Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How to be an expert mum

How to be an expert mum? That caught your attention right?

Is there really a formula we can all adhere to, to achieve that ever-inspiring word near our name: expert? I have always believed the answer to that question lies amid the family relationships between us, as mums and dads, and our children. I think we have an instinct within us that tells us when what we're doing is working and when it's not. Perhaps it's the happy kids doing their homework on the kitchen table while we cook dinner or the excited squeals of delight that resound from the little ones after mastering the art of 'cutting.'

But nonetheless, as Australian Womens' Weekly's article 'What makes a good mum?' points out:  it remains that motherhood is one of the toughest jobs in the world. Being a mother is about teaching our children, coaching them, supporting them and nurturing them. But that's not all is it? Mums these days have a huge balancing act to fullfil. Clinical Psychologist Dr Simon Crisp says, "Mothers have moved beyond simply needing to provide for a family, ensure their children have shelter, food, health and basic nurturing." Mothers nowadays must be able to continue being the nurturer in the family, whilst juggling work life with family life and still running the household.

I'm all about taking these facts and figures and doing something practical. Some of us mums want to be the nurturer as well as work, manage our careers, have time to take our kids to sporting committments and keep the house clean. We certainly know how to challenge ourselves!

Emma Walsh, Director of mums@work says being a mum is both 'rewarding and busy.'
"It's about taking your committments and finding a way to successfully juggle these that works for the working parent and their family. It's not so easy for dads either. There's an increasing number of dads spending time away from work because they want to spend more time with their kids. Australian organisations together with their working parents can make a difference to the Australian lifestyle so we may be better able to manage this work/life balance dilemma."

Sometimes it's just about doing your best and loving your children. Parenting Educator Maggie Dent says, "Busy people do make such an effort to spend lots of quality time with their children, but it's the little windows of connection that happen in everyday life that make their child feel constantly loved. A good mother knows her kids need to feel loved lots of little times."

Even as parents, we all need to make a living and it's important also to have time for our children and support them and teach them. So how do we know if we're an expert at it? Don't fall victim to the fairytale image of the 'supermum' and don't sweat the small stuff. Your kids will be the evidence.

Author: Elysha Stephens, Marketing & Communications Consultant and working mum

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