Being a mother is one of the most important jobs in the world. It can be challenging, rewarding, frustrating, and joyful all at the same time.
However, many wonder what it really means to be a “good” mother and how to become one.
According to experts, here are the effective ways to be a good mother:
Natasha Aoki Rezende
Blogger | Content Creator | Founder, Only Child World
Being a good mother is one of the world’s most rewarding yet challenging jobs. Unfortunately, there are no handbooks or instructions on doing it right, but a few things can help make the job easier.
One of the most important things to remember is that being a good mother is more than caring for your children. It’s also about setting a good example and teaching them how to be good people.
Here are a few tips on how to do that:
Accept that you are not perfect
With social media bombarding us with tons of “perfect” mothers, it’s not hard to feel like we’re falling short.
However, it’s important to remember that what you see on social media shouldn’t be the standard by which you measure yourself. Accepting that you’re not perfect will take the pressure off your shoulders and teach your child that mistakes are okay.
Teach your child the importance of self-worth and self-care
One of the best things you can do for your child is to teach them the importance of taking care of themselves physically and mentally.
Good habits like eating healthy, exercising, respecting their wishes, and managing their emotions are excellent examples.
When children understand the importance of self-love and self-respect, they’re more likely to grow into adults who do the same.
Provide emotional support
When your child knows they can rely on you, they will feel more secure and confident.
A study published by the American Psychological Association concluded that adults who received emotional support from their mother or father during childhood were less likely to develop depression or chronic health conditions such as hypertension.
Furthermore, early parental emotional support appears to enhance self-esteem and family relationships.
Encourage your child to be the best version of themselves
Allow your child to be who they are, not who you would like them to be. Respect their individuality and preferences and let them know that you accept their choices.
Focusing on their strengths instead of trying to fix their weaknesses will help them develop into confident and booming adults.
Be firm but tender
It’s essential to be straightforward with your children when setting rules and boundaries. Kids need structure and discipline to thrive.
However, it’s also important to show them love and compassion. So when you act firmly with your children, do it with respect and understanding. This will help them feel secure and loved and more likely to listen to you.
Let your child take the lead
We all want the best for our children; sometimes, that means taking a backseat and letting them take the lead. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t guide them or offer advice, but it’s crucial to let them make their own decisions and choices.
Allowing your children to do so will help them learn and grow as individuals. Research shows that parenting over-engagement would negatively relate to children’s self-regulation.
By stepping in whenever your child is struggling, you may actually hinder their development.
Patience is a virtue you’ll need a lot as a mother! Sometimes your child will test your limits, but it’s important to remember that they are still learning and growing.
When you show them patience and understanding, they’ll be more likely to offer the same to you and others.
Instill your child with a thriving mindset
Self-confidence, self-control, empathy, integrity, curiosity, perseverance, and optimism. After years of research, Dr. Michele Borba, an educational psychologist, identified these seven traits as the essential character strengths for kids to thrive.
Your child becomes more resilient by learning these strengths and increases self-awareness, moral judgment, and emotional agility.
Teaching your kids how to become thrives is probably the greatest gift you can give to your child — all life skills that will help them enormously in their childhood and as they grow into adults.
Have a separate life outside of motherhood
Being a mother doesn’t mean you have to give up your life’s personal or professional goals and aspirations. On the contrary, you’ll set an excellent example for your children by staying connected to your passions and interests.
You can still be a fantastic mother and have a successful career or pursue other interests. In addition, your children will benefit from seeing that it’s essential to lead a fulfilling life outside of being a parent.
Don’t take things personally
Your child might do or say something that hurts your feelings, but it’s essential not to take it personally. They are still learning and growing, and sometimes they might not have the best way of expressing themselves.
Remember that it’s not about you, and try to see things from their perspective. If you can respond to them with love and understanding, they will learn to do the same.
Related: How to Not Take Things Personally
Create long-lasting memories
In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind and forget to enjoy the little moments. But as a mother, one of your most valuable gifts to our kids is to create memories that will last a lifetime.
Whether taking a family vacation, going on a hike, or simply spending time together at home, make sure to take the time to create positive memories with your children.
These will be the moments that they cherish and remember for years to come. You don’t need to spend hours or money — focus on creating quality time together.
