Ugh, motherhood, am I right?
With social media, friends, family and even strangers trying to tell us how to do our jobs, figuring out how to be a good mom can be confusing and frustrating.
The truth is, every mom is different and we all are amazing in our own ways.
You may feed your child organic foods while I sometimes allow popcorn as an appropriate breakfast choice.
Perhaps your children have been sleeping in their own beds since they were wee while mine still takes up 90% of my double mattress every night.
But you know what we have in common?
We’re good moms who love our children deeply.
While you may feel like you’re failing at this motherhood thing, I’m here to remind you that you are not.
But, if that’s not good enough for you, here are 10 other reasons! 🙂
1. You Yell, But You Feel Bad About Yelling
Kids are purposefully programmed to not listen (or so I’m convinced) because a large part of developing their personality is based on testing and learning boundaries and independence.
That doesn’t mean us moms, as human beings, are expected to sit back and accept this. We are integral in helping them on their path.
I never yell at my daughter when she makes a mistake. Mostly, I raise my voice when she starts blaming me for things that are not within my control or argues with me when I’ve asked her to do something 745 times.
Yet no matter the reason for yelling, I always feel bad afterwards. But that’s the thing about parenting – we have to do tough things that we don’t like doing sometimes.
Good moms yell for the right reasons – and then immediately feel bad.
2. You Question Your Mothering Skills
If you find yourself wondering if you’re doing it right, then it means that you actually care about being a good mom.
Are you doing it right? Is there a right way to be a mom?
While you should never beat yourself down about the way you parent, questioning yourself every now and then is simply a reminder that you are striving to be a good mom.
That, in and of itself, means that you are.
I would hate to sit here and define what a “bad” mother is but, in my mind, it’s one that just simply doesn’t care: A “my way or the highway” type of person who doesn’t take her child’s feelings or needs into consideration.
So, if you’re wondering whether or not your mothering skills are good enough, they are.
3. You Want to Be a Better Mom
A good mom recognizes her deficits and tries to do better.
So when you find yourself questioning those aforementioned skills, you probably find yourself also looking for ways to improve on them.
For instance, my daughter watches way too much YouTube.
It’s the one thing I question all the time: Do I let my daughter watch way too much YouTube?
The truth is, I let my daughter watch way too much YouTube. Instead of wallowing in this and chastising myself for not being a good mom, I try to find ways to work around this.
I decided to add value to the videos and have my daughter do chores before she can watch them. While I’m not totally shutting down her time to watch videos (which I think would be optimal), I’m having her take responsibility for them.
She’ll carry that into adulthood…right?
So just by wanting to be a better mom, you are a good mom.
4. Your House is Messy
Not like “post-apocalyptic disaster” messy but, like, “lived in” messy.
When I look around my home and see my daughter’s toys laying around, my first reaction is to clutch my chest and breath into a paper bag. My house should be spotless, right?
Then I have to remind myself that these toys strewn about are indicative that my child has fun.
While she is expected to clean up after herself, I make sure not to hound her or making her playtime an inconvenience. I don’t want her to shy away from toys (and gravitate to the TV) just because play time means eventual clean up time.
It’s such a small thing, letting your house get a little messy, but is so indicative of a deeper understanding of and care for your child.
It means you prioritize your little one’s fun over the need to have an immaculately clean house.
5. Your Children Come to You For Comfort
My daughter just went back to school this week after having schools closed in March due to COVID-19. Needless to say, I was expecting an adjustment period.
Within an hour of being home, she went into total meltdown mode. She was tired, sore and out of sorts about any little thing she could come up with.
After talking her down and getting her calm, she crawled into my lap and fell asleep. She is seven years old and I don’t remember the last time she has done this.
My heart grew three sizes that day.
Children seek comfort where they feel safe. If you have created a relationship with them of trust and care, they will come to you to seek comfort no matter their age.
They’re not going to seek it from an unloving, rabid rage-monster. If they’re coming to you when they are in pain or upset, whether it’s in the moment or hours later, then you are a good mom.
6. You Give Your Child Everything
Or, at least you try.
And I’m not just talking about spoiling them with material goods. You give your child everything you possibly can: your time, your energy, a happy life and good health.
Even if this means sacrificing your needs (in which case, I suggest you pay close attention to #9 in this list).
It’s just that…it’s such a natural reaction to motherhood. Here are the tiny humans we created, carried and pushed out – why shouldn’t we want to give them everything?
Doing this is not great for you, but it is what good moms do – they just probably shouldn’t all of the time.
7. You Try to Make Every Day Great
Good moms recognize that every day is a gift.
This doesn’t mean celebrating and cherishing every moment because “they grow up so fast”. It simply means trying to create positivity in every day,
After the aforementioned meltdown and lap nap, my daughter found something to occupy her time. It wasn’t until bedtime that we had our next moment together, so we laid in bed and told each other stories.
Here’s how mine went:
And you know what? Those are the memories your little ones are going to cherish.
Since I’m sure we’ll never forget the cannibal teddy bears.
8. You Have Bad Days
Good moms aren’t so wrapped up in being “the perfect mom” that they suppress all of their frustrations and plaster a smile on their face to make it through the day.
No, good moms have bad days because they are human.
And you know what? Good moms teach their kids that it’s okay to be angry and frustrated and have a lousy day. Imagine the emotional control this gives to children by validating their feelings.
It’s important, however, to also model for your kids how to handle bad days. Showing your kid how to self-calm and relax is far more beneficial than letting them witness a raging tirade.
Ultimately, we want to teach our kids that feelings are okay – it’s how you deal with them that makes the differences.
And by allowing yourself to have bad days, you are empowering their emotional intelligence.
9. You Take Time for Yourself
Yes, perhaps the most important point of this whole article – it is not selfish to take care of yourself. Self care is crucial in balancing your life and nurturing your true self.
You cannot be the best mom you can be if you’re running on empty. You need to take care of yourself as much as you take care of your family.
Good moms find the time to take care of themselves and nurture their overall being. They know that it’s okay to put on a movie in order to enjoy a nice bath. They know it’s okay to ask for alone time to unwind and decompress.
We may label ourselves as “mother” but what that means is defined solely on who we are as individuals. Nurturing our individuality means taking care of ourselves.
10. You Can’t Say “I Love You” Enough
Sometimes I’ll say to my daughter, “Guess what?”
And she’ll respond, “I know, you love me.”
It’s because I say it to her all of the time (probably more than I really need to).
Good moms love their kids deeply and want to say it all the time. Not because they feel they have to, but because they feel compelled to.
It doesn’t mean that they do. You don’t have to tell your kid 40 million times a day that you love them.
You know it and they know it too.
You’re a Good Mom, Mom!
If you decided to read this list to make sure you’re a good mom, let me tell you this: You are!
But sometimes moms, including myself, need a little reminder that (despite appearances) we are doing a fabulous job raising our kiddos.
I know I add a lot of personal stories to my articles, so now I want to hear yours! Share you heart-warming or funny mom stories in the comments below!