Top Ten Ways You Know You Are A Good Mother


The cards are nice.  I love anything made at school.  And if a Honeybaked Ham was in the offing this Mother’s Day, I would not squeal.

But those things never give me the absolute assurance that I am a good mother.  Often on Mother’s Day I am one of those moms who is pretty sure that she is a horrible mother.

“I know I’m a good mother when all five kids are crying at once,”  my mother used to mutter darkly.  I remember those days at Chez Eckhart. I remember sitting in the backseat of our yellow station wagon (crying) and thinking that making your children cry was not the sign of a good mother at all.

  • Good mothers buy you ice cream whenever you want it.
  • Good mothers do all the chores their own selves!
  • Good mother know not to have kids if they don't want to do housework.  I didn’t ask to be born, you know!
Yeah.  I didn’t know jack about good mothering back then.  Sometimes I think I still don’t.  But every so often, I get a sign that I am doing a good job.  That feeling.  That tingle. That happy glow that you are rocking this mother thing—at least for this instant.

So in honor of Mother’s Day, I’m listing here those little moments that happen that let me know that I really am doing a pretty good job and I hope they inspire you to think of your own list of good motherings:

1. Good mothers make pancakes for breakfast—not every day, maybe.  But when you do and that maple syrup smell drifts over the house you know are awesome.  Extra points for bacon.

2. Good mothers can sway in just the right way so that a little baby nods off to sleep.  Those fluttering eyelashes don’t happen to just everybody.

3. Good mothers let kids play in the rain and don’t complain about the wet clothes in the laundry room.

4. Good mothers take their kids to the beach, the pool, a stream, a creek.  Wet kids are happy kids.  See #3.

5. Good mothers hold the line even when a kid is begging, screaming, crying, heartsick.

6. Good mothers let teenagers sprawl on their bed at 11 pm and talk all they want.

7.  Good mothers recognize a love test when they hear it.  This is especially important at bedtime when children get surprisingly thirsty.  Or when a not-so-sick kid calls from school. Or when an older kid needs to be picked up from a party right now.

8.  Good mothers welcome boyfriends and girlfriends to every family outing, dinner, party or event—especially if they like to see their teenager from time to time.  Inordinate kissing is allowed if not encouraged.

9.  Good mothers see kids angle to get their dad all to themselves and feel good about that.

10.  Good mothers check their babies late, late at night when everyone is fast asleep, dreaming the dreams of the innocent.  And then those good mothers are pierced through the heart with how much love one little woman can feel.

Do you have moments that make you feel like you are a good mother? What are they?


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