Being a good mother is about more than just following a set of rules — loving, understanding, and patient. It’s also vital to have your own life outside of motherhood and instill a thriving mindset in your child.
By following these tips, you’ll likely be able to raise a happy and successful child who feels loved and supported.
Always be there and take care of your children emotionally
If anyone had told me 30 years ago, when I was pregnant with my son, that his father would literally abandon him at the age of 10, I would have told them they were crazy. But it happened.
I persevered as most women do in dire circumstances, but the dynamic it created between my son and I shifted my perspective, expectations, and reality in a very short period of time.
To me, the concept of being a good mother always meant being there for your child(ren) and taking care of them emotionally. Being thrown into the role of mother AND father alters the course of the child’s life and yours.
There were dark days, many mornings spent crying in the shower while I got ready for my full-time job, and months and years of dealing with my son’s anger and abandonment issues.
But we made it. He is now almost 30, and I can honestly say that, even though he has not seen his father since he was 12 years old, our relationship has come full circle to an understanding.
Prioritize and not give in to the pop culture craze and peer pressure
Children do not know anything but what their environment provides. Kids are now so overtly affected by social media that it damages their realities and concept of communication altogether.
But from my standpoint, trying to be a good mother during the inception of the social media and cell phone craze, I feel as though I did my best and was strict about many aspects of the video game and internet inundation.
But also made a point of making it very clear to him that, during his growing-up years, my role was not to be his friend but his parent.
My role was to guide and instruct and try the best that I could to be both mother and father (the latter, which I despised).
To be a good mother, especially now that a majority of women work out of the home, is to prioritize and not give in to the pop culture craze and peer pressure.
Spend time with your children
I recently told my son that I was really angry for a long time that I was thrown into both parental roles; that my dream was to be able to spend time with him and provide him the love and support he needed.
While I did do those things, our life also became a series of chaotic years and stressful days.
In retrospect, I see that I did the best I could with what I had and reflect on some very unfortunate yelling episodes and comments said out of exhaustion.
Understand that you all have limits
My favorite one to tell is the time when he was 14 and kept badgering me for money to buy some mundane object. I lost my temper and yelled, “I do not shoot money out of my ass!”
As funny as it is to tell now, I am mortified by my lack of strength at that moment but have also given myself the grace to understand that, as women, we all have limits.
On a good note, after watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer every Christmas eve for almost 25 years together, when we get in the car together, I always say, “Ready Rudolph?” and he will undoubtedly respond, “Ready Santa.” A quote from the movie that is our fun “thing.”
Communicate truth and create parameters
Being a good mother, I believe from the time children can understand rules, it is to be honest, communicate truth and create parameters within which your relationship can thrive into adulthood.
I am getting there with my son. We still argue about certain things, and yes, I have quirks that make him nuts. He lives in New York City now, and I see him a few times a year.
As I get older, I realize that these times together are precious. We reflect, recollect and reminisce now, which helps to ease the pain of the past and pave a new path forward for us.
Being a good mother is not easy. Each of us has our own past familial environments upon which we base our own parenting.
Life is different now. It is so different from my young days, and the cost of living, in general, puts a huge burden on the younger generations.
Do your best and keep an open mind
All we can do is our best. We must keep an open mind, know that life is constantly changing, and we must respect and honor the lives our young or adult children choose.
I am a good mother, with flaws and quirks and all. I wouldn’t trade my experiences as a mother/father figure for anything in the world.
He has watched me work my entire life, and as my brother so lovingly reminds me, my son did not learn his work ethic from his father. I am proud of that fact.
I am now an author and consultant and continue to show my son through my actions that life is a process and a never-ending opportunity to learn and make ourselves better.
We are all human and must give ourselves grace.
Luz Casquejo Johnston, Ed.D
Founder, Parenting On Purpose
Invest time in personal growth
Parenting can be an opportunity for personal growth. Luckily for you, as your child grows, you grow, too, which means that when your child is a baby, you are a “baby” parent. You can learn what you need to know as you go along.
You don’t need to be an expert. You also don’t have to repeat any patterns that you are carrying from childhood. It’s natural as your child grows to remember that age and any patterns, hurts, or traumas that may have occurred during this time.
