By Angel Llamanzares
This won’t magically make you and your kids look like the Kardashians, Kramers, or Beckhams, while you do your grocery shopping with your preschooler running around dropping cans from the shelves. Let’s make it even more challenging with an infant on your side hip, with you in flawless makeup, perfectly blow-dried hair, and fabulous outfit. All this while pushing the cart in your stilettos. This is something you already have been doing, but may just need to be reminded of. Again. Over and over again. I stumbled upon this piece written by Rachel Marie Martin aptly titled How To Be A Better Mom. Inspired by what I read, here are some thoughts on how to be a better mom:
Stop comparing yourself.
You are the perfect mom, the only one they need. There are times that I think that this perfect human being of a son I have, who eats so heartily, would be a happier kid if he had that superstar chef friend of mine as his mom. The one who can whip up anything from scratch in the kitchen in five minutes as opposed to me, who can only cook a total of five kinds of meals that involves an actual pot and stove. Or that mom who is so active in his school, knows all the teachers’ names, and has perfectly wrapped gifts for every occasion. But I realized, I am the mom he needs, just as that mom is what her kids need. I love and take care of him the best way I know.
Love yourself first.
Yes. I was brave enough to add “first.” I’m sure you’ve heard this too many times. We now understand the value of taking care of our own needs before anyone else’s, and that this is not a bad thing or something to be guilty about. But something that proves more beneficial, even for the kids and everyone else around.
Chie Buan, HR Practitioner and single mom to a 17-year-old says that being a full-time working mom can sometimes be draining. “I think one important factor why I ‘survived’ being a single mom is that I make sure that I have time for myself.”
“Don’t ever feel guilty about this, how can you take care of your family if you are constantly tired and haggard? Time for yourself doesn’t just mean going to the spa or getting your nails done, it can simply be just enjoying quiet time by yourself looking at the moon or just having a long and relaxing bath.” she adds.
Practice self-care and self-love.
Fix yourself up in IG-worthy levels. Be the best version of yourself. Schedule breaks in between chores or mommy duties, hit pause when overwhelmed, and get back in the game refreshed and recharged. Being a mom doesn’t mean you just have to be a mom (or nanny/ cook/ tutor/ driver/ therapist/ parole officer). It is a lifetime occupation, but it’s not a job that you need to be restricted to. You are still you, underneath those many hats. Your kids need to remember you as the mom who knew her worth and exemplified how it is to love one’s self. Teach by example.
There’s always a chance to make things right.
No one is perfect. Not you, nor your kids, nor your life. Stop sweating the small stuff. Don’t fuss over the school project you and your child lost sleep over trying to perfect, which he forgot to bring to school. Stop beating yourself up for letting your little boy wear regular uniform on P.E. Day (ahem, guilty). If today, things don’t go as planned, let go and try again tomorrow. A bad day does not mean a bad life. One day at a time.
Your kids are kids, let them be.
As much as we have certain ideals of how we want our kids to grow up, and what to make of themselves, we must remember that they will be their own kind of person, at the right time. But while they are still kids, let them be kids. Let them spill that milk on their trousers when they squeeze the milk carton too hard. Just watch how they suddenly do that “orange justice” or “the floss” dance craze without warning nor music, right in the middle of the mall. Allow them to ride that bike fast if they say they can do it, or run around the concrete street playing hide-and-seek. Just watch over them with a first aid kit on-hand. We must let them make mistakes and learn from them.
Pia Cayañga, full time mom of seven kids shares. “My husband and I try our best to respect their own opinion on things.” Pia stresses how they allow their kids to go through their own struggles, while still being there to guide them. “Basta walang spoon feeding. We allow them to figure things out on their own as we watch them from a distance.”
Your kids are their own person.
There is no competition. Just like us, we all have our strengths and not so strong points. We don’t need to take them to all the learning or tutorial centers to ensure academic excellence just because more than half of his class all have academic certificates. Your kid does not need to have weekend sports or ballet classes if they don’t want to. Let them be their own person.
Be their mom.
Operative word is mom. Be their mom and not their friend. Refuse to bend your rules just so you will have that seemingly perfect relationship with your kid. They are your kids, and they need a mom who will set structure in their lives while they haven’t figured out everything themselves. They will have a ton of friends, but they will always have just you as their mom. Stick with it.
Remember that no matter what you do, in the eyes of our kids, we will always be the best mom in the world.
About the author: Angel Llamanzares Martinez studied Political Economy, but found more satisfaction working in the fashion and advertising industries. She is a professional fashion stylist since year 2000, under her own brand Style Angel. She took some time off from work for a few years to be a hands-on mom and driver-nanny-playmate to her 10-year-old son Rocco. She is now the Style Coach of La Magie, The Makeover Specialists. She still can’t do the “orange justice”, nor “the floss,” but was successful in teaching her son to do the “running man” and “roger rabbit” dance moves.