Am I A Good Mother?
It may be impossible to answer this question but I’m sure we’ve all asked it of ourselves.
I could go into the things great mothers do, like:
- Get up early
- Keep the house clean
- Take care of themselves to be their best everyday
That’s not really where my heart was with this article. This isn’t about tips, it’s about giving yourself a little break with the self-bashing that I know we all do.
If you have children, you know the anomaly they are by nature. One minute they are as precious as a newborn lamb.
The next, something from a scary horror movie. (Okay, slightly dramatic & sarcastic but you get the point!)
Luckily, my two sweet ones are of the age where I don’t get many tantrums anymore, mostly I just get to marvel at their cuteness.
However, there have been nights when I went to bed thinking, “Am I losing control? Doing my job? Raising them to be respectful? I’m out of my depth here!”
Those thoughts happen to all of us
Sound familiar? Yeah, I figured. Most moms have those nights. We’re always our own worst critics. I can tell you from experience, I doubted that I was doing everything I could when my son was adjusting to Kindergarten and ended up having yelling fits at me.
Things along the lines of, “I hate you”, coupled with screaming, hitting things, etc.
All of these things shocked me. I was not used to my sweet little boy blowing his fuse like that. Thank God we got through it, he’s 8 now and I’m happy to say that was a little bump in the road to a much better place.
I actually tracked down the root of the problem to being from all the big life adjustments at that time.
New baby sister when he was 3, Kindergarten at 5, coupled with the onset of being bullied by a girl at school for the first time.
The verbal vomit aimed at me was triggered because I didn’t help him with the bullying (and I think it was made worse by it being a girl). Honestly, the yelling hurtful things at me stopped after I went to school and had a talk with the teacher. He could see that I was on his side much better by my actions instead of all that talk about what we do with bullies.
And I never heard the dreaded words, “I hate you” again. We had a big talk about why we should never say that to each other and that he hadn’t actually heard anyone in our family say that.
Yeah But, How Do You Know?
“Am I a good mother?” is a such tough question to answer. One I definitely have struggled with. But it’s what I’m (eventually!) going to tell you today.
It’s in the little things. You know the moments I mean. Amid all the sibling squabbles and hurt feelings, you catch them in little glorious seconds where they do something that is so utterly sweet or generous it makes you teary-eyed.
That, dear moms is how you know.
The Best Gift I’ve Ever Seen
My little guy did such a sweet thing recently and I swear it takes the cake. Of all his 8 years, this is the number one most unselfish, beautiful and kind thing I’ve ever seen from him.
My nephew is a young man now, so even though he’s cousin to my son, he’s many years older. There isn’t much they have done together, and he’s too old to “play” with so they aren’t incredibly close.
Well, his birthday came and my little guy always likes to make people cards and get a box together with their “present”. (Which is usually a handmade book or something else that’s super-duper cute that he made himself.)
So this birthday was no exception. He got into my paper stash and made his bigger cousin a birthday card. He also got a box from somewhere, which I assumed was for the card.
Fast forward to the party and my nephew opens his gift and the card is inside…but also a $5 bill.
At first I thought my son had asked his grandparents for the money to give, which would be adorable. But I asked him where it came from and he told me it was the allowance I had given him…that very same day.
Cue the water works! I could not believe it.
My mouth actually fell open and I had to gather myself very quickly in front of everybody. We’re big on being generous but I have never prompted my kids to give up their allowance for anything. It’s theirs and I’m okay with them earning it and spending it on what they want.
And when I was a kid, I can confidently say that I would never have thought about giving away my allowance!
So you can imagine my Mama Pride at that moment. I still get emotional thinking about how giving and generous that gift was for a young man of 8 who is still pretty little to grasp even the concept of what he’s done.
Doubt Will Drain Your Confidence
We all need to doubt less and believe in ourselves more (And God’s ability to help you!). I’ve always had strong faith but being a mom has certainly caused me to doubt myself and my ability to raise great children. If you’re a mom, I know you have doubted yourself more than once.
If you haven’t…well, hats off to ya!
Those thoughts can pass. Look for the little things they do that make you proud, even if it’s just sharing a toy. Focus on those and try to move on from a mini-meltdown or temper tantrum.
All children go through phases. It’s our job to figure out what is a phase and what’s something deeper that needs to be dealt with. (Like saying, “I hate you”.)
God blessed you with the best gift of being a parent, trust Him to give you the strength to get through tough times. We all have them and we all will continue to have them. That’s the way of life when you’re raising another complete person!
Don’t get discouraged, one day you’ll get that sign that you’ve done a good job and it will truly inspire you to keep up the good work.