It seems like everyone has advice on how to be a ‘good’ mother. It can be confusing to know the “right” thing to do, what you “should” do, or how to do either one. What might be right in this moment may not be right in five minutes from now. How can you pause and make the best decision?
- Imagine the Future. Take a moment to think about what you hope your kids (or maybe even you) remember about their experience with their mother. Do you want them to remember laughing a lot or going on adventures? Do you want them to remember the importance of following through or being a good friend? What could you be doing now to help create the memories you want your kids to remember?
- Listen Next. After knowing what to do, take action! The first action to take is listening more. When you listen, you hear more of what people recall. This helps in navigating next steps to take.
- Ask Questions. When you listen, are you listening to give advice? The advice may be helpful at times, but asking questions to better understand allows the speaker to feel heard. It demonstrates that they are valued. If you want to generate positive memories, feeling valued is a feeling that stays with us throughout our darkest days.
- Reflect. When something happens, we are quick to move on. However, taking time to reflect (alone or with the other person involved) can guide us in future circumstances. It allows us to be mindful of our impact on other peoples’ lives.
The choices and actions we make affect our relationships. We know this, but do we plan for good outcomes ahead of time? Intent begins in the mind first, so prepare your mind daily. Imagine your hopes, listen to the people you love, ask good questions, and reflect on your interactions. These mindful practices seem small, but they have a big impact on the people and relationships that matter to us the most.