Being a mother is without a doubt the toughest job you’ll ever have. The highs can be the best moments of your life, but the lows are ruthless. If you aren’t fighting with your teenager or wrestling to get your baby to stop crying, you’re worried about everything from their social life to their diet, to whether or not they’re a happy child.
At the end of the day, we all just want to be the greatest mom we can be. Everyone has their individual approach to parenting, and we will defend it to our dying day. Regardless, sometimes we feel like we’re not parenting “the right way.” But this feeling of inadequacy is usually completely unfounded! Here’s the thing: Being a good mom isn’t as scary or hard as it’s made out to be. In fact, it’s the simple things that really matter.
Take a look at eight signs that you’re doing your job well.
#1: You are exhausted
No one said motherhood was a walk in the park. Good mothers usually put their children’s eating, sleeping, playing and bathing schedule before you own, and that usually means a few nights of lost sleep and not much downtime during the day.
#2: You know your priorities
Raising your child to be a successful and happy adult comes before anything else. This means the values that you espouse like kindness and perseverance should be integrated into your child’s life. This usually means you lead by example, allowing your child learn about your values on their own.
#3: You support
Even though you prioritize your values, your child relies on your for encouragement in their daily lives. Mental stimulation is how a child grows at almost every age, and being there for them on the sidelines and cheering them on in their endeavors means you’re doing something right.
#4: You aren’t afraid to enforce the rules
A good mother knows how to bring down the hammer – so to speak – when your child is misbehaving. Many mothers strive to be friends with their children, but you know that’s not your job. Regardless of your child’s age, you understand the importance of consistently setting rules in your house, and if they disobey, they know they will face consequences. This is one of the most important character-building elements of being a mother; it usually leads to secure, disciplined adults.
#5: You know the importance of freedom and fun
OK, discipline is important when being a mother, but that’s only one side of the coin. Having fun with your child is what will ultimately strengthen your relationship and bring enrichment to a child’s life. Your child will know that there is work time and play time, and they need to know you will be there for both. This means you take a substantial time out of your day having fun or playing together. It could mean taking them to the park or the aquarium, or it could be playing at home or in the backyard, ensuring your child gets their daily dose of fun is one of the key responsibilities of being a mother.
A child’s brain is most absorbent in its early years, and allowing our child to learn means giving them the freedom to explore and discover on their own. You may feel that you want to hold their hand through everything, like their first day of school. But every child needs to come to an understanding of the world around them on their own. Keeping them constantly protected from reality can restrict them from developing in a healthy way.
#6: Your children are polite
Have you ever been on an airplane and a misbehaving child sits behind you, kicking your seat and making noise? And the parents just sit there without intervening. You don’t want to be that parent. Well, good parents do not succumb to their kids. “Please” and “thank you” should be foundations of your child’s language and they should begin to understand social cues as young as possible. It’s never too early to teach respect.
#7: Your kids want to show you affection
If there’s one thing we all know about kids, it’s that they cry. A lot. Whether they’ve scraped their leg or another child has hurt their feelings, they should find comfort in your arms. A mother’s touch is usually something instinctual, it can’t be learned unless you have that connection, so your young child should seek that love and affection from you.
So, whether it’s a hug, a kiss or just a caring hand to wipe away their tears, they should feel protected and safe from you, and they should be reciprocating that physical affection.
#8: If you have a teen, they’re embarrassed to be seen with you
Take comfort in this. Adolescence will bring with it a fierce desire for independence and their social lives begin to dominate everything else. So, don’t feel disheartened or demoralized if your child wants to distance themselves from you in public or even at home. It means they’re growing up, and their love for you at fourteen is the same if they were four years old. Kids just have a strange way of showing it. Check out why teenagers are so difficult.
Motherhood is an overwhelming responsibility. It can be fun, but it can also be challenging and tiring, and it brings with it a host of emotions. Sometimes you need a little reassurance that you’re on the right track as a mom, and we hope that the foundations we’ve listed make up the relationship you have with your child, so it can really last a lifetime.
Check out our DIY tricks to perfect parenting here.
- Johnston, D. D., & Swanson, D. H. (2006, November 02). Constructing the “Good Mother”: The Experience of Mothering Ideologies by Work Status. Sex Roles, 54(7-8), 509-519. doi:10.1007/s11199-006-9021-3
- Adams, S. L. (2014, April 29). Mad Mothers, Bad Mothers, & what a “Good” Mother would do. Mad Mothers, Bad Mothers, and What a “Good” Mother Would Do,1-14. doi:10.7312/columbia/9780231166751.003.0001Brown, S., Small, R., & Lumley, J. (1996, March 20).
- Being a ‘good mother’. Journal of Reproductive & Infant Psychology, 185-200. Retrieved from 10.1080/02646839708404542.
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