Take this as an opportunity to change any family patterns. Be intentional and find support as you do this. It is natural to struggle with parenting when trying to undo patterns because it’s easy to default to what you experienced.
This is not your fault, and it can be changed. You may find that as you change your patterns, you heal from those patterns. What a gift!
Give yourself time and grace to learn how to be a parent. Even folks who studied child development find themselves stymied when faced with real, live human children.
Every attempt at learning how to do parenting will get you closer to being the parent you want to be. Celebrate each attempt, no matter the outcome because it means you are working toward your vision.
Be proud of the fact that you have a vision and you know where you’re going!
Remember that social media is fake
Instagram and Facebook parenting influencers curate and create content that makes parenting look easy and breezy. It is neither, and that’s okay. Get support, not hacks from trusted sources.
Be an ally, not a friend
Your child is not your friend. Children need structure and support. They need to grow up in a home that feels safe. Safety comes with strong foundations and strong boundaries.
I think of the parenting journey as coming in two phases:
- The Active Phase – from birth until 18-ish. This is when you are helping your child learn how to become a high-functioning adult, including learning values, routines, and skills.
- The Counsel Phase – from 18 on. During this phase, your child craves your closeness and counsel but does not need you for day-to-day support.
In order to get to this phase, there’s a lot to set up in the Active Phase.
Create your family with your family
Remember where you got your model of parenting and family? Well, now it’s your time to model how to define and create a family. Be intentional, talk about everything and get input from your child in a way that’s appropriate for their age.
Children are constantly absorbing everything around them. They hear:
- How you talk to yourself.
- How you talk to other adults.
- How you talk to other children.
- How you talk to them.
Start by talking about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. This can be as simple as shopping for groceries to picking out clothing. You can share with them how you’re feeling and what you’ll do to solve any problems you face.
Writer | Former Journalist | Certified Life & Executive Coach, Coach Tomika Anderson
Create a time and space just for you and your child
Listen without interrupting and if you interrupt by accident, apologize. This demonstrates respect. Create a time and space just for you and your child each week where you’re not on your cell phone or otherwise occupied by other matters.
Again, this shows your child you respect their feelings and desire — and yours — to spend quality time with them. Show up to your kids’ activities like sports games and Boy Scout meetings.
Use kind/positive language toward them
Use kind/positive language towards them even when you’re upset with something they did — your voice becomes your child’s internal voice, and you want it to be loving.
Don’t resort to violence
Don’t hit. Ever. Demonstrate that it’s possible to discipline/get your point across without resorting to violence. And if you come from a yelling family, do your best to do a reset continually. It matters. No matter how much you fail, keep trying.
And since we are on this topic, go to therapy, so you’re in a position to give your child the best while breaking negative generational cycles.
Be honest with them at all times
Give your child age-appropriate chores, so they learn necessary life skills and discipline. Be (age-appropriately) honest with them at all times, even about hard things.
Tough conversations help build and demonstrate trust and can deepen a commitment to honesty on both sides, which will matter a lot as they get older.
Know and proactively speak your child’s love language
There are quizzes online that will help you learn it, and then you can actively find ways to demonstrate your love for them in the ways they most feel it.
Create ritual and tradition
One of ours is eating together every night and talking about our days; another is annual trips to the pumpkin patch.
I think the biggest thing is being humble enough to try, fail and adjust: My son communicates with me what’s working and what’s not regarding my parenting and I think caring enough to listen with the as little ego as possible goes a long way towards helping me continually improve as a mother.
Parenting & Life Coach | Podcast Host, “Blog Talk Radio”
Guess what? As much as I’d love to provide it, there is no one right formula to follow to be a “Good mom.”
As a new mother, that statement made me feel relieved. I thought I missed something that every other mother knows. Anxious and neurotic, I thought I missed something that every other mother knows.
How often do we, as mothers, give ourselves no-win situations? Guilt for saying “no” and guilt for saying “yes.”
Be it all for your children on your own
Assuming that it’s true that there is no formula (and I can attest to it), then maybe mothering in today’s polished society requires skills that seem totally unrelated to parenting as we’ve known (or been conditioned) it to be.
After many years and three kiddos in the game, I assert that to be the best mother, the most valuable and important thing is to release the need to do and be it all for our children on our own.
