Feeling like you’re not a good mom? Here are 23 ways to know that you are one.
How Do I Know I Am a Good Mom?
After a long day, you head to bed, exhausted from the day’s events. Slipping under the covers (top sheet? no top sheet?), your body feels heavy as you sink into the mattress, and it seems as though you’re going to fall asleep immediately.
Except you don’t.
Instead, your mind starts to play back everything that happened during the day. The struggle of getting the kids ready in the morning before school. The temper tantrum your toddler threw in the middle of the store, for all to hear. The frustration in your voice as you tell your preschooler for the billionth time not to throw the ball in the house.
The hassle over homework and the sound of all of the kids whining over your choice for dinner that night. The roll of eyes from your teenager…
And it all makes you wonder: Am I a good mother? Is this what being a mother is all about?
What is a Good Mom?
It’s hard to create a definition for a ‘good’ mom. It’s all a matter of perspective, and it’s a multi-layer kind of term.
Of course, I am not writing this to shame anyone for not being ‘good’. I’m writing this for moms out there who may feel like they’re not ‘good’ enough.
Let me assure you: if you are reading this now, you are most certainly good enough.
Read through my definition of a good mother below. Make sure to read them all!
Definition of a Good Mom
A good mom knows her children are her priority.
You’re a mom. Now what? Well, by definition, a mother is a woman who has kids and takes care of them. Whether the child is your flesh and blood, born in your heart and adopted, or your step-child, your ‘job’ is to take care of your kids.
You feed them. You bathe them. You clothe them. You make sure you have a roof over their heads. You make sure they know right from wrong. You make sure they do their homework. You take them where they need to go. You kiss their boo boos and read them bedtime stories.
Above almost all, your kids are your priority. They are more important than laundry. They are more important at times than sleep.
Doing any of that? You’re good.
A good mom knows when and how to take care of herself.
Of course, if you’re not at your best, you can’t be your best for your kids. Moms need a break sometimes. Moms need to get away, even if it’s for 5 minutes to regain their sanity in the bathroom or for 5 minutes to get lost in a book.
A good mom knows her favorite hobbies or whatever simple things makes her smile. She knows when she needs to take a long shower or when she can skip a shower and use dry shampoo instead. She knows when she can cook a homemade meal or when to order take out or delivery. She knows when to take a Mom timeout or when she has enough energy to read that bedtime story just one more time.
She knows her limits or how to reset herself after going beyond her limits.
She recognizes her limits and figures out ways to reset.
A good mom knows when to say no and set boundaries.
Kids don’t like to hear “no”, but part of motherhood is setting boundaries. According to VeryWell Family, setting boundaries for kids:
- helps to teach them self-disclipline
- helps to keep them safe
- helps to keep them healthy
- helps kids deal with uncomfortable emotions
- helps to show kids that you care.
(It’s a really good read about setting limits and boundaries! Check it out.)
A good mom knows when it’s right to say no and set boundaries for kids, even when it feels like the worst thing in the world to do.
A good mom knows when to say yes and let things slide.
A good mom knows when it’s okay to say yes, and watch her kids get all excited about it. She knows when to let things slide, like dessert before dinner or staying up late together to watch a movie.
A good mom knows what is best for her children.
A good mom knows what is best for her children, even if it’s different than what other moms are doing.
A good mom breastfeeds. A good mom bottle feeds. A good mom uses cloth diapers. A good mom uses disposables.
A good mom uses a stroller. A good mom babywears. A good mom feeds her kids only organic foods. A good mom lets her kids eat chocolate ice cream for breakfast.
Do you know what’s best for your children? You’re good.
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A good mom knows when to seek advice or help.
A good mom knows when she can figure out things on her own and when she needs to seek help from others. A good mom might need direction where to find help or advice when things get tough.
A good mom knows when to accept any help that is good for her family and to reject any advice that doesn’t make things any better.
A good mom knows how to laugh.
