Feeling pulled in too many directions? Do you want to give your best to those you love, but you keep coming up short? Read these tips on how to be a good mom and wife.
How to Balance Being a Good Wife and Mother
Taking Care of Yourself
Being good to others starts with being good to yourself. Your bucket needs to be full before you can pour out to others.
Make sure you are covering the basics. Take care of your whole self–mind, body, spirit.
- Are you starting the day with some quiet time? If not, find a few minutes and center yourself before the rush of the day overtakes you.
- Are you drinking enough water and eating food that sustains and energizes you? If you are subsisting on coffee and Tic Tacs, stop reading this right now and go make a smoothie. Then come back and finish reading. I’ll wait.
- Are you finding times of purposeful movement? I say it like that because it doesn’t have to be a formal exercise routine (and it should extend beyond cleaning up after your kids). You want to move for you–it’s a mental break as well as a physical task. This could be bedtime yoga, riding bikes with your kids, pushing the stroller and walking each day, or holding an impromptu dance party with your kids in your living room.
- Are you growing and learning? This does not mean reading the Encyclopedia from A-Z, but it does mean that you are using some mental or creative energy each day. People are unhappy when they stagnate. Listen to a podcast, read a blog (!), pursue a hobby, cook something new…feed your mind a little each day.
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No Such Thing as the Perfect Balance
So now that you have taken care of you, it’s time to learn how to balance being a good wife and mother. Before you start imagining a circus performer riding a unicycle and juggling rings, let me tell you the secret: There is no such thing as the perfect balance.
That is because people don’t space out their needs. It would be wonderful if Wednesday could be Jane’s day, Thursday could be Tyson’s, and Friday would be a day of wedded bliss with your hubby.
Unfortunately, life isn’t like that. Jane has a school project due Friday, Tyson has a weird rash (should you take him to Urgent Care or wait till Monday to go to your regular doc?), and your husband can’t find his keys and is stressed by 8 am. If you measure your balance one day at a time, you’re definitely trying to juggle while riding a unicycle.
Widen your scope and try for a weekly balance instead. It still won’t be perfect, but it will be more even.
Let Go of Perfection
You can learn how to be a good mom and wife, but you can’t be a perfect one. You can’t, so let that go right now. If you hold yourself to a standard of perfection, you will be a failure every day. And you are not a failure.
Give yourself a break. You aren’t a robot, and you’re not inexhaustible. You have needs too, just like your children and your husband. Sometimes you don’t have anything in your bucket to pour out to others. Okay. Take a moment to regroup.
Being a good wife and mom doesn’t mean the house is spotless, the kids all get baths and bedtime stories each night, and your husband’s shirts are clean and starched. This isn’t a 50s sitcom.
Real life is messy and bumpy, and a good wife and mom is right in the middle, doing her best to show the ones she loves that she loves them. Perfection not needed.
Strive to Give Those You Love the Best of You
Home is where we let down our guard. We feel safe to let our emotions show, no matter how frayed they are. That’s why the people we love see us at our worst. We’re polite to our friends, our coworkers, and even the clerk at the checkout. But we snap at the ones closest to us.
That’s why self care is so important because when we are at the end of our rope, we can lash out at those around us.
Begin the day with intention. If you are home with your kids, strive to give them your best self. Be present with them. Use times of quiet to recharge (even if that quiet has the soundtrack of a kid’s show in the background).
If you are wondering how to be a good wife and mother while working, lighten your load as much as possible so you have the time and energy to focus on your family when you’re together. If you are constantly doing dishes, laundry, and preparing meals when at home, you’ll miss those precious hours to focus on each other.
Sure, you can’t let the home fall to rack and ruin, but you can streamline your life as much as possible and be satisfied with simplicity. Lighten your load so you can give those you love the best of you.
Learn Their Love Language
In the book The 5 Love Languages (and its companion book The 5 Love Languages of Children), the author Gary Chapman shares a tool for how to be a good mom and wife: Learn what your husband’s–and each of your children’s–love language is.
What is a love language? It is how a person best understands that they are loved. You may think you are clearly communicating to your husband and kids that you love them, but they may not be fully taking that in. If you learn how they recognize love, you can communicate that simply and effectively.
The five love languages are physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, and gifts. If your daughter’s love language is primarily physical touch, then she will feel especially loved if you comb her hair, sit by her, snuggle together and read a story, or even give her a high five.
If your husband’s love language is words of affirmation, he will feel loved if you encourage and affirm him, if you listen to him actively, and if you let him know how much you appreciate him.
One last note on how to be a good mom and wife: The fact that you are reading this, that you care enough to want to be both, means you probably already are a good mom and a good wife.