Have you ever seen a mom who just seemed to have it all together? It’s almost like sighting Big Foot. There are these awesome moms who aren’t defeated, overwhelmed, or unhappy. They’re not perfect, but they’re generally optimistic and don’t get rattled easily when things go wrong. If you’ve seen one, you’re probably in the presence of a mom who pays attention to the trifecta of good mom habits.
Yep! Being an awesome mom really boils down to just three things, and they aren’t wine, chocolate, and a sound-proof closet. Here are three secret weapons that will give you stamina when the days are long, patience when no one is listening, and peace when tough things happen.
1. Awesome moms nurture their bodies.
Taking care of a family day in and day out is physically demanding. (If you’re reading this with one toddler wrapped around your neck and another pulling on your arm, you feel me.) The only way to maintain the energy to keep up the pace every day is to give your body what it needs:
- Real food. Eat a balanced diet of real food. Keep sugar and processed foods to a minimum. Your body needs quality fuel.
- Real sleep. Pay attention to your own sleep hygiene, and try to get at least eight uninterrupted (ha!) hours of rest per night.
- Real exercise. Work some physical activity into each day, and make time for three to four workouts per week. Don’t have childcare? Put the kids on a bike or find a good jogging stroller. Throw the kids in and go!
Life has a lot of ups and downs. We all need a sense of “true north” to guide us when things are difficult or when we just need a little affirmation. A daily quiet time that allows you to pray, meditate, and read scripture can do a lot to soothe frazzled nerves and steady your heart to face the challenges ahead. Our printable Faith Habit Tracker can help you develop a regular prayer routine. Another great source of encouragement is a Bible study or small group with other moms who can share their own experiences and offer support. Make time for friendships, even if it’s just a cup of coffee while the children play nearby. Feed your soul, Mom!
3. Awesome moms nurture their minds.
If you work outside the home, you may feel like your grey matter is as challenged as you’d like, thank you very much. But for stay-at-home moms, it’s easy to feel like your mind is turning to mush between loads of laundry and verses of “The Wheels on the Bus.” It’s important to remain engaged in intellectual pursuits that keep you in sync with the outside world and feeling like a grown-up. Read the paper, join a book club, listen to good music during nap time (nothing with hand motions), check out an art gallery on date night. Just because you spend a great deal of each day in the Land of Little People doesn’t mean you have to turn in your credentials as a sophisticate. Keeping the dust off your brain will increase your sense of personal fulfillment and well-being.
Here’s the even better news.
We know that good habits are important to your physical, emotional, and spiritual health. But researchers are just beginning to understand how each of these things is supported by the others. In other words, physical well-being encourages good emotional health, good emotional health opens the door to better spiritual health, and so on. So your efforts in one area spill over and benefit you in ways you wouldn’t have expected! Taking care of your own mind, body, and spirit will make you a better mom.
Do you detect a difference in your parenting when your personal well-being is better (or worse)?
Dana Hall McCain writes about marriage, parenting, faith, and wellness. She is a mom of two and has been married to a wonderful guy for over 18 years.