What does it mean to be a good mom, exactly?
Is it going out of your way to give your children all the experiences in life you wish you had? Or making sure they never want for anything – even if that “anything” includes $400 designer jeans they’ll grow out of in a month or the newest iPhone?
Maybe being a good mom means keeping a roof over their heads, food on the table and clothes on their backs, by any means necessary. Or letting them go when you’re not in the right place to care for them.
There are so many ways to be a good mom, and for every Good Mom Thing we do, there are 30 other things we’re doing or not doing that make us feel like we’re failing. That’s just the nature of motherhood, especially motherhood nowadays at the height of Comparison Culture where heavily edited, carefully curated glimpses of other people’s perfect lives leave us feeling as if we don’t measure up.
Here are some thing you might be able to relate to that let you know you’re a good mom.
(Please note, just as a general disclaimer: this is not an exhaustive list, there are many other great examples. Additionally, almost none of the examples on this list are requirements to be a good mother. You are still a good mom even if many of these do not apply to you. And finally, this is not a keeping score type of list. If you can say you check 5 of the 7 boxes on this list, that does not make you a better mom than your sister-in-law who can only relate to 3 of the 7, or vice versa.)
#1. You Love Your Kids. Even if they annoy you sometimes. Even if you wish for more time to yourself. YES, even if you sometimes fantasize about what a child-free life may have looked like for you. Despite everything, you love your kids.
#2. You Want What’s Best For Them. Even if what’s best for them isn’t exactly what they want all of the time.
#3. You Worry That You’re Failing/You Worry That You’re A Bad Mom. Does this sound weird to you? It’s totally understandable if it does, but hear me out. The fact that you worry that you’re failing means you care, and just simply caring is one of the most important things.
#4. You Understand That Your Kids Are Their Own People and Not Just an Extension of You. This means respecting their interests and their choices. Letting them express themselves the way they choose, whether that’s the way they dress, their choice of music or even what they prefer to be called.
#5. You’re Selfish Sometimes. This is something that I think a lot of mom’s struggle with, but, making yourself a priority is definitely a Good Mom habit for multiple reasons. It prevents you from burning out, which helps you be at your best. It also models a very important self-love mentality for your children. Your kids need to see you going out of your way to make yourself happy, not just to make everyone else happy.
#6. Your Kids Get Mad at You Occasionally. Motherhood isn’t just having kids. It’s preparing them for life, helping them become the adults they’re going to be someday. Sometimes this means letting them learn lessons the hard way, or saying no to things even though you know they’ll be mad about it. Obviously this doesn’t mean go out of your way to make life difficult for your kids so they are forced to learn through negative experiences, but sometimes not picking them up when they fall down is the right choice. Letting them figure out the solutions to their own problems instead of swooping in to save them every time.
#7. You Do Stuff With Your Kids. It doesn’t have to be something extravagant, it could be anything like picking up a new hobby together or taking a road trip. Family movie nights, or taking an evening walk. If you have activities you often do with your child, that means you’re giving them your time and attention in some form or another, while creating new memories.
As I said, there are a ton of other ways to tell you’re a good mom, these are just a few. Leave me a comment and let me know some of the things you can think of that let you know you’re a good mom.