8 secrets of happy moms
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Maternal Instincts1 of 9
By Natasha Burton
It turns out that one of the tricks to being a great mom is to be a good mom. Confused? Read on to find out just what it takes to raise your kids right, while staying happy and sane yourself.
They Forgive Easily2 of 9
Michelle H. Packard, author of Family Ever After: Simple Ways To Achieve Extraordinary Happiness With Your Ordinary Family, says there's not a lot of happiness where there's not a lot of forgiveness. "Our kids will say mean things, embarrass us and sometimes break our hearts," she says. "We can't stop these things or change their outcomes but we can forgive them and ourselves."
They're Not Perfect3 of 9
Packard, who is also a mother of four, notes the importance of being able to see beyond the current moment. "They can perceive that their toddler will make messes and that families can be happy even when they're not perfect," she says. Jill Smokler, author of Motherhood Comes Naturally (and Other Vicious Lies), adds that rather than focusing on being a "perfect" mom, aim for being a good mom: "someone who focuses on just doing her best to raise her kids."
They Ask for Help4 of 9
"In cultures around the world, raising a child well isn't considered a job just for parents," says Christine Gross-Loh, author of Parenting Without Borders and a mom to four. "A good mom knows that there is some more value in letting her child bump up against other people and other experiences." Giving up control can benefit moms too, in that you get a chance to focus on yourself and your needs, which is ultimately better for your child.
They Back Off5 of 9
Gross-Loh says great moms know that "becoming an resilient person comes both from feeling deeply assured and allowing for plenty of independence." Start while they're young by letting your son or daughter work out issues with other kids on the playground, rather than intervening right away. It may be tough in the moment, but in the long run, both you and your kid will be better off.
They're Dependable6 of 9
Children need to know that their mother will be there for them, whether it's after they've skinned a knee or suffered a broken heart, says Julie K. Nelson, professor of parenting at Utah Valley University. Being dependable means "keeping confidences and following through with commitments," ultimately paving the way for a healthier relationship overall.
They Listen7 of 9
Nelson says that, "Good mothers listen more than they talk," meaning that they really take the time to hear their children's fears, complaints and everyday chatter. "When a mother shows she's available as a nonjudgmental listening ear, the child will be more open to share their deepest emotions and learn how to work out solutions to their problems," she says.
They're Secure8 of 9
Marriage and family psychotherapist Sharon Gilchrest O'Neill says women who are secure with themselves and what they believe in make the best moms because they don't need to second guess every decision they make for their families. "This will carry over to a child feeling secure within the parent-child relationship and, ultimately, respectful of it," she says.
They Aren't Pushovers9 of 9
Being a good mom doesn't mean that your child will always like you. "Good mothers don't give their child a free ride, let them off the hook or give into temper tantrums," says Nelson. "They set up realistic expectations for a child to contribute to housework, develop their personal skills and talents and grow in confidence and self-worth."
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