Am I a good mom? Ask me on two different days and I’ll give you two different answers.
I acknowledge that there are some things that I feel I do exceptionally well as a mother: I maintain an open dialogue with my kids; I stress the importance of being honest, being nice, being polite and being accountable for their actions; I talk to them about right and wrong; I talk to them about God.
I encourage them to keep trying when they fail.
I am involved. I go to their every sporting event—and I enthusiastically cheer them on; I get down to their level and show an interest in things they’re into; I talk to their teachers when they’re acting up in school; I make it a point to know all their friends.
I teach them about what they should and shouldn’t be eating; I make them wear their helmets; I am a stickler for booster seats, even though many of their friends are no longer using them.
I hug them and tell them I love them, often.
BUT — and this is a big BUT– there are so many other aspects where I feel like I fall down on the job—where I look at other moms and think, wow, she has it all together and I do not.
For whatever reason, there are things that I do consistently that I know aren’t, shall we say, ideal. For example, I don’t make them read as much as I should; I occasionally let my 9 year old listen to PINK songs that include swear words; I have even been known to let the F-bomb drop myself (oops).
I often let my boys sleep with me if my husband isn’t around; I sometimes bribe them with crap candy; I’m not great about getting them to church on a regular basis (CCD doesn’t count).
I dont’ give them nearly as much as I should in the way of chores—simply because it’s easier to just do it myself; If I am too tired to care, I sometimes let them skip brushing their teeth before bed.
Oh yeah, and I yell.
No, I’m not the perfect mom —by far! Over the past nine years, I have constantly questioned my mothering skills. Some days I think, I am such a great mom. Other days, I think, I really suck!
But here’s where I’ve netted out on this whole good mom/bad mom issue: Nobody is perfect. Parenting is an especially difficult job. There is no education that prepares you for being a mom; there is an enormous learning curve. We all make mistakes. We are all good at some things and not so good at others.
I’m at the point now where I admit to my kids that I’m not the perfect mom. I will continue to try to step it up in the areas where I feel I’m not gold-star worthy. But I will also remind myself that I am really good at giving my kids love, teaching them about life and modeling for them how to be a generally good person.
Am I a good mom or a bad mom? Am I somewhere in between? I don’t know. What I do know is that I do the best that I can — and I’m okay with that.