We are not meant to be living in isolation.
We are designed to live in a community. We all seek community (see the explosion of users on social media platforms over the past 10-15 years).
Actively cultivate and foster community beyond yourselves
Today, being a “good mother” means actively cultivating and fostering a community beyond ourselves to engage, inspire, and nurture our children in ways that we never could.
What does that look like? It may mean agreeing to share resources by providing a meal to a new mom in your circle. Maybe it means being a role model by asking for and receiving support when you need it.
It may look like swapping childcare, attending play dates, or intentionally surrounding your family with like-minded adults to share their gifts and talents with your children.
Research unequivocally shows that teenagers who have a trusted adult to confide in outside of the family strengthen relationships at home.
Actively ask for help and invite others in
It may feel counter-intuitive that being a good mom means actively asking for help and inviting others in, but believe me, “your people” are waiting for you.
In this day and age, you may feel like you are somehow abdicating your essential role as the primary authoritative guide in your children’s lives.
But I encourage you to ask yourself – “Is it so wrong to share your load with others? We all love to help others, right?” So we need to be willing to receive help from others. Reciprocity.
How to find “your people”?
- Observe – take notice of people who might already be in your outer community circle at school or on the sidelines at sports games.
- Seek them out – this requires a bit of research — join local groups that interest you virtually on social media or in person.
- Attend local family-friendly events.
- Join Mom/Parenting groups that match your parenting values and philosophy. Mommy and Me, Attachment Parenting group, etc
Breathe Mommas. You are not meant to do this big work alone. With a supportive circle around you, you can be more present, have more patience, and share more quality time with your children.
Parenting Content Specialist, HiJunior
There is nothing wrong with questioning yourself during motherhood. When you have children, it is common to feel that you’re not doing enough.
Offer your child your unconditional love
However, it is possible to assign certain qualities to be a good mother. All of them have one thing in common — your child should have a chance to grow up to be happy and not be afraid to be themselves.
Offering your child your unconditional love should be a priority. Many parents forget that their children are not their second chance to relive their life and force them to behave in a certain way or start hobbies they’re not passionate about.
Support your child without criticizing them
Furthermore, support them without criticizing them, e.g., if your kid tries to discover new passions or change their style. Criticized children often grow up anxious perfectionists with low self-esteem.
Be your child’s friend when they need to talk to someone, and a disciplinarian when they think of making the wrong choices.
Encourage your children to express their feelings
Another often overlooked quality some parents forget is encouraging their children to express their feelings. Have you ever heard the sentence: “Don’t cry like a little girl”?
Hearing this as a boy can be highly damaging. Holding your feelings inside and thinking you’re weak for feeling a certain way can result in a lack of ability to recognize your problems and deal with difficult situations.
Not only that, but blocked emotions in childhood can appear in adulthood as anxiety, heart disease, intestinal issues, and many others.
Work on your patience and avoid yelling at your children
One of the qualities that are worth mentioning is patience. Even if your child misbehaves or can’t complete their homework — try to work on your patience and avoid yelling at them.
This behavior causes distress and can affect your child’s ability to start over instead of getting discouraged after minor mishaps.
Jessica Bartolini M.Ed., MSTOM
Parenting Coach | Yoga & Meditation Teacher, Wanderers
Give your children valuable life experience
I’m always thinking about what my girls are learning from this life experience and from the example of my life.
It makes me feel like it doesn’t matter if I fail at whatever I’m doing or if the event or experience is a flop because, no matter what, my girls will get valuable life experience from it.
Bring awareness and inspiration
Especially if I can remember to bring awareness, presence, joy, adventure, curiosity, inspiration, fun, playfulness, creativity, and detachment from results to how I experience whatever it may be.
I’m only sometimes able to bring all or, sometimes, not even any of these qualities to the moment. But that is where my practice of yoga, meditation, and journaling becomes important. I don’t live to be something for my girls.
I live to become, through connecting mind, body, and spirit on this journey in life. And then I trust the universe to do the rest for my daughters, who are on their own unique soul paths in this life.
I will not be the mom who says, I raised two lawyers and a doctor; want to know how I parented?
I am the mom who says I have always followed my heart and intuition in life, not often taking the path well-traveled — often following the guidance of my girls’ hearts and desires as well as the bread trail of cues given by my mom, my grandparents, other guardian angels, and the universe because we are all interconnected.
