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As overworked, stressed out moms, there are days when we feel like we’re barely hanging on. We find ourselves in survival mode more often than not, counting down the hours until bedtime and wishing our days away.
Then uncertainty and guilt set in. For me, I know that I spend some of my days not living up to my full potential as a mom. I know that I can do better, and I start to wonder if I’m good enough.
As a mom of four kids, I constantly question my abilities. Add in the homeschool part, and I question my abilities even more.
Am I giving them what they need? Am I teaching them how to be self-sufficient humans? Am I teaching them all that they’ll need to know to function in college, if that’s what they choose for their lives? Have I shown them how to be kind and non-judgy to others?
Do they know that I love them???
But really, at the root of all of those questions is the question that I’m *really* asking… Am I a good mom?
There are a few different things that will confirm that, yes, you are a good mom – you’re most likely an amazing mom. Because the most important thing is this: If you’re asking the question, you’re probably doing just fine.
Because in real life, if you weren’t a good mom, you wouldn’t care one way or another, so you wouldn’t even bother to ask the question.
But I’m going to assume that, for the sake of this blog post, you’re like me, and you need actual, concrete evidence that you’re enough.
So here we go!
11 Ways to Know That You’re A Good Mom
#1 – You want to give your children EVERYTHING.
I’m not saying that you actually do (or should) give your children everything, because that could turn them into spoiled, entitled adults, and we don’t want that.
But you want to. You want them to have everything their little hearts desire, and you want to give them your time, your energy, good health, and the best, happiest, carefree childhood possible.
#2 – You say no to your kids.
It sometimes feels like I say “no” to my kids more often than I say anything else. But I know that setting boundaries is good for them. Kids need boundaries as part of raising them to be normal-ish functioning members of society.
Setting limits teaches them self-discipline, keeps them safe and healthy, and shows them that you care.
A good mom knows when to say “no.”
A caveat: Try not to say “no” just because. I catch myself doing this a lot, but I’m working on it.
When I catch myself saying “no” too many times in a short period of time, I stop and ask myself if what they’re asking really matters. Is it really a big deal if they want to haul out the paint for a little bit? Or if they have a piece of candy after they’ve eaten lunch? It’s probably not going to hurt anything.
When it feels like “no” is a knee-jerk answer to everything, and when you can’t think of a clear reason why you’re not allowing the kids to do something, figure out a way to say “yes” to one of their requests. It’ll make them happy, and that’s ultimately what we want 🙂
#3 – You yell sometimes, but then feel bad about yelling.
I’m convinced that kids are purposely made to not listen. This enables them to develop their personalities by testing boundaries and gaining independence.
But it can be SO frustrating.
I’m a yeller. I try not to be, but there are so. many. days. when my patience just runs out. Like when I’m trying to get dinner on the table, but the kids have books, markers, and glue spread all over it, even though I’ve told them 3,657 times that they needed to get their crap off the table. So I yell.
I know that I should speak calmly and guide them through cleanup or hard emotions, so I feel the guilt hit me right after I’m done shouting.
Every mother I know has struggled at least once with guilt from yelling at their children. The fact that you know you messed up and feel badly about it is proof that you care about their feelings and whether or not you’re doing a good job as a mom.
Apologize, tell them you were wrong, and move on – you’re doing awesome work with your kids!
#4 – When you’re having a bad day, you let them know about it.
Nicely, of course. I certainly don’t mean that you should let your kids know about it by complaining or yelling or flying off the handle at everything they do.
What I mean is that, if you’re crabby or upset, talk to them about it. They need to know that moms and other adults have rough days and make mistakes too!
It’s important to show vulnerability and let your kids know when you’re sad, mad, or just plain cranky. It’s also important to apologize to them when you’re wrong.
It becomes a powerful teaching moment when you can model how to appropriately handle bad days.
Letting your children know that you’re human increases the bond between you.
On a similar topic, a good mom understands that her kids have rough days too. Even little ones can’t be happy all the time, and it’s important not to give them a hard time for being in a funk. Validating your kids’ feelings and helping them through allows them grow into humans who are able to regulate their own emotions.
Ultimately, we want to teach our kids that all feelings and emotions are okay – it’s how you deal with them that matters most.
#5 – When your children need comfort, they come to you.
I know it doesn’t feel like it, but when your child is throwing a raging tantrum in front of you, it’s because you’re his or her safe place.
Children seek comfort where they feel safe. If you’ve cultivated a trusting and caring relationship with them, they’ll come to you for comfort no matter how old they are.
