By Amanda Griffin Jacob
Are you a good mom? Am I a good mom? What exactly is a good mom? Is there a set of rules we should all be following? In the realm of motherhood we all tend to grade ourselves on a subjective curve depending on the outcome of each scenario, comparing ourselves to our fellow mamas, critiquing our implementation, and frequently second guessing ourselves due to insecurity. More often than not, we are our own harshest judges.
No, there’s no real how-to guide on how to be a “good mom.” But there are some things we can do to be better (if you aren’t already doing them).
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Motherhood isn’t a sprint, it’s an ultra run. You are now the kind where they clock in hundred of kilometers? If you always get hyped up about little things (untidy rooms, spills, stains), it makes everything so much more exhausting and let’s be honest no one appreciates the nag. I have to admit I’ll forever be working on this having grown up in a British household where manners and chores were paramount, but I have come to realize that children just need to be children. And being messy, getting dirty, and having fun is part of the growing up process. Slowly I’ve been able to let go of some of the small stuff and am always working toward improving on this.
Listen to your intuition
I firmly believe we all have good intuition. Especially when it comes to our children. Listen to your gut. You’re usually right.
Find what works for your family
There is no one size fits all when it comes to parenting. Your version of a good mom may not resonate with the mom next to you, or your friend, or even your family. Only you understand what your particular children need. No one else lives with them and loves them the way you do.
Build mutual respect
Respect begets respect. It’s no different with your own kids. Being a good mom means that you need to respect your children rather than dominate and dictate (although certainly some situations call for this). Just never forget that your children are people who deserve respect just as you do.
Have open lines of communication
One of the most fundamental facets of being a “good mom” is not only being able to talk to your child, but more significantly having them be able to talk to you. Communication is crucial. It is important that your kids know they can come and talk to you about anything without judgment, or at the very least they need to know that you will always be there for them and will support them no matter what.
Spend quality time with them
Nothing beats spending time with your little ones. Nothing can replace this. Choose activities that you know your children enjoy and you will make many meaningful memories that add to their childhood. Spending quality time with your children helps to cultivate self-esteem and make them know they are loved. This is what being a good mom is all about.
So, I’ll ask the question again, are you a good mom? If you read this article in its entirety then it means you are interested in being a good mom and that’s usually a hallmark of a good mom. I think it’s important to always remember that as mothers we are continual works in progress and we can always be better mothers. But we also need to give ourselves credit and acknowledge that we already are “good moms.”