Inside: Ever wonder if you’re doing this parenting thing right? There are a million ways to be a good mother. But you don’t have time for a million anything. I’ll share how to be a better mom in nine beautifully simple steps. The best part? The best part is that you’re not doing this alone!
I just want to be a good mom.
Is that too much to ask?
You know, before I had kids I had these dreams of a perfect motherhood. I would gently guide my little ones through life and teach them the ways of the world.
And goodness, I would never yell or get frustrated with my sweet bundles of joy.
But actual, real, live kids? They’re humbling.
You see, even the best moms wonder sometimes if they’re really doing it right.
No matter how good or bad you think you’re doing at motherhood, there is always room to be a better mom.
That’s so refreshing, isn’t it?
The Problem with Being a Better Mom
If I asked for a show of hands, I’m sure 99.9% of mamas would say “I want to be a better mom.”
But the first problem is that we actually think we can just will ourselves to be better.
News flash. You can’t. I can’t either.
What we need is a little less self-help and a lot more Jesus.
You see, only He can empower you to be a better mom from the inside, out. Only He can bring mercy every morning so that you can start fresh. Only He can give you boldness, rooted in the fact that you are a joint-heir with Christ.
And surely joint-heirs with Christ can handle a few toddler tantrums, right?
So the first step toward being a better mom is letting go. Letting go of the do-it-myself rope. Sinking into the depths of grace that will lift you higher than you’d ever go yourself. Grace that will enable you to be a better mom.
What does “better” actually mean? Less angry? More present? Less strict? More strict?
“Better” is an awfully vague word.
So let’s identify what “better” looks like it messy, real life.
What Does a “Better Mom” Actually Look Like?
I’ve been thinking about this. About being a good mother. About being better at this calling of motherhood. Geez. It’s hard!
There are so many elements that go into motherhood, so many plates being juggled all at once. But we all have this yearning to just be, well… better!
I’m convinced that this inner groan to be better isn’t there on accident. I think it was put there by the Holy Spirit as a beacon call to your spirit.
He knows you feel lost at times. That’s why he’s calling you to a motherhood ministry that will fulfill and inspire you.
He knows you feel helpless at times. That’s why he’s beckoning you to fight the current and take hold of His power in you.
So as we think about this idea of better, I can’t think of a better place to start than the Fruit of the Spirit. These qualities serve as signposts in our lives. They say, “The Holy Spirit lives here. Come and see what God is doing!”
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5: 22-23
Instead of focusing on less this and more that, we’ll define better the way God defines it. From the inside out.
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How to be a Better Mom in Nine Spirit-Filled Steps
#1: Express Love
Be a better mom by showing love outwardly, the same way Jesus did. Try this as a daily reminder to express love: Pray 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 over yourself before your kids wake up.
Ask God to help you as you pray, “Help me be patient, help me be kind. Help me not envy or boast, and help me stay humble…” As you speak these words of life over yourself, you’ll be filled with the power of real love toward your children.
#2: Cultivate Joy
Joy spreads from the inside, out. Soaking in the joy of the little things is one of the most powerful habits of a good mother. When you find yourself in a grumpy mood, you have the power to choose. Choose joy!
Give your kids the gift of a mom who is happy, full of light, and full of joy. It’s one of the most visible ways of being a better mom!
#3: Bring Peace
As I write in my eBook, Everyday Calm, “Chaos starts or stops with you.” If you’re searching to be a better mom, commit to being a peacemaker. Bring peace into…
- your routines and schedules
- the way you discipline
- your communication with your spouse
- your calendar
Peacemakers aren’t doormats, and you don’t have to let your kids walk all over you, either. Instead, bringing peace means leading by example, setting the stage for resting in the promises of Jesus, and refusing to let chaos be your master. Peacemakers say, “What is my part in this unrest or chaos, and how can I take responsibility for that?”
#4: Show Patience
When most moms think about being a better mom, they’re usually zeroed in on patience. I love how some translations say “long-suffering.”
Jesus doesn’t sugar-coat it, mama.
When your kids are on your nerves, remember, they’re just kids. When everything is going haywire and you just want to curl up under the covers until bedtime, know that you can be long-suffering through the grace of Jesus. You are His hands and feet!
#5: Display Kindness
Why is it so tempting to be selfish as a mom? “Just give me ten more minutes of sleep. Why can’t you go play so I can get some stuff done? All I want is five seconds of peace and quiet!”
It’s incredibly easy to focus on what we want. But think about what Jesus did.
He stopped what he was doing to heal the sick and raise the dead. It’s not as if he didn’t have anything better to do. But his heart was turned toward showing compassion for someone else.
One of the simplest ways to be a better mom is to act out kindness toward our children. Here are a few simple ways to be kind to your kids…
- Ask what’s on their mind.
- Stop, put your phone away, and play on the floor.
- Get lost in imagination with them.
- Invite them to spend time with you.
- Kindness speaks the message, “I think you’re worth it.”
Children measure kindness in minutes, not dollars. We can imitate Jesus and put aside our to-do lists for the sake of compassion.
#6: Encourage Goodness
Did you know that we are parenting upstream? It’s true. More and more our culture is clamoring to win the war of our children’s hearts and minds. But you’re a good mom, and you’re committed to being an even better one.
So fight for your child’s innocence. Fight for your own innocence. Prioritize devotions and Bible reading. Make prayer a minute-by-minute way of life in your house. Encourage your children to memorize God’s Word.
Never be afraid to say no to immorality and say yes to virtue. Live your life so that your kids can plainly see the heaps upon heaps of blessings that come from clinging to the goodness of God!
If you’ve got a toddler or preschooler, you’ll love my hands-on Bible packs! My kid-tested activity plans will help you as you raise Kingdom-minded kids!
#7: Live Faithfulness
There are so many important messages I want my kids to remember, but one of the most important is this: I’m always on their team. A good mother lets her children know in both words and actions that she will always be faithful to love and support them.
I’m not just a “yes-woman,” and I’ll definitely do some coaching and correcting along the way. But at the end of the day, being a better mom means making sure your children know that your love will never be dependent on their actions. You’re in this together for the long haul, and you’ll never give up on them.
#8: Give Gentleness
One of our favorite family verses is from Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” I’ve used it to referee plenty of sibling and cousin squabbles, but more often than not I repeat it to myself.
As you commit to being a better mom, embrace gentle words.
Now, just so we’re on the same page, gentle doesn’t mean accommodating or indulgent. In fact, you can speak hard truth to your child. In the middle of a power struggle or tantrum you can get their attention with a quick “Hey!” and still be gentle in spirit. Just as you can choose joy, you can choose gentle and respectful speech.
#9: Show Self-Control
Lastly, being a better mom looks like a whole lot of self-control.
Ouch. I know!
- Self-control looks like holding my tongue instead of letting a stinging comment fly to pierce its mark.
- Self-control looks like getting up early to read and pray so that I’m rooted in Jesus throughout the day.
- Self-control looks like serving others even when I really just want to be selfish.
Self-control is tough.
Thankfully, it’s really not all up to me anyway! When I’m feeling dangerously low on self-control, that’s when I can lean into the arms of the Holy Spirit, my Comforter, and let him talk me off the ledge.
Remember two things: First, you don’t have to do this alone. Ask Jesus to walk with you in your parenting. Second, being better isn’t complicated. It’s just following those nudges of the Holy Spirit and letting His fruit grow in your motherhood in these nine areas:
Now its your turn. What fruit of the spirit will you be praying and seeking after as a mom? Is it patience? Or maybe you want to do better in the areas of self-control and gentleness. Share your thoughts in the comments!