How to be a better Mother Part 1

Stop comparing yourself with others
Accept that you are you. You are not your neighbour or a Mother from school. You are YOU. Each and every situation is different. Different combination of personalities, different financial commitments and different family cultures and beliefs.

Whenever you find yourself comparing, here are two things to think about:

1) Comparison is a joy thief.
2) People only ever show you their highlight reel.

Example of my highlight reel. Little do you know that Maya was throwing a massive tanty, and told me she was leaving home 5 seconds before this photo was taken. She was actually apologising for her awful behavior.

Actively look after yourself
Prior to becoming a Mum, what did you like to do? What made you light up? What made you relax? Was it going to the movies alone? Was it having wine with friends? Was it going on a date with your partner? Was it baking? Was it having a nice warm tub? Was it knitting? Was it shopping or reading a book?

Whatever it was, actively reintroduce it back into your life. Plan it into your schedule, even if it means taking turns with your neighbour or family friend, ie they look after your kids, you look after there’s etc.

Kids are most happy when their mother is happy

Reflect on your standards
Are they your standards? Or are they someone else’s? Really think about that. Sometimes the media or our own family have a lot to answer for in terms of the pressure that is put on us. Are you trying to measure up? Are you trying to make others happy? Does it really matter if the kids socks match? Does it really matter if they have toast for dinner some nights? Does it really matter if the floors a bit sticky?

Simple things that really matter:

1) That your children are safe
2) That they feel loved
3) That they are happy

Being ”Just ok” is ok!
I’m pretty shit at a lot of things but i’m super good at telling my kids I love them and telling them what they are good at. So I reckon that just that in itself outweighs all of the things I’m shit at. So I’m embracing that i’m just ok!

Don’t always believe the “so called experts"
I remember reading a book by an “expert” and he was going on about how your kids shouldn’t go to childcare. At that time I had both my kids in childcare, we wanted to move ahead with our lives and future. We wanted to build our family home and that meant I had to go to paid work. I remember reading that book and crying for 3 days straight and beating myself up about how I was “a bad mum” During one of my “crying sessions” I was explaining my feelings to my Mum. She looked at me and said “well, I think you need to get over it Kristy” Your kids are some of the happiest kids I’ve ever seen” “Who cares about what this guy thinks” He doesn’t know you or your kids so why are you so worried about what he thinks or preaches. That was a defining moment for me. It was like the clouds parted and I finally felt at peace. I think about that conversation a lot whenever I’m feeling like a shit Mum I look at my kids and see they are happy, we are happy and that’s all that matters.

What are your thoughts? Do you ever feel like your not quite good enough? Do you ever feel like others are so much better at this motherhood gig? 

What points have I missed? The comment section of this blog becomes a valuable resource— like our fb community this a safe place to share and offer your support.


About the Author

Kristy Vallely is the founder and Creator of the Imperfect Mum.

Kristy believed there needed to be a place that women could go to. Where they could talk and relate. A place they could feel safe. A place they trusted. So The Imperfect Mum was born in June 2011. There was obviously such a need that when the gates 'opened' a huge flurry of women followed. Kristy has always been very passionate about women and the issues they face.

Her passion and determination has helped her carve out a career helping others and creating 'a go to place' for women from all around the world.

Posted in:  Parenthood Guilt

21 Replies


This is great I really do put so much stress in myself by what I think others would think or try and compare myself to other mums who look like mothers of the year or century but I can't seem to let those worries go!

The Imperfect Mum

Over time you will. I think the older you get the less you worry. XX

Single mum

Sometimes I feel like a shit mum because I am a single mum ... And that part was mostly out of my control. Most of the other stuff I'm ok with, the fact she sleeps in my bed, that she doesn't have a bath on freezing cold days or busy days, and that I gave her multigrain toast without knowing a 9 month old isn't allowed seeds. I get I will make mistakes along the way, so I don't beat myself up because I know she is provided for... But I fear the day she grows up and asks why daddy left and who he is and I won't really have a answer, and in that moment I feel like I've been uncovered as the fraudulent mother.

The Imperfect Mum

Wherever I meet a single mum I think "wow you're bloody amazing" nothing more nothing less. Your daughter is very lucky to have such a strong role model, being a one parent family is better than being a sad family. Go you! Xx


I feel a lot of guilt for choosing to work more than I have to. It does help us get along financially but it also keeps my sanity. I worked really hard to forge my career and while I am happy to relinquish some of my pre-kid life (late boozy nights, control over any device or gadget and the ability to eat/ pee/ have a conversation with an adult without interruption), maintaining some the former me is still important.