And my girls, standing in their uniqueness, are as much a part of the whole as I am standing in mine. And I grow and learn from them as much as they do from me.
I can’t tell you how to be a good mom, but I can only share how I live a life from the heart, often faced with uncertainty but full of adventure and without regret. I am living my life fully, and I hope my girls will do the same.
It’s so curious that motherhood — the most significant role we are privileged to hold — does not come with an instruction manual.
I’ve learned from being a mother of two grown sons, a daughter and granddaughter, and an honorary “chosen” mother and daughter to many people that we all crave a mother’s love.
At its best, maternal love is abundant and constant. Yet, as any mother appreciates, motherhood is a dynamic, ever-changing experience. We delight in watching our children grow and change, but we are also constantly evolving.
When our children are young, they are completely dependent on us. Everything is a new experience for the baby and the mother, which can be both exhilarating and daunting at the same time.
We must give them space to explore and mature
As our children grow, we must flex new muscles, giving them space to explore and mature, figure things out, and make mistakes. I am reminded of the tensility of a bamboo tree, being supple to adapt to changing conditions and climate.
Similarly, a good mother has a strong internal ballast. She knows who she is and appreciates her child for who they are and who they are growing into becoming. She does not need to place all her hopes and unfulfilled aspirations onto her children’s shoulders.
Do everything to help your child be restored to health
When my oldest son was catastrophically ill, my world stopped, and I became a “mom on a mission,” determined to do everything in my power to help him be restored to health.
I had a calling while walking on the beach during the height of his illness when the name Soaringwords came to me. Through that profound experience, I came to realize that my life purpose was to help others who were going through a crisis.
Since 2000, I’ve worked with thousands of parents and ill children and touched the lives of more than 500,000 people to inspire them to take active roles in their self-healing.
Don’t overprotect your child
I learned from this experience that parents often have the inclination to smother or overprotect their child when a child is ill. Parents frequently have this impulse to determine whether their child is sick or not.
However, this approach actually encourages their child to become more fragile, scared, and rigid.
Instead, parents who appreciate that they didn’t cause the illness, can’t cure the illness, and can’t control the illness have a better chance of being a loving and supportive caregiver and champion than dumping their maternal fears and anxieties onto a child who is already in a compromised state of well-being.
It starts with the idea that no mothers are objectively better than others; all mothers are doing their best with their resources. I have worked with abusive and neglectful mothers, but none of them were not trying their best.
But changing your mothering practices to accomplish your goals better follows a few principles:
Get to know yourself without judgment
Avoid thinking about what you should be doing, and just think about how you are now:
- Do you dislike playing with your children?
- Was pregnancy the worst experience of your life?
- Would you rather be at work than at home?
- Do you tend to sacrifice your well-being for your kids?
Identify how things are and understand the reasons behind them. They always make sense if you really think about it.
Identify the traits that you do judge yourself for
Perhaps you don’t judge other moms for letting their kids watch 8 hours of television on hard mental health days, but you shame yourself. Why?
Identify the source of the shame
Why is what you are doing not good enough? Process these unhelpful thoughts and emotions. It is possible to develop compassion for all people, even yourself. A good therapist can help.
Once there is less shame in controlling your mothering behavior, you will be much less stressed and far more capable of doing what you want and learning more.
A short case example:
A mother came to me saying she hated being at home with the kids all day and hated herself for hating it. She recognized that she became resentful and depressed, which had negative effects on her kids.
Her mental health improved when she started working part-time and letting her partner handle the kids more, but she felt shame about not being with the kids.
Our work didn’t involve forcing her to follow the latest research on positive parenting but helping her develop acceptance of where she is at.
This decreased her stress and helped her be more present with her kids when she was with them, which was better for them than having a mom always at home who was snippy and emotionally distant.
You need to raise your children with grace
Though there are many different kinds of mothers and different ways that families raise their children, I believe after raising two birth children, fostering fifty children, and adopting nine children, I have learned through my experiences that to be a good mother, we need to raise our children with grace.
You need to show the child that you forgive them
All children will mess up from time to time. That is a normal fact of learning as a child.
