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帮你成为一个伟大的母亲

本文属阅读资料
I'm a mom. I am also a woman, a wife, a daughter, and a friend. Recently I started blogging. As it turns out, I am a writer too.

I am wearing many hats and doing so is not always easy. I was grateful to discover this article by Leo, where he shares useful tips on how to be a great dad. When I read Leo's article, I was curious: do these tips apply to moms? Can I incorporate his advice into my own life?

Obviously, a great mom loves her kids, takes care of their basic physical and emotional needs, and spends quality time with them. But what are the subtler, less obvious ways to become a great mom?

1. Stay true to yourself. You don't have to give up your own passions and interests once you become a mom. It's important that you find time for what YOU love to do. Reading, writing, exercising – make these a priority and find a way to incorporate those into your routine. Easier said than done, I know, but you should at least aim to keep doing what you love, even if you don't get to do it as often as before. If you take care of your own needs, you will be happier and will function better as a mom.

2. Don't be a martyr. The kids didn't ask for it, they don't need it, and they certainly don't need to pay the price that comes with being mothered by a martyr. Need some time alone? Let the kids watch TV for an hour and go read a book. Feel like you haven't had adult interaction in ages? Leave them with Dad for the evening and make plans to have dinner with a friend. Getting to the point where you are utterly exhausted is not good for you or for your kids.

3. Don't try to be perfect. This is true for life in general, and is a major personal goal of mine, regardless of motherhood. Striving for perfection is always a bad idea, because life is messy and unpredictable and full of surprises. Trying to create perfection, or to maintain complete control, is simply impossible and should never be your goal. Once you become a mom, life is messier and crazier than ever before, so it's more important than ever to let go of that perfectionism. You need to accept that the house will sometimes be untidy, that once in a while dinner will be takeout, and that the kids will sometimes have to entertain themselves while you recharge and regroup.

4. Ditch the guilt. Guilt seems to be one of the most common side effects of motherhood. A friend once told me that she feels guilt every single day. I too am often guilty of feeling guilty. But I am working on it: guilt is unhelpful and a terrible waste of time and energy. Once you make a decision, whether a major one like staying at home vs. going back to work, or a small one like allowing the kids to play a computer game while you have some time for yourself, try to avoid second-guessing yourself. You are doing the best that you can. No one is perfect, and you are not expected to be a perfect mom or to never make mistakes. As long as you love them and provide their basic needs, your kids will turn out fine. Really.

5. Be Patient. Raising kids is hard work. Kids are noisy, messy and incredibly demanding. Yes, you will lose your patience once in a while. I do. But for the most part, try to take a deep breath and see them for the small, helpless people that they are. I am not a patient person by nature, but motherhood has taught me to be more patient than I ever thought I could possibly be.

6. Listen to your children. REALLY listen. This is a tough one for me, but I keep trying. We tend to assume that we know more than our kids do, which is true to some extent of course, so we don't really bother to listen. In addition, we often act as problem-solvers, dishing immediate advice, when all they need is for us to listen to them. A couple of months ago, my 8 years old told me about problems she was having with friends at school. I immediately offered a solution, and it was obvious she was disappointed. She wasn't looking for a solution. She simply wanted me to listen.

7. Be their mom, not their friend. Set limits. In a way, it was easy for previous generations. Parents were parents. Kids were kids. Families were patriarchal. Everyone listened and obeyed to the father. Now, families are democratic. We negotiate, talk things over, and listen to each other. We make important decisions together. This is great, but kids still need us to be their parents and set clear limits. We should listen to them and respect them – but we are not their peers. When I was a pre-teen, I used to snap at my mom, "I'm not going to be your friend anymore!" She would look at me calmly and respond, "Well, you are NOT my friend. You are my daughter". It used to drive me crazy, but she was right. Our job is to be our kids' mothers – not their friends.

8. Teach them simplicity. You will do them a big – a HUGE – favor, if you teach them at a young age to avoid associating happiness with the accumulation of material possessions. The younger they are, the more likely they are to listen to you, so start early. My kids are 6 and 8, and I often feel that now is the time to instill my values in them, before they are teens (or pre-teens) and peer pressure takes over. When it's time to declutter, I allow my daughters to be part of the process, and we talk about how we don't need all that STUFF. We never go shopping as a fun outing. They know that shopping is a necessary evil, something that you do when you really NEED something. Instead of buying books, we borrow books at the library. We reuse as much as we can. Together, we take pride in living in a clean, airy, uncluttered home.

9. Don't push them too hard. I was raised as an overachiever, and I can testify from my own experience that overachieving does NOT lead to happiness. I do want my kids to be successful. I want them to reach their full potential and to be financially secure. But I am trying not to push them too hard and to maintain a relatively relaxed approach to success at school and to after-school enrichment activities.

