It’s Mother’s Day and with that it got me thinking about what constitutes or what makes a good mother. We can define motherhood simply by having birthed a child but I think that the definition is broader than that. It encompasses those women that have taken on the role of being a mother in a child’s life that is not biologically theirs. Through fostering, adoption (shout out to my sister here who fostered to adopt her third boy) and step mothers. It also includes those who are struggling to have a little person call them mom and the bereaved mothers who have lost a pregnancy, infant or child.
The one question that comes to the front of all mother’s minds is; am I a good mom? I know I struggle often with this question in my own parenting. sometimes daily. What I have learned is that there are a million ways to be a good mom.
So what makes a good mother?
Dragging yourself out of bed at 3 in the morning because of a need to breastfeed, soothe a crying baby or check for monsters in the closet.
Holding a crying child when they are sad, hurt and need a non existent boo boo kissed.
Reading the book, doing the puzzle, sitting through Frozen for 150th time and washing their little hands over and over again because they ask you too.
Showing up. To the school concerts, science fairs, or other random school events that happen during the inconvenient hours of 9-3. And if You can’t show up because you’re working, You feel the guilt over not being there.
Getting frustrated when the kids don’t listen. Or even when the day has been hard or long and all you want is a moment of peace and quiet. Or a big glass of wine.
Remembering to buy and pack the good snacks in the lunchbox. Hell even just remembering to feed your kids somedays makes you a good mother.
Sometimes you cry. You cry because you’re frustrated, sad, need a break, or even just to cry because being a mom if hard.
Knowing you’re human. You will forget things, make mistakes, and feel overwhelmed. Or say fuck it and get take out for dinner, miss a nap time, and feel like you are doing a hundred things wrong for every one thing you do right. You are human after all.
You know that motherhood is not your only defining characteristic. Sure, it makes up a huge part of your life and you adore your children more than anything else in this world. It’s not the only thing that defines you. For me, I want my children to know that there is more to me than just being their mom. I want them to appreciate that, admire that and strive to be driven in the pursuit of whatever sets their soul on fire in life.
Finally, what makes you an amazing mother is just being you
You don’t have to be the PTA mom or the mom who sews matching family Halloween costumes. You also don’t have to be the mom who has multiple craft projects to do with their kids or the mom who makes organic, healthy meals for their kids. If you are that mom, that’s totally cool, you are amazing too! What makes a good mother is just being there for your kids and being yourself.
So Happy Mother’s Day to every type of mama out there. Today and everyday.