A good mom knows that laughter is sometimes the best medicine. She knows that it’s okay to laugh at spilled milk or how to laugh at any situation that just didn’t go right. She knows how to laugh with others and not at others.
A good mom knows that it’s okay to cry.
A good mom knows that crying can be healing. She knows that sometimes, it’s vital to just let the tears flow, that it’s healthy for her well being. She knows that it’s okay to let others see her cry, but that if she needs some time alone, she can step away until she’s feeling better.
She knows that if she can’t stop crying, she should seek help from someone she trusts.
A good mom knows how to work hard for her family.
A good mom knows how to work hard so that her family is safe and healthy. She knows she may need to head off to her job in the morning and then come home to be a mother at night, exhausted as she may be. She knows that she may need to be responsible for most of the household responsibilities if she is able to stay home with the kids.
A good mom knows when it’s time to play.
A good mom knows how to find a balance between work and play. She knows when to leave the laundry alone for a day to play in the yard with the kids. She knows when to stay up late to gaze at the stars or how to find the perfect recipe for slime (even if she totally hates slime).
She knows how to get everyone back on track when it’s time to get some work done again, and may even have a few tricks up her sleeve to turn chores into fun activities.
A good mom knows that a nutritious meal is essential, even if kids complain.
A good mom tries to introduce healthy foods to her family any chance she gets. She knows that it may take a few tries or a few different recipes before the kids learn to like a certain food. She knows that some kids just won’t try healthy foods, but they may be more willing if they see others eating and enjoying those foods.
A good mom knows that it’s totally okay to give her kids junk food now and again.
A good mom knows that it’s totally okay to have junk food now and again. She knows that popsicles and candy and chips and ice cream are just a part of childhood.
She knows that if she doesn’t like how they’re made, she can find recipes to make them using other ingredients, and they can be just as indulgent.
A good mom knows how to rock at the things she’s really good at.
A good mom knows the parenting skills she has perfected, and when to let her skills shine. She also knows that with every child some of those skills may need to be refined, and she tries again to figure out new or different ways to be a good parent.
A good mom knows how to go above and beyond for her kids.
A good mom knows how to make some things really spectacular for her kids. She knows that scouring the internet for her child’s favorite character on a backpack could help make going back to school a little easier. She knows how to make memories by making favorite foods for dinner or how to visit amusement parks when she’d rather be home on the couch.
A good mom knows that it’s more than okay to be average.
A good mom knows that her life doesn’t need to look Instagram perfect. She knows that it’s okay to be a homebody who lets her kids play out in the yard with sticks and dirt. She knows that she doesn’t always need to dress up or put makeup on and her kids will love her just the same.
A good mom knows how to keep her kids safe.
A good mom knows how to keep her kids safe at home and in public. She tries to stay up to date on all of the latest safety guidelines, even suggesting to others who may watch her kids how to keep them safe.
A good mom knows when to let her kids free.
A good mom knows when her kids are ready to be free for some activities out of her sight and without her help. She knows when to let her kids pick their own clothes or when to go ride their bikes around the neighborhood. She knows when they are ready to make decisions about their appearance, or when they are ready to learn how to spend their birthday money however they wish.
She knows how much she can trust her children and how to teach them to rebuild that trust if it is broken.
A good mom knows how to improve upon her mother’s mistakes.
A good mom knows that even though she may be like her mother in many ways, that she doesn’t have to actually be the same way as a mom. She can be her own person and improve on her own childhood, doing what’s best and right for her kids.
A good mom knows when to call her mom just to say “Thanks.”
A good mom recognizes all of the hard work her mom endured as a mother. She realizes in her own parenting experiences how much heartbreak she may have put her own mom through, or how much energy her mom spent on certain activities. She knows when to look back and say “Thanks”.
A good mom knows that there will be good days.
A good mom knows there are good days and looks forward to them. She relishes in these days, soaking in every memory and maybe even writing them down in her journal to look back at in the future.
