It is a universal fear of all mothers. Something that we are constantly asking ourselves every minute of every day, and in all hours of the night.
Am I a good mother?
Am I doing enough for my child?
We wonder if we’re feeding them the right foods. We wonder if we’re doing enough activities with them during the day. We wonder if we are allowing them to socialise enough. We wonder if we are allowing them (and ourselves) to socialise too much and not have enough time for independent play. We wonder if we’re using the right methods to help them to sleep. We wonder if we’re disciplining them enough. We wonder if we’re disciplining them too much.
We are constantly wondering. And feeling so damn guilty about it too.
Am I A Good Mother?
So how do we try to work out if we’re a good mother? We compare ourselves (and our babies) to others.
That’s why we’re obsessed with Facebook and the endless memes about sleep deprivation and babies who never eat what we put in front of them (and tag all our mum friends in them).
That’s why Google is our best friend at 3am as we start googling what kinds of sounds our 2-week-old should be making while they sleep.
That’s why we follow InstaMums who are ‘real’ about motherhood, because it makes us feel a bit better knowing someone else is facing the same sh*t (literally!) that we are.
We want to know that we’re doing it “right”. That our child will turn out okay and we haven’t screwed them up for life in some monumental way through that one silly little thing we did (like going to the toilet and putting your son on the floor ’cause what else are you supposed to do?!).
It makes us feel better to watch other mums go through the same things we are – and let’s be honest here, we feel relieved when we see another mum struggling because it means we’re not the only ones!
But deep down, we still worry about whether we’re a good mother or not. We need reassurance. We need to see some real signs that we’re a good mother. So are you ready to find out the 7 signs to show that you’re a good mother – are you ready for that reassurance?
7 Signs That You Are A Good Mother
1. You are the last to eat and usually walk around in sweatpants and a messy bun (or ponytail).
We all hear how mothers are the last to eat in their family, and usually go without a shower or clean clothes for what feels like forever. Even though it can make us feel ‘sloppy’ or just plain gross, it is actually a sign that you’re a good mother. You are putting your child’s needs before your own as you race around to get them ready and organised for the day (even if you don’t feel like you are!).
2. Your child will give you plenty of smiles!
Your child will feed off your love and energy. If you’re putting in the effort to make your child happy, and to make them smile and laugh, then you’re a good mother.
What about if you’re having a bad day? I have learnt that one bad day will not erase their lifetime (however long or short) of memories you have created with them. I always feel awful if I’m having a bad day and get cranky easily, but my son still smiles at me and I know he isn’t holding a grudge that I got angry this one day (or a few days…).
3. You discipline your child (with love!)
As a teacher and now a mother, I have seen how utterly crucial it is for parents to discipline their children. It is important for children to know their boundaries (they actually crave it!), and to understand what is right and what is wrong for them to do. It helps them to grow into well-behaved children and well-rounded adults. Unfortunately, I have seen fewer parents take responsibility for disciplining their children, because they either don’t want to or they don’t know how. This results in children doing whatever they like with minimal to no consequences – which often translates to poor behaviour at school and beyond. Teaching your child that there are boundaries shows that you care enough about them to teach them right and wrong, and help them adjust to the real world.
Of course I’m not talking about disciplining such as smacking or anything of the sort – however time-outs and similar consequences (I believe in consequences that match the behaviour you are discipling) can teach your child what is acceptable and unacceptable, as well as the consequences they might face later in life. (This also means being consistant in your discipline, as this helps reinforce the boundaries they are learning about).
4. You spend QUALITY time with your child.
Many mums can feel guilty about not spending enough time with their child (right here!). This can be especially true for working mothers. However, if you are making the most of the time you do have with your child, and you’re getting plenty of smiles and engagement during that time (see point 2!), then you ARE a good mother. At the end of the day, your child wants to see you and spend time quality time with you!
5. Your child will lose their crap when they see you.
Unfortunately, 9 times out of 10 this is the hysterical, whingey kind of losing their crap (not the excited kind, although that does happen sometimes!). Despite what it feels like, this is actually a good thing. It means that your child feels safe enough around you to show their true emotions and feelings (knowing that their mother will love them no matter what!) – and you’d be surprised at how young this will start. If your child displays a whole range of emotions around you, they are letting you know that you are a good mother!
6. You are practising patience (as much as you are able to!)
If you are striving to be more patient each day with your child, you are definitely a good mother! Motherhood is exhausting, and can be incredibly frustrating – especially when you’re dealing with the day-in, day-out frustrations such as poo explosions, a baby who won’t sleep, a baby who is clingy and/or whingey, and so forth. I know patience isn’t my strong suit, and sometimes I fail at it, but if you’re trying to be more patient with your child (deep breaths, reminding yourself that your child is trying to communicate, etc) then you are an awesome mother!
7. You ‘show up’ the next day to do it all again!
This may sound like an obvious point, but unfortunately, there are some situations where this isn’t the case. No matter what kind of day you have had; no matter what you have faced – if you wake up the next morning and do it all again because you love your kid, then you are an amazing mother! There is nothing like the love of a mother to help you keep showing up day after day to care for your baby.
And an Extra Tip to help you be a good mother: Take care of YOU.
I’ve heard the quote a lot recently: “you can’t fill from an empty up”. If you are spending time each day (even if it is 5 minutes) to take care of yourself, then this will help you to be an even better mother. You’ll be able to practise patience better and more readily face the next day of motherhood! So try and remember to schedule in at least 5 minutes to yourself each day.
I hope these signs have reassured you that you are, in fact, not only a good mother but an AWESOME mother! And above all else, your child thinks you’re an amazing mother too!
Love this? Share it with a mum who can use the reassurance that they’re an amazing mother! Plus tell us in the comments below – what do you think makes a good mother? xx