, and who see you for who you are. Every moment in time, each of us makes our mark on one another, and for some, the mark that they make on their daughter can only be measured by the ways they will affect her for life. How you see your child matters the most.

Here are some questions to help you identify your child.