When Do You Know You're a Good Mom?

Jessica Cohen

If you are the perfect parent, if you have never doubted yourself, feel free to leave this post now because the rest will not apply to you. All others may continue.

Motherhood has made news in big ways — from Tiger Mom to the mom who does not love her child to the mom who sent her adopted child back to Russia to Botox Mom, and so on. While those may be extreme cases, there is no denying that motherhood is tough.

The vast majority of us feel pressure to be fabulous parents, either pressure from our schools, from our doctors, from the “experts,” from other moms or the ever so effective self-imposed pressure. If you are made to feel that you are not living up to the standard, the scrutiny (self-imposed or not) can become personal and hurtful.

Yet it’s important to remember that we all experience moments of self-doubt as a parent. Maybe we can even agree that second-guessing ourselves is a good thing because it means that we are analyzing our decisions enough to make sure we are doing what we think is best.

When Do You Know?

So here is what I want to know:  When do you know that you are being a good mother?  Is it in the bigger picture or the smaller moments?

My 4-year-old is a fairly independent, self-sufficient kid. Last night when he went to sleep I told my husband that I miss the moments when he needed his mommy. (They were few and far between anyway because he was always a Daddy’s boy.) Then first thing this morning that boy walked into our room, took one look at me and I said, “Honey, you have strep throat.” He did not have to say a word because I already knew.

I canceled my morning appointment and took him to the doctor who was amazed at the size and redness of his tonsils. I held him as he tried to find a comfortable position in my lap despite my having a pinched sciatic nerve and being in quite a bit of pain. He did not know I was hurting and it did not matter; because so was he and he needed his Mommy.

At that moment I was reminded that I am a good mother. I may not remember to RSVP to every event, I don’t always want to play hockey in the driveway and sometimes I forget to put him in a purple shirt on Purple Day. I may not always have the patience of a saint and I may wait a day too long to do the laundry.

What Matters

Yet I don’t have to wear a cape or be a June Cleaver to be a good mother. I am certainly far from perfect but I am there when my child needs me and he knows it. For me, that is what matters.

What matters to you? When do you know that you are being a good mother?

Jessica Cohen is a Richboro, PA mom. This post is adapted from her blog, Look Who Found the Marbles.

Categories: MomSpeak