I was in the kitchen cleaning dishes, pretending I wasn’t getting sick. As I stood there rinsing a cup, I was thinking of all the things I needed to do. Then, I thought of all the things I didn’t feel like doing. Wondering when the baby would wake and if I should go grab lunch … because I didn’t feel like eating what I had in the house. And then …
Damn … I forgot to pack my daughter’s snack for school. I gave myself some grief. How could I do that? She eats lunch so late. What kind of mother forgets her daughter’s snack? I tell myself it was because I was out of routine. “You didn’t have to pack her lunch today … she wanted to buy lunch.” Okay, I’ve rationalized how I could have forgotten.
I calm my thoughts after I remind myself that her teacher had a snack stash for just this instance. In fact, I donated a humongous box of chips to her classroom just weeks ago. She’s fine. She will be taken care of.
As a mom of two children, I know how often I question my abilities. There are so many questions I pose to myself about my own parenting.
I often wonder if I do enough. Have I said the right things? Am I teaching my children important life lessons? Have I shown them how to be good friends? Am I teaching them to be responsible for their actions and that they’re not entitled to anything in this world? That’s just to name a few. And those probably happened in less than an hour. Just today.
All my questions boil down to one simple, and common, question most moms have.
Am I a Good Mom?
The key to being a good mom is simple.
Stop asking the question.
I know you’re asking “How does that qualify as an answer to a question?”
It isn’t. But there’s a reason for it. And that is …
There is no definitive answer.
The fact that you feel compelled to ask if you’re a good mom likely means that you are a good mom. You’re asking because you care. You’re concerned that you’re doing the right thing for your family. Which tells me, simply, you are a good mom.
How to stop wondering if you’re a good mom
Stop seeking validation from others. Their opinions of your parenting don’t matter, do they? That’s the thing with us moms … we always seem to be concerned about what others think about us. And, it shouldn’t be that way. Their opinions are subjective because their ideas of being a good mom really only apply to themselves. They don’t have all the information to make the best decisions for your family. Only you do. So stop putting stock in other’s thoughts.
Stop comparing yourself to others. Your friends’ posts on social media are only one side of her life. The Pinterest pins one may save are no indication of a mom’s real life. I seriously have tons of crafts saved to my Pinterest boards, but I don’t have the time or energy to do them all. I just like them. And I wish I could do them.
Remind yourself what’s important. Are you doing what you believe in for your family? Make a list of what is important for you to do, say, and/or accomplish as a mom. As long as you’re trying, you’re doing what’s right. Speaking of trying …
Seek ways to improve. Just because you (should) know that you are a good mom, doesn’t mean you don’t try to improve yourself. We should always be looking for ways to be better. Just remember, you’re aiming to please yourself. You should be seeking improvements in areas you want to improve upon, not what someone else believes makes a good mom.
There’s no real definition for a good mom. Everyone’s ideas of parenting are different. What one mom thinks makes her good is probably completely different from another. We all have different values, struggles, and visions. Our family dynamics are all different. And our children, husbands, and selves all have different needs.
The next time you wonder whether or not you’re a good mom,
punch yourself in the face bring yourself back to this post. And, don’t forget to share it with other moms you know.