How to Be a Better Mom and Wife

By Susan Revermann
Family meal time is an ideal opportunity to stay connected.
Family meal time is an ideal opportunity to stay connected.

You may have this ideal notion of what a super mom and wife should be, but in reality, it just isn’t that easy or even feasible. Each family situation is different, so go with your gut instinct, be willing to try new ways of doing things and learn from your mistakes. The more honest and direct you are with yourself and your family, the better off you’ll be.

Get involved. Ask your husband and kids about their day. Show true interest and really listen. Ask direct questions when appropriate. This will make them feel important and valued.

Stroke their egos. Praise your children for their efforts and accomplishments, big and small. Be specific, honest and compassionate. Point out your husband’s strengths and let him know you believe in him. For instance, your son will respond well to “I see how hard you have been working on your pitching. You struck five players out in the first half of the game. Well done!” Your husband would like to hear you say things like “You did a great job on building that planter box for me in the garden. It looks beautiful.” Avoid belittling comments and harsh criticism, as these will make them feel worthless and small.

Let them do some tasks for themselves. Offer encouragement along the way. Even if they don’t succeed right away, they will learn how to problem-solve and learn from mistakes. This also allows them to feel competent and boosts their self-confidence. For instance, your preschooler will not learn how to ride a bike if you keep holding onto the bike, so let him fall down a few times. Your husband can change a flat tire himself, so don’t stand over his shoulder telling him how to do it, unless you are going to do it all by yourself.

Show appreciation often. Look them in the eye, say “thank you” and mean it. Let your husband and kids know that you notice and care.

Be a good role model. Your kids learn a lot by just watching you. Make positive choices not just for your benefit, but also for theirs. Eat healthy and exercise and they will follow suit.

Establish your boundaries. Set up house rules for the kids, as well as consequences for breaking them. Be specific and consistent, and always follow through. Although you may not realize it, kids like structure. As for your husband, establish some rules there, too. Be specific so there’s no gray area. If he has agreed to empty the dishwasher every other day, hold him to it.

Spend time with each child every day. Even 10 minutes can make a big difference, point out child development experts at the Kids Health website. Let each child choose the activity for that time. This time can really make them feel special.

Give your husband some alone time. Twenty to 30 minutes of quiet time after arriving home from work allows him to unwind and relax. He will be more refreshed and ready to participate in the family after this.

Take time for yourself. You can’t do everything and need time to recharge your batteries. Do something that you really enjoy and makes you feel refreshed. If going on a nature walk by yourself or with a girlfriend does it, by all means hit the path. Discover a new hobby or passion. Once you have recharged and feel refreshed, you can once again give to your family.