As a mother, we need to show the child that we forgive them for what they have done, explain that they need to learn from what they have done, and understand that they will try really hard not to do it again.
The mom teaches all of this while ensuring the child knows that no matter what, they will be loved by her always.
With all the different children that I have been blessed to have in my life, it amazes me that children are not as the world wants to portray them. Most children do not want lots of things to be bought.
No matter the background, ethnic group, or any other differences, I have found that most children want love and time from mom (and dad).
Being a mom is a hard job; being a good mom means we learn to be patient, not react to situations, and always remember that we were children once.
How did we want our mother to treat us? While giving grace to our children, we also need to give ourselves grace. A good mother is not a perfect mother. We are human and make mistakes.
We can be different from any other mother. We just need to be the mother that our child loves.
The bond between mother and child is different for everyone, but when a child feels safe, understood, and loved, there is nothing in this world that can break that bond. #GRACE
Kara Nassour, LPC, NCC
Licensed Professional Counselor, Shaded Bough Counseling
Ensure your children feel safe, loved, and respected
I frequently work with clients with family trauma or complex relationships with their parents. We explore their parents’ strengths and failures and what a “healthy” relationship with one’s children looks like.
Being a good mother is very simple. She only needs to ensure her children feel safe, loved, and respected.
This is not to say it’s easy. You will make mistakes, and you will doubt yourself. But making mistakes is okay.
In fact, when you make a mistake, take ownership of it, and try to repair your connection with your child. That also teaches your child to learn from their mistakes and keep trying.
It is more important to keep reaching out and listening to your kid than to get everything right.
My adult clients who felt loved, respected, and safe around their mothers universally report strong relationships with them. They were much less likely to develop childhood trauma and were more emotionally stable and resilient as adults.
They readily acknowledged that their mothers were flawed and everything wasn’t always sunshine and roses, but children will forgive their parents for so much as long as they feel loved and respected.
If you are worrying about whether you’re a good mother, chances are you’re already on the path to being there.
Caroline Gebhardt, NCC, LPC, RYT
Psychotherapist, Body-Based Psychotherapy | Nationally Certified Counselor | Registered Yoga Teacher
Mothering oneself while mothering others
When someone wonders if they’re a good enough mother, or perhaps they’re fretting over their child’s behavior, I often invite them to explore how supported they feel.
Literally, I ask them how connected or disconnected they feel from the chair or floor that supports their body, and this relational body-based practice opens curiosity and exploration of how much nourishment they allow themselves to receive or not!
When our own nervous system feels adequately supported, we have an expanded capability of nurturing not only ourselves in a sustainable way but also our children and loved ones.
The little ones intuitively sense this steady support and feed off it! This co-regulation dance happens from the one with power authority offering safety and connection to someone in their care.
However, when someone notices they are low on emotional, physical, social, and/or mental nourishment, it’s essential to offer oneself the 3Cs (Curiosity, Compassion, and Care) about how to consciously re-feed oneself.
This isn’t to blame or shame the one playing the “mother” role, but to recognize that even little bites of self-care (asking for help, aiming for “good enough” instead of perfect, choosing battles, taking care of one’s own inner child) can give one the sustainable fuel to mother others while mothering oneself.
Founder, Parental Queries
Ensure you get enough sleep, eat right, and exercise regularly
First and foremost, remember that being a good mother starts with taking care of yourself. If you’re not taking care of yourself, it won’t be easy to take care of your children. Ensure you get enough sleep, eat right, and exercise regularly.
Don’t try to do everything yourself
It’s okay to ask for help from your partner or other family members when you need it. Trying to do everything on your own will only lead to burnout.
Related: How to Recover From Burnout
Make time for yourself every day
Even if it’s just a few minutes, make sure you have some time to relax and do something that you enjoy. This will help you stay sane and be a better mother overall.
Don’t be afraid to discipline your children when necessary
Children need boundaries and limits in order to thrive. By setting firm but loving limits, you’re actually helping your child learn self-control and develop into a well-adjusted individual.
Cherish the moments you have with your children
They grow up so fast! Try to take the time to connect with them daily, whether through conversation, playtime, or just spending time together doing nothing in particular. These are the moments that you’ll treasure for a lifetime.