10. Teach them self-esteem. I am borrowing this one from Leo's list, because it is so important. In fact, I agree with Leo that high self-esteem is the single most important gift that a parent can give their kids. A person with a high self-esteem values herself and will not get into, or stay in, an abusive relationship. A person with high self-esteem is more likely to be happy and to reach her full potential. How do you teach your kids self-esteem? Exactly the way Leo said: by showing them that you value them, by spending time with them, and by talking with them and listening to them.

11. Teach them to be self-reliant. Another one that I struggle with every day. It's very tempting to help your children in a way that robs them of the opportunity to help themselves. At every developmental stage your child reaches, she can do things by herself. If you do them for her, you are not really helping her, but rather holding her back. Gently teach her independence and let her do what she can do, and what is appropriate for her to do, by herself. The sense of accomplishment that comes with being independent is immensely important for a child. I once read in Penelope Leach's book something that left a huge impression on me: good parents work themselves out of the picture – slowly. As much as I like to feel needed, I try to let my kids be as independent and self-sufficient as they possibly can. Ever so slowly, I am working myself out of the picture.

12. Laugh and have fun! When you're a mom, it's easy to become so absorbed in the logistics of taking care of your kids – what Leo refers to as the "mom stuff" - that you forget to relax and have fun. But kids are fun. They give you a wonderful opportunity to be a child all over again, and to do things that you never thought you would do as an adult (jumping in puddles is so much fun!) and see the world through their innocent, curious eyes. Haven't noticed interesting insects and colorful butterflies in several years? You are going to start noticing them again once you have kids.

So, are the lists any different? They're different in some way, and similar in others. While both emphasize being good to your kids and to yourself, my list places more emphasis on the "be good to yourself" part. I think that the biggest mistake dads make is that they become so absorbed in their careers that they do not spend enough time with their families. The biggest mistake moms make, in my opinion, is that they become so absorbed in their families that they do not spend enough time on their own passions. Leo's list helps dads find their balance. My list, hopefully, helps moms find theirs.

Whether you're a parent or not, how many hats are YOU wearing? Do you have any tips for doing it all and keeping your sanity? Do you ever feel guilty because you are not giving 100% to any single aspect of your life?



我是一个母亲。同时我也是一个女人,一个妻子,一个女儿,一个朋友。最近我开始了博客生涯,因此我又多了一个身份---作家。

有太多身份显然不是件容易的事,因此当我发现利奥的一篇文章时我喜出望外。在这篇文章中他就如何成为一个伟大的爸爸介绍了很多小诀窍,我很好奇这些秘诀是否同样适用于妈妈,我该如何把他的经验运用到我自己的生活呢?

很明显,一个妈妈爱孩子、照顾孩子们身体和情感的需要,同时还要将花很多心思陪着他们,可是要成为一个伟大的妈妈又有哪些独到之处呢?

1.保留真实的自己。成为一个母亲并不意味着你需要放弃自己的情感和生活,你的兴趣爱好同样很重要。把阅读、写作和运动带入你的生活,让它们成为你日常生活中重要的一部分吧!当然我也知道,说总比做要容易些,但是即便你不像以前那样有很多时间,你依然应当保留你的爱好。如果你能够做到真正关心自己的需要,那你会快乐很多,也更容易成为一个好妈妈。

2. 不要牺牲自己。孩子们并不想也不需要你为了他们而牺牲自己。你想要些个人空间吗?让孩子们单独看一小时电视,你可以抽空看会儿书。觉得缺少和朋友们的交流吗?把孩子留给爸爸,出去和朋友们吃吃饭吧。要知道把你弄得筋疲力尽对你和孩子都没有什么好处的。

3. 不要追求完美。这是一条普遍的生活真理,当然这也是我的个人目标,和是不是母亲无关。追求完美永远是一个坏主意,因为生活是混乱的、不可预知的、充满惊喜的。你不该把追求完美作为你的目标,因为试图创造完美或保持都是根本不可能的。一旦你成为一个妈妈,生活的混乱和疯狂将远比从前,所以放弃追求完美比以往任何时候都更重要。你需要接受无法时刻保持整洁的房子,当你收拾屋子的时候孩子会自顾自玩得更起劲。

4. 抛开负罪感。负罪感恐怕是当妈妈后产生的最大的副作用。有个朋友曾说她每天都会有负罪感,我也偶尔会有负罪感,这是个错误,而且我正在努力改善,负罪感不会给你带来任何帮助,反而会浪费你的时间和精力。不管是关于留在家里照顾宝宝还是回去上班这样的大问题,或是像让不让孩子玩电脑游戏这样的小问题, 一旦做出决定就不要再犹豫,你要相信你所做的就是最好的决定。没有人是完美的,没有人期待你要做一个完美的母亲,也没有人期望你永远都不出错。只要你爱孩子并提供给他们基本的需要,您的孩子会成为最好的孩子。

5. 耐心地对待他们。抚养孩子是件辛苦的事,因为孩子们又吵又闹,很不听话。是的,有一小会儿你会失去耐心,我也是。但是大多数时间,试着深呼吸并把他们看作小小的无助的人吧。我天生不是个耐心的人,但是母性教会我耐心,我从来没想过我也可能这样。