A good mom knows that there will be bad days.
A good mom knows that there will be bad days, mostly due to things she can’t control. She knows that times may get tough when she’s least expecting it. She may know how to remedy some issues, but she knows that some things just can’t be fixed and learns how to make it through the day.
A good mom knows she isn’t perfect.
A good mom knows when to admit she’s wrong. She knows that she’s not perfect and that there’s always room to learn and grow.
A good mom knows when to let other moms know they’re doing a good job too.
They say that it takes a village to raise a child, but they forget about the part where the village supports the mom too.
Know someone who is doing a good job as a mom? Give them a call. Send a quick text. Offer a hug. Share this post with them.
So, Are You Good, Mom?
You are. I know you are. You may not feel it yet, there may be days when you doubt it, but you are a good mother.
Keep on keeping on, Mom. You’re pretty awesome.
Thanks so much for this article. It’s hard being a mom, but so good that we have a mom community and can gain insights and support from each other. Mom breaks/timeouts are incredibly helpful for me. I come back to my children with fresh eyes and even when they are whiny messes, I see just how sweet they are.
Yes! A mom community is so valuable to motherhood. And time outs are often vital for survival.
I think if you’re questioning if you are a good mom, then you certainly are! Good moms are those who care 🙂
Amen to that!
Ramya Abhinand says
Oh Boy! Wasnt I feeling super down since morning. And having read this, I must say I feel better that I am doing a fairly decent job as a mom
Glad this helped!
Mom in the Six says
Great reminders as us moms can be really hard on ourselves. Thanks for putting together such a caring list!
Marcela Alcaine says
Thanks so much for these refreshing ideas. Especially when you mention that a good mom set boundaries. I felt you were writing about my life. Sometimes I feel like I fail to my kids because I’m strict, but I just want to make sure my kids are good people and responsible citizens.
What an amazing and very necessary post. This will make a lot of mama’s day! So many of these resonated with me and yes I’m such a good mum!!
Thank you 😊
Kristal Espanola says
This made me feel awesome. I honestly question myself if I am a “GOOD MOM”. I became a mom at a very young age and I had to learn on my own. My husband always reminds me that I am a good mom which is very sweet of him. This post is amazing. Thank you <3
Heather @ Strong With Grace says
These are so great! I love the concrete ideas on a topic that’s so hard to define. So many women struggle with this feeling of inadequacy– I know I used to too. Thanks for providing this great list!
Sometimes it is not easy to see what a good job at being a mom we are doing. From exhaustion to no spare time. but reading your list made me feel like a great mom! These are things I try to add to each day and realize that this is what matters!
So needed this today!!!! I am having a really bad day and I need to know that’s okay. Thank you for all these points. I am a good mom… just having ONE bad day.
Aw, sorry to hear you’re having a bad day! Those days can really knock us down, that’s for sure. I’m glad this post gave you the encouragement you needed! I hope you have better days ahead.
Adriane Thompson says
I love the message that we are the best mom for our kids. I hear so many mama friends feel like they are failing at parenting or not doing or being enough for their kids. And the improving upon your own mother’s mistakes. I was raised by my dad so this one is hard for me. Although she was mentally unavailable, I can still use her positive attributes to parent my own children.
What a GREAT list. The tears started to roll when you got to “knows when she should call her mom to say thanks.” And I’m still crying! My mom wasn’t fit to be a mom and suffered greatly from mental health issues and addiction amongst other things. I think she wanted to be a good mom but was unable to. My dad and step mom took full custody of me when I was six. And they went to work before I was up and often came home after I was in bed. I do everything in my physical being to make sure my kids know how much they are loved and although my mom didn’t provide these things as an example, I do it because of and in honor of her. She lost her battle to addiction a few years ago. This post brought me to my knees to thank God for instilling this passion in my heart to help other mamas fit into this label of “good mom”. Thank you for sharing your heart!