Being a mom can be overwhelming, whether it is the first time or your 5th, and you have multiple little ones needing your attention. It is good to remember that you were created to be a mother. It is in your biological DNA.
Tips for first-time moms:
Find a positive outlet
After giving birth, hormones are thrown out of whack for a while as your body heals and adjusts to what it just went through. Allow yourself to feel the feelings and find a positive outlet such as journaling, taking a bath, singing your favorite songs, etc.
Children are usually happiest when their mother is happy.
Be aware of postpartum depression
Echoing the fact that children are happier when their mother is happy, it is essential to be aware of Postpartum Depression and talk to your doctor about seeing a therapist if needed or any other coping strategies.
Motherhood is a long commitment of hard work, and you need to stay healthy in all areas of life. Depression is nothing to be ashamed of. It is an illness just like strep throat is an illness that needs treatment to overcome.
Fed is the best option
Many moms have been told “breast is best,” and while breast milk is natural, cheap, and healthy for your baby, there is no need to struggle to the point of being blue in the face trying to nurse a baby and find they are still hungry or end up preferring the bottle over the nipple.
Babies need to eat, and it is more important that they get the nutrients they need to grow at the end of the day. So whether it is breast or bottle, know that baby will appreciate you for the milk you give them!
Jordyn Mastrodomenico, LCADC, LAC, CTP
Clinical Director, ChoicePoint
Motherhood is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences a woman can have, but it’s also a lot of work. You will have to be there for your child every minute of their lives, and they will depend on you emotionally as well as physically.
You bring up your child’s character and personality
The quality of a good mother brings up the children’s character, personality, and many other important factors that affect the child greatly.
The key points of maternal education should be expressed in terms of the importance of being a good mother and convey to these women the importance of supporting their children throughout their lives.
The first and most important quality of a mother is creativity. A mother should always seek to work on amazing new methods to have fun with her children.
Some major examples are:
- Watching movies
- Playing games
You should have your child’s prime interests at heart
A good mother should always have her child’s prime interests at heart. She should be compassionate towards their problems and always be there to get them help whenever they want.
She should be fair in all that she does, whether disciplining them or praising them and always take their feelings into account.
As a mother, it is such an important thing to be supportive. Regardless of what type of hiccup they may be experiencing, as long as they are doing their best and showing effort to improve, that is all you should expect of them.
Never discourage your child from growing and learning
Never discourage your child from growing and learning by having to put pressure on the child to accomplish everything in their lives instantaneously.
By doing this, you can take away the pleasure of accomplishing things for them. They might focus more on trying to please you rather than themselves, which is unhealthy for anybody involved.
Dana Spearin, O.D.
Optometric Physician, Luke Knows
Most women who have had children have wondered, “am I a good mother?” Being a good mother will look a little different for every woman; however, there are some things that will help a mother become the best mother that she can possibly be.
Know yourself intimately
Taking the time to get to know yourself before having kids is crucial:
- Did you want to travel before having kids?
- Did you want to get established in your dream job?
- Did you want to finish that degree?
If you don’t take the time to get to know yourself, you won’t know what you wanted to do before bringing a child into this world. This may lead to resentment toward your children or your partner.
Knowing yourself and accomplishing what you need to achieve before having kids is essential to being a good mother.
Have a tribe
Having a strong support system or a tribe is essential for all mothers. A mother’s tribe is a group of people who come alongside her and support her.
When she needs someone to talk to, give her advice, or is desperate for time to herself, these people will encourage her and give her an extra hand.
Having the knowledge that you aren’t walking through motherhood alone gives women the confidence that they can do this and be the mother they want to be.
Have the two P’s: Patience and Presence
Being patient and present with your children is a substantial way to be a good mother. Kids want to be known, heard, and loved. They don’t need toys; they need you.
They need you to be available to them, and when they seek your advice, they want to know you are a safe place for them.
This leads to patience. Being patient and slow to anger will cultivate a safe environment for your relationship to grow, leading to a child seeking your care, wisdom, and advice throughout their life.
When your children come to you for counsel, you know you were and are a good mother.
Being a good mother will look a little different for each and every mother and, quite frankly, will be a little different for every child.
Knowing yourself, having a tribe, and being patient and present with your children will give you a strong foundation on how to be a good mother.
