What makes a good mother? No matter if you are a single mom, working mom, or a stay at home mom; many mother experience mom guilt over not being perfect. I think you would be surprised at how many people strive to be the perfect mother and when they do not fit this picture perfect image in their head, they experience mom guilt. Thinking that they child is going to somehow be defective because they do not do everything by the book.
But what is by the book anyway, because every mother has their own idea of how raising children can go and in motherhood if things do not go according to your exact plan then you feel like you have some how failed as a mother.
I mean I feel you, like so many mothers I used to try to find every way that I can to be a “perfect” mother.” I was already a single mother felt like I had a disadvantaged anyway when raising my child. But I have come to learn that as long as my child has the essentials that he needs every day and I keep him alive to see another day, then I am doing a pretty good job.
When I look at other mothers doing things that I can’t do or do not have time for, I used to have mom guilt and irrationally beat myself up thinking to myself “why can’t I be more like that?” But the reality of the situation is that I am not like other moms. Not only am I a single mother but I am a working mother. I do not have the same life as other families, I do not think that two moms have the same exact life and each mom has their own burdens to bare.
I have come to learn that there is no definition of a perfect mother. And if you somehow fall short then you do not need to have mom guilt and feel that you are failing as raising your children. Because more likely your child is going to grow up and be okay and not be some serial killer because you did not follow the “how to be a good mom 101 parenting handbook.” Each women that is a mother can find perfection in their ways of parenting. Parenting must fit the style of person that we are, and as long as we are doing the best things for our kids and doing it with our whole heart, then we are the perfect mother. No mom guilt needed.
For your convenience and humor, I will list my short comings, that way we can all share in out inadequacies:
- I have never been the type of mother who goes on play dates.
- When my son’s school has evening events or fund raisers for his school, I cannot say that we always go.
- I do not volunteer in my son’s classroom.
- When my son’s school send home 100 of papers talking about God knows what, I often time throw them away without even reading them.
- I do not always iron my son’s clothes and opt for the winkle free setting in the dryer.
- During the summer I do not have my son read endlessly every recommended summer reading book.
- I play video games with my son, some that are rated above his age level.
- I rough house with him,
- My son is a picky eater and I often cater to his diet by giving him what he wants so I do not have to hear his mouth.
Do these things make me a “bad mother?” Do these things mean that I am raising my child wrong? For those mother who fix their children all organic food and make every play time into a learning experience, I am sure they are appalled by what they are reading.
Let’s talk about the things I do with my son.
- I send him to a Christian private school, I talk to him about God and Jesus.
- I encourage him to think on his own and be his own person, despite what others may think about him.
- I make my son pay attention in church.
- I prefer to spend time with my son as oppose to working myself to death and never seeing him.
- My son has been in several extracurricular activities.
Do these things make me a “perfect mother?” What about the mothers who do not do these things, does this mean they are bad?
What I am getting at, is that there are no perfect parenting techniques. Your techniques depend on you as a parent. Each parent is different and each child is different.
Your main responsibility as a parent is to raise your children to the best of your ability, make sure they are a good person, and give them the tools they need to make it successfully through life. (Click here to tweet).
The only opinion about your motherhood techniques that you have to care about is your own. If you are satisfied with how you are as a mother and how you are raising your children, then nothing else matters.
I have come to learn that it is not up to me to say who is a good mother versus who is not. Unless they ask my opinion or is paying me to teach them parenting, then I keep my mouth shut. I cannot worry about someone else’s motherhood problems. I cannot enforce my motherhood standards on someone else if they feel like they are doing the best they can do.
You make mistakes and then you learn from them. I have stop trying to impose perfect parenting on myself, because it does not exist and I recommend everyone of you mothers out there do the same.
For additional discussion on this matter check out my “There’s No Such Thing As A Perfect Parent” Video