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Breaking news: Mom guilt is real, and it's pretty much universal. But feeling like you're owning this whole parenting thing doesn't require years of therapy or hours spent crafting (ugh with the crafting) when there are faster ways to shift your perspective. Baby steps, mama. 

RELATED: 9 Hilarious Real Mom Fails That Make Us Feel Better About Our Own Screw-Ups

1 read another bedtime story easy ways to be a better mom
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1. Read “one more!” bedtime story. Two fewer minutes of sleep won’t make or break anyone’s morning.

2. Take them outside in their PJs to see the stars. Yes, another bedtime-delay tactic worth indulging.

3. Let them put blush on your cheeks. Is that his blending technique or your maternal glow showing?

4. Tell them a story about when you were little. Watch them hang on every word.

5. Let them take their shoes off. There’s no amount of sand or grass a few wipes can’t handle.

say i love you easy ways to be a better mom
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6. Say "I love you." Even when you want to scream. Especially when you want to scream.

7. Give them permission to splash in mud, jump in leaves and stomp in puddles. Related: Always keep a spare set of clothes on hand.

8. Let them lick the bowl. Just as long as they leave some for you.

9. When you read a book, do the voices. Oh hi, Meryl.

10. Sing Disney songs like no one’s watching. No one over the age of eight, that is.

chase them through the park easy ways to be a better mom
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11. Chase them. Up the driveway or across the playground. It never fails. 

12. Squirt shaving cream initials onto their tummies before their bath. Hey Ernie, who makes bath-time lots of fun now?

13. Squirt whipped cream onto their fruit. Michelin star for you.  

14. Have a single-song dance party. You haven’t lived until you’ve watched your toddler twerk to Despacito.

15. Get on the floor. You don’t even have to “play.” Literally just sit there.

20 embrace wrestling easy ways to be a better mom
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16. Be kind to someone else in front of them. A smile at the grocery store, a warm thank-you to your waitress, a hug for your husband—your little sponges are absorbing it all. 

17. Put your phone away. 

18. Let them try on your high heels. Boy moms: Go with it.   

19. Chill out about the finger paint. Messy is the point.

20. Embrace wrestling. Behold the surprising benefits of roughhousing

21 blow bubbles easy ways to be a better mom
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21. Blow bubbles. The bigger the better. iPad? What iPad?

22. Let the dishes pile up and be with them instead. Reprioritizing can be hard. Like most things worth doing. 

23. Try really hard not to yell. There are lots and lots of techniques that may help. Find one that works for you. And if (correction: when) you lose it, forgive yourself.  

24. Plant a seed and water it together. Even if it’s imaginary.

25. Ask them detailed questions about the Lego contraption they’re building. Unleash a monologue.

easy ways to be a better mom picking daisies
skynesher/Getty Images

26. Pick dandelions. Your weed is their wildflower.

27. Let them wear whatever they want. A world of fashion critics awaits her. It’s called middle school, and it will be here soon enough.

28. Let them take off their coat for once. Kids are just hotter than normal humans. Science says so.

29. Listen more than you talk.

30. Say yes.

RELATED: 6 Secrets of Cool Moms

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