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I love positive affirmations, but the ones that say, “I’m a great mom,” never hit me right. Now hear me out. Being a parent is hard. Harder than I ever imagined. I’m a good parent, but I’m not always a great parent—and that’s OK. I’m focused on being a good enough parent.

The takeaway from saying it this way is to actively work on being the best version of yourself as a parent. How do you do that? Below are three things you can do to be the best version of yourself as a parent.

Related: I am not a perfect mom but I am a ‘good enough’ mom

Tips for being a good enough parent

1. Reflect daily

After a hard day as a parent, reflect on what happened. There have been plenty of days where I yelled at my kids way more than I wanted to, and I didn’t feel good about it at the end of the day. I spent many nights wondering what was wrong with me as a parent. Why could everyone else manage their emotions? Why was everyone else so calm with their kids all the time? Let me tell you a little secret: Everyone has emotions and triggers.

There isn’t a perfect parent, and I had unrealistic expectations of myself as a parent. So instead of getting down on myself at the end of the night, I reflect on the day and think about what I want to do differently tomorrow.

Ask yourself these questions if you have felt this way as a parent: What happened today? How was I feeling? How did I react when feeling that way? What do I want to do differently tomorrow? What do I need to be able to respond that way?

2. Manage self-regulation

Emotional self-regulation is an essential part of our physical and mental well-being. According to Medical News Today, emotional self-regulation refers to our ability to manage emotions and impulses.

Self-regulation can be challenging for a parent. We are exposed to a whole new world very quickly. It is easy to become overwhelmed, over-stimulated and completely stressed out. To help with emotional self-regulation, you need to first create awareness of your triggers. Then, pick one specific trigger and make it a goal to practice self-regulation when triggered. Some examples of self-regulation include mindfulness techniques like deep breathing and mindful walking or taking a parent time-out. And there are many other ways to cope with anxiety as a parent.

Related: You can’t be a perfect mother. So be a ‘good enough’ mother.

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3. Read a parenting book

When you’re reflecting on the day and thinking about what you want to do differently tomorrow, pick up a parenting book or read an article about parenting that fits your parenting style. Two of my favorite books I’ve read as a parent and therapist are “The 5 Love Languages of Children” by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell, and “The Explosive Child” by Ross W. Greene, Ph.D.

There are many other great parenting books out there, but no matter what you read, take what you feel will be helpful to your life, adjust the language or technique as needed and apply it. If you feel stuck in a negative mindset with your parenting, parenting books can help shift that mindset. Sometimes even reading an article or one chapter can make a big difference.

Parenting is hard, and it’s OK if we are not always great parents. But what’s important is that we continue to work on being the best version of ourselves as parents. To continue doing so, you can follow these tips to be a good parent and to help shift your mindset and learn new skills. 

This story is a part of The Motherly Collective contributor network where we showcase the stories, experiences and advice from brands, writers and experts who want to share their perspective with our community. We believe that there is no single story of motherhood, and that every mother's journey is unique. By amplifying each mother's experience and offering expert-driven content, we can support, inform and inspire each other on this incredible journey. If you're interested in contributing to The Motherly Collective please click here.