What Makes a Good Mother?

A good mother

The idea of a 'good' vs a 'bad' mother gets thrown around a lot these days. Everyone online and offline seems to have their two cents to add on the topic, making you wonder what exactly is the magical mix of perfect ingredients that make a good mother. Is it like the fabled recipe of sugar and spice and everything nice or is it perhaps more complex than that?

Is it the neatness of our child or how clean they are? Or is it all about good manners and good grades? Is it what and how you teach them? Or about how pretty their clothes are? Is it maybe how you only make all natural baby food at home and never get the store bought stuff or about how money is no option when buying various foods for your little one? Is it maybe about how much money you spend on that amazing nursery furniture to make the perfect baby's room or perhaps about how much effort you put into that DIY nursery wall art? Maybe it's how you sacrificed your career/social life to be a stay at home mom, or how you sacrifice time with your babies so you can work, earn a living and give them a better life? Perhaps good mothers are the ones who spend the time and effort required for homeschooling. Or are they the ones who send their children to public school because they are afraid they won't teach their children well enough at home?

Maybe it's all of the above, or perhaps it's some combination of some of them. Or maybe, just maybe, what makes a good mother isn't any of these overt things, but rather one simple little thing: Worrying. Worrying about what is best for our children, about whether we are doing a good enough job, about our decisions. Worrying about whether or not we are good mothers is what makes us good mothers.

 

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16 thoughts on “What Makes a Good Mother?

  1. NO. Not worry. I learned, probably a little to late, that you can care without worry. Another lesson right along with it, was I’m not naughty, naughty, naughty, I’m an adult! I make decisions. I decide to go to work as a Mom. I decide to stay home as a Mom. I make these decisions because they are what I want. What I want to experience. There is nothing naughty about it even though others might make us feel naughty about it. So I’m not naughty, naughty, naughty.

    Sorry if I got a little excited. That is how important the lesson was. πŸ˜‰

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  2. I agree. I think the self-reflection can help us to constantly shape ourselves into being the best person/mother we can for that moment. I took a class that asked this question, called The Culture and Politics of Motherhood. It was fascinating. I have posted a few book reviews from that class, like Adrienne Rich’s Of Woman Born, but I think you’ve inspired me to write a post about what we learned about the good mother ideal and how damaging it can be for women.

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    1. Sounds like an interesting class. Being able to go back to school is on the top of my bucket list >.< can you suggest some books from that class?
      And looking forward to your post!

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  3. I guess when the time comes for me, I would learn everything I can from my own mom. If I’ve learnt anything in the past few years, it’s mostly about how remarkable it is that we were raised from childhood onward, unblemished, to be the adults we are today. And how it was done with so little fanfare, with a quiet grace. That’s what I would try to learn. πŸ™‚

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  4. I think a good mother is the one who loves their children unconditionally and tries to do what’s best for them to the best of her abilities. And for every woman that is as unique as her situation. The rest of the world shouldn’t judge or question her parenting choices; as long as they are not harmful for the children.

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  5. That is so true. I guess it is a gradual process with different stages. We all have to learn to put our best for our kids, which sometimes may include the need to say no and to take tough decisions. You have given beautiful words to this ever confusing question πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you Jaya for your kind words πŸ™‚ Motherhood is difficult enough without adding the added burden of misplaced guilt. Not every mother is perfect, but imperfection does not equal ‘bad’

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  6. No one tells you in the parenting books how much you will worry as a mother. And moms will tell you it never goes away. When we put our children first, we can do no wrong as Mommy. Great reflection.

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