6. 倾听他们的声音。要真正做到倾听对我来说很难,但是我一直在尝试。我们往往以为我们比我们的孩子懂得多,在一定程度上的确是这样,所以我们并不真正倾听孩子的声音。此外,我们往往以解决问题的姿态出现,很快提出我们的意见,可他们真正需要的可能只是我们的倾听。几个月以前,我8岁大的女儿告诉了我有关她和同学之间的问题,我立即给出了一个解决方法,看得出她有些失望。她并没有想从我这里得到解答,她想要的不过是我的倾听而已。

7. 做他们的母亲,而不是朋友。给孩子做些规矩吧!这一点对我们的上几辈人而言比较容易,父母就是父母,孩子就是孩子。家庭是父权制的,家中每个人都要听从父亲的话。现在,家庭是民主的,我们互相协商、讨论,了解对方的想法,我们一起做出重大的决定,这非常伟大,但是孩子们仍然需要我们作为父母为他们做出一些规定。我们应当倾听并尊重他们,但我们不是他们的同辈。当我还是个小孩子,我经常对着妈妈吼:“我再也不要你做我的朋友了!” 她会心平气和地看着我回应“好吧,你是不是我的朋友。你是我的女儿”。这会让我变疯,但是她是对的,我们的工作就是当我们孩子的母亲,而不是他们的朋友。

8. 教导他们要简朴。如果在他们年轻时你就教导他们避免将幸福和物质联系在一起,那你就帮了他们一个好大的忙。他们越是年纪小,越是容易听你的话,所以早点开始做这件事吧!我有两个孩子,分别是6岁和8岁,我常常觉得现在是时候向他们灌输我的价值观了,要赶在他们长到十几岁之前。当我清理房间时,我会让女儿们也参与进来,并且我会和她们讨论该怎么清理那些杂物。我们从不把逛街作为娱乐的一部分,她们都明白只有在真正有需要的时候才去购物。我们从图书馆借书替代买书,能够重复利用的我们都不丢弃,我们都为能居住在一个整洁干净的屋子里而感到自豪。

9. 别给他们太多压力。我是作为一个优等生长大的,我深切体会到戴着优等生的帽子并不是件快乐的事。我希望我的孩子们能够成功,希望他们能够发挥全部潜力并且衣食无忧。但我不会给他们太多压力,相反我希望能够给他们提供一个相对轻松的环境,让他们的课余生活丰富多彩。

10. 教导他们要自重。这一点是我从Leo的文章里学来的,它非常重要。事实上,我非常赞同Leo的观点,自重是父母所能给予孩子的最重要的礼物。一个自重的人会监督自己,不会让自己有陋习。一个自重的人更容易快乐,也更容易发挥自己的潜力。该怎么教导孩子们自重呢?让我们来看看Leo是怎么说的吧:告诉他们你重视他们,多花些时间陪着他们,多和他们交流并倾听他们的声音。

11. 教导他们要自力更生。这是我每天都为之奋斗的一部分,因为在孩子遇到困难时你很难控制不去伸出援手,但是如果你这样做了他们就会失去一次自己帮助自己的机会。在每个发展阶段孩子都能做到他力所能及的事情,如果你替孩子做了,你并不是在帮助他,反而是拖了他的后腿。温柔地教导孩子去做些力所能及的事情,对孩子来说通过自己努力有所成就是极为重要的。我曾经读过佩内洛普利奇的一本书,留下了非常深刻的印象。虽然我希望孩子们需要我,但我尽量让他们独立、自给自足,因为他们能够做到。我会试着慢慢走出孩子对我的依赖,慢慢地走出来。

12. 开怀大笑吧!一旦成为一个母亲,你很容易专注于如何才能照顾好自己的孩子,这就是Leo所指的“妈妈的工作”,你通常会忘记放松或娱乐。但是孩子本身就能给你带来快乐,他们能让你重新变成一个孩子,和他们在一起你会做些通常都不会做的事情,在水坑里蹦来蹦去居然让你那么快乐,你会从他们无辜又好奇的眼神中重新认识这个世界。你是不是好多年都没有看过有趣的昆虫和五彩的蝴蝶了?如果你有孩子的话,你将会重新留意到这些可爱的小生命。

我的诀窍和Leo的秘诀看起来有什么不同吗?可能有一些,可在它们在很多方面却又是相通的。它们都强调要对孩子和对自己好一些,我的诀窍则强调了对自己好的那部分。我觉得爸爸们犯的最大的错误就在于对工作投入太多,没有太多时间陪伴家庭,至于妈妈们的错误则在于对家庭投入太多而没有时间照顾自己。Leo提出的十二个小诀窍帮助爸爸们找到平衡,希望我的诀窍可以帮助妈妈们找到平衡。

暂且不考虑你是不是已经成为父母,你的头上又戴着几顶帽子呢?对于这多重身份你有什么秘诀来应对呢?你又如何控制自己不会发狂呢?偶尔你会不会因为无法将每件事都做到100分而感到内疚呢?
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