1. You think you’re not. You are convinced you’re doing it all wrong. You try different parenting techniques and regardless of whether they are effective or not, you still question them. You’re inconsistent. You worry about every miniscule detail, both physically and emotionally. Your child doesn’t eat healthy enough, watches too much TV, gets too much attention, doesn’t get enough attention, doesn’t sleep well. You didn’t breast feed long enough. Did he have that cough yesterday? Is he gaining enough weight? Too much weight? Stop. The fact that you worry is a testament of how much you care and how utterly important you take your role, and that makes you a good mother.
2. You have a fierce instinct to protect them. You’re a gentle person who doesn’t enjoy confrontation or conflict. But if someone crosses your child, you fly into crazy Mama Bear mode. Your gentle nature goes right out the window. You will do anything to protect your child, and that makes you a good mother.
3. You put their comfort before yours. You sleep with little feet jammed in your ribcage, or sitting up in a rocking chair. You eat standing up with a child on your hip. You don’t dare move when your arm falls asleep with your little one in it because she’s sleeping so soundly. Her comfort is your priority and that makes you a good mother.
4. Your kids say mean things to you. I’ll never forget the day my three-year old told me “Go away Mommy! I’m mad at you! I don’t want to see your face.” If you took an x-ray of my chest at that moment, you would see my heart broken in two. It was only when a fellow mom explained it to me did my heart start to heal. She told me my son was upset and needed to vocalize his feelings. His anger wasn’t really directed at me; this was just his three-year old self expressing his feelings in a way he knew how. The reason he lashed out at me in particular was because he knows I will love him no matter what he says. Your children feel safe expressing their negative feelings to you because they sense your unconditional love. And that makes you a good mother.
5. You don’t give up. You want to. Oh, how you want to just throw your hands up and give up. There are days you want to get in your car and drive. Drive away from the mess and the tantrums and the chaos. But you don’t. You clean up the mess, wipe the tears, and organize the chaos. It is so very hard, but you never give up, and this makes you a good mother.
6. They are happy. Not all the time, but most of the time. Stop focusing on the tantrums and the whining. Instead, watch them when they’re playing, smiling, and splashing in the bath. Watch them when they’re being silly, singing and dancing and laughing. You play a major role in their happiness and that’s why you’re a good mother.
7. You kiss their boo-boos. When they get hurt, when they’re sick, they want Mom. This will never change. You, and only you, have that special touch they need to make them feel better. Your magic touch makes you a good mother.
8. You strive to be better. The book Freakonomics suggests that reading parenting books will probably not make you a better parent; however, being the kind of person who seeks out parenting books will. In other words, you are the type of person who wants to improve your parenting skills. You make mistakes. But you always strive to be a better mom than you are today, and because of that, you’re a good mother.
9. You love the crap out of them. You love them with your whole body and soul. You love them in a way you didn’t know was possible until they came into your life. You love them with an intensity that only a mother can understand. Your love transcends, and because of this, YOU are a good mother.