The Imperfect Mum

I agree Cazz!!!!!! Why shouldn't we live our life too? Why shouldn't we move ahead with our dreams. Kudos to you for articulating and believing in that. Xxx


I am feeling the same about child care. I know in my head that I am doing what is best for my family but can't help but feel guilt and sadness. I hope that in the time between now and when I go back to work that I can feel ok about it and that my bub will be ready. So comforting to know others have experienced the same internal conflicts.

The Imperfect Mum

This was one of my BIGGEST battles as a mum. My kids thrived in care, please know that!! Sending you hugs and reassurance. X

anon post3r

I really need to remember the first two. Do things for me that make me happy so i can be a better mum and that I have to live by my own standards not those put on me. Its a tough job been a single mum and my child ishappy and healthy and well behaved so I must be doing an alright job without any support from father :)

The Imperfect Mum

You are winning! Your child is happy- tick! Your child is healthy - tick! That's all you need to worry about!! Xxx

Lonely single mum

I often compare myself to both of my married sisters. I often feel that I'm letting my son down because he doesn't have a dad. But I know deep down that I made the right choice for him by eliminating his dad from our lives. He was mentally/emotionally abusive towards me, I feared he would do the same to my son, (and he did on the few occasions that they met). It's like I'm not good enough to one of my sisters, to the point that she barely acknowledges us in public. Thanks for sharing this advice. I feel like I can now keep my head up and press on no matter what is said :)

The Imperfect Mum

I take my hat of to single mums. You have had enough strength and integrity to walk away from a man that does not deserve you or your son. Please know your son will thank you one day, his father does not have the opportunity to teach your son his bad tricks. Hold your head high, and do not compare, you are you not your sisters, they have their own story. Xxx

turkish delight

gosh im so proud to know you. well said twista, well said.

The Imperfect Mum

Ohhh thank you my Turkish Delight ha ha ;) very beautiful of you to say!! Xx


I like to think I am a work/mum in progress. Learning things all the time. My guilt is getting frustrated and being a grumpy mum.

The Imperfect Mum

We ALL get frustrated and grumpy!! That is so normal. Xxx

Rebecca Dowell

I have single mother guilt! But my daughter has everything she will ever need and nearly everything she has ever wanted. Some people think I am crazy that I am now going to be using a sperm donor to have another child and actively say to the world 'I am a single Mum, and I am ok with that and I do a pretty fantabulous job at it, so ner'. I am far from perfect and I know it, my daughter knows it as I teach her that I am human too. It is nice to be reminded that I am normal :) Thanks Kristy!

The Imperfect Mum

You are very normal Rebecca, there's a few single mums on here saying the same as you. That kind of shocks me because I think single mums are courages and amazing. Please know that most people in our society think the same. Lots if love to you! Kristy xx

Chantell Whitechurch

I constantly get ridiculed by my mother in law as we are a blended family she makes a point of telling me I favour my own daughter abd the 2 children I have too her son over his two beautiful children, I never have a clean house (I bust my guts cleaning daily we have 5 kids so its never spotless) also that i should never have had our surprise bub last yr I often found myself questioning myself over everything I did.. I cried I felt bad and inadequate alot from the hurtful things she said was always trying too live up too uer expectations..until recently found out she was telling my step children that my daughter was a s$#t and is a b×$ch and how unfair I am and even asked how they could love me.. it was only then I realised that I was glad I am my own person that I love all our children they and how i put too much effort I put into making someone else happy and I am glad too say I have a much happier life not worrying about her anymore (she is no longer welcome ) but even if she was will no longer be worried about whay she thinks :)
Thankyou for posting this this was me 3 monthd ago and its nice too know I m not the only one who felt lile a bad mother

The Imperfect Mum

Ohh I am so happy for you, I'm glad for everybody in your little family that she is no longer welcome, she sounded like poison.

And good on you for embracing the fact that you are just a normal mum. Xxx


I always feel like a bad mother, like my kids deserve to be with someone else, hell I am not even sure my kids are happy :( I give them what they need like food and a roof over their heads, clothes on their backs all that kind of stuff but find myself unable to do fun things with them, every time I try they end up being naughty and I think to myself why do I even bother. Argh sorry for the negativity.