And when they’re coming to you for comfort, whether they’re 6 or 16, you can rest assured that you’re a good mom.
#6 – You’re fun and spontaneous at least every once in a while.
If you know how to find balance between work and play, you’re awesome.
On a beautiful day, remember that those bathrooms can be cleaned tomorrow – take those kiddos to the playground and out for ice cream. Let them stay up late just for fun to watch a family movie. Scrap the day of homeschool plans to head to the zoo instead. Pull out the messy craft stuff and let them go to town.
When you’re so busy that you can’t even see straight, it’s hard to shove it all aside to have fun – do it anyway. Not only will it create lasting memories for your kids, but it will also be a stress reliever for you!
#7 – You’ve suffered from some serious overwhelm or even true burnout.
As moms, we juggle a LOT of responsibilities. We care for the kids, cook, clean, organize, nurse, chauffeur, work, and teach, among a hundred other things.
If you didn’t care about any of those roles and were willing to let them slide on a regular basis, you’d never be stressed or overwhelmed – you just wouldn’t care.
And caring about doing all the things well is one of the traits that makes you a good mom.
#8 – You let your kids get bored sometimes.
You’re a great mom if you’re not constantly entertaining your kids. Believe it or not, it’s a good thing to let them get bored.
If you’re always providing your kids with activities, they’ll actually get bored more easily – any time they’re not being entertained, they’ll struggle. Allowing boredom and unstructured time encourages them to use their imaginations, resourcefulness, and creativity to find things to do.
Teaching your kids to entertain themselves is so valuable. It will help them in their later years, and it will help you get your own stuff done!
#9 – You care for your body and take time for yourself.
Being a mom doesn’t require complete and total devotion to your family 100% of the time. Sometimes you need to be a little selfish.
In order to operate at full capacity, you need to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself – getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, eating healthy foods (most of the time), and exercising.
Beyond those basics, you need to nurture your own interests. Have something that’s just yours. Find a hobby or go out with some friends!
Caring for your own body, mind, and soul gives you the energy and mental capacity to care for your family.
#10 – You want to be a better mom.
A good mom recognizes her shortcomings and tries to improve herself constantly through personal growth and goal-setting.
I want to play more board games and read more books with my kids. I want to surprise them with fun things and outings on occasion. So I take steps to make this happen by setting goals.
I want to not yell at my kids so much. I also want to enjoy motherhood and be grateful for what I’ve got. So I work daily on my own self-improvement to better myself as a human, which then carries over into how I act and react toward my kids.
When you find yourself questioning your momming abilities and trying to figure out what you can improve upon and how, you can rest assured that that’s a good-mom thought pattern.
#11 – You tell them you love them. Often.
This one speaks for itself. And I already know that you do this – because if you’ve read this far, there’s no doubt in my mind that you’re a great mom!
How to Stop Questioning Your Mothering Abilities
- Stop Comparing Yourself to Other Moms
You are amazing and wonderful just how you are. Comparing yourself to those Pinterest-perfect moms will only make you feel bad about yourself and question your mothering skills.
- Remember What Truly Matters
Are you living according to your priorities and your beliefs? Then you’re doing just fine.
If you’re stuck on this, make a list of what’s most important to you. Is it kindness? Honesty? A love of learning? Whole-family activities?
Figure out what truly matters to you, and do that.
- Stop Looking for Validation from Others
The opinions of other people don’t always matter. Your significant other’s opinion matters. Your kids’ opinions matter. But really nobody else’s opinions matter.
Stop putting stock in other people’s thoughts – you don’t need their approval to be a good mom.
- Look for Ways to Get Better
Hopefully I’ve been able to convince you that you are, in fact, a good mom. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to improve yourself.
Personal growth is so important for EVERYONE. Strive for improvement in areas that are important to you. Confidence in yourself is a great way to stop questioning whether or not you’re enough.
- Rest Today, Reset Tomorrow
Some days, you just need to give up for now and start fresh tomorrow.
Take the time to rest, relax, and connect with your family. Give up on this struggle-bus of a day and turn it into something fun.
Go to bed early, and start with a fresh perspective tomorrow.
Every mom is different. We’re all amazing in our own ways.
But one thing that we have in common is that we’re OUTSTANDING moms who love our children so, so much.
I know that some days you feel like you’re failing at this motherhood thing – I’m right there with ya. But I want to remind you that you’re NOT failing. Not even a little bit.
You’re an amazing, strong, valuable, loving mom.
Tell me your most positive parenting moment so far today – leave a comment!