Dr. Brittany Noel Robles, MD, MPH, CPT
OBGYN Physician | Certified Personal Trainer, Post Partum Trainer
Provide your children with a stable and loving home
One of the most important things you can do for your children is to provide them with a stable and loving home. This means creating a warm and inviting space where your children feel safe and loved.
There is no other place like home, so make it the best place it can be for your children.
Be emotionally present for your children
Another important aspect of being a good mother is being emotionally present for your children.
- Being available to listen to their problems and concerns.
- Being able to offer support and guidance when needed.
- Being able to celebrate their successes.
- Being involved in their lives and taking an interest in their activities.
Be a role model for your children
Finally, it is essential to set a good example for your children. This means living your life in a way that demonstrates the values you want your children to internalize.
It also means:
- Being honest with them.
- Treating others with respect.
- Modeling positive behavior.
Former Public School Teacher, Girliest
I don’t necessarily mean with your schedule; I mean with your attitude and disposition. While we can’t always be 100 percent “on” and the paragon of a perfect parent, we should consistently try.
Your kids want to come to you knowing what to expect, not wondering if you’re going to be hot or cold, grumpy or mellow. Be their rock. But, when you do mess up — apologize.
Demonstrate how to react when you do mess up
Sincerely apologize. Even reiterate more than once that you made a mistake and state how you should have reacted. Kids won’t look at you as weak: they’ll learn that it’s important to admit mistakes and apologize for them.
They need to see you take ownership of mistakes and self-correct, so they implement the same humble, honest behavior as they grow and grow.
Learn to give “the warning look”
When your kiddo crosses a line or is on the verge of doing so, rather than reacting instantly with yells or behavior, you might end up regretting it. Learn to give a particular look that conveys, “Hey, you’re walking on thin ice here.”
I call it The Warning Look: I cross my arms, stand up straight, and angle a certain narrowed look at my kids.
Ninety-nine percent of the time, they instantly refine their behavior, and no escalation needs to happen.
I used this warning-look tactic as a teacher, and it could get a room of 30 rambunctious kids to turn silent. They knew the look and cared to self-correct, quieting down.
If I tried to yell over them, it would make me seem in competition with their noise and predominance. Taking the high road with a single look gave me, the teacher, and now the mom, the needed spotlight to start teaching.
Use the “sandwich method”
It’s natural that we need to enlighten and help correct kids’ behavior. If possible, do the “sandwich method,” wherein you nestle the critique between two compliments. This works well for people of all ages.
After all, we thrive with positive reinforcement. It’s human nature to retract and want to recoil when told of our mistakes and shortcomings. People — including kids — are much more apt to listen and heed personal critique when it’s nestled between compliments.
Here’s an example:
“Sam, you’re so creative and artistic! Do remember to clean up your sticky slime messes, though, please. I believe you’ll remember to clean up your slime messes in the future because you’re a quick learner.”
Talk to kids about their lives and yours
Don’t underestimate the value of simple talks. Heart-to-hearts, yes, but also simple discussions about your days and feelings. Kids, like adults, want to be heard and listened to.
Also, helping them engage in a back-and-forth, flowing, caring conversations is a lifelong skill that translates into other personal and work-related relationships as they grow older.
They need to be good at conversing and expressing feelings to others constructively their entire lives. To top it off, these “simple” discussions can be essential in reminding them that you’re consistently there to love, care for, and hear them.
One area most mothers don’t realize is that there are 4 Dimensions to raising a child: Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual.
Respond to your child’s needs
In the beginning, they focus on physical needs like feeding, cleaning diapers, and sleeping.
However, infants also need a great deal of emotional connection to develop fully. Responding to the baby’s needs creates a sense of security, a feeling that the mother cares and will be there to help out.
Harvard University puts forth the “serve and return” concept, where the baby will serve up a request in the form of a look or a sound, and the mother needs to return with the proper response.
Being there to see or hear the service is the first step, but then making the proper return is the second step.
Some research says that even the best parents get the return right only about 50% of the time, but the best parents are the ones who, if they get it wrong the first time, will try something else until they eventually get it right.
As the child grows, the same process should continue in each of the 4 Dimensions:
- If a preschooler serves up a physical need like a fever or even shoes that are too tight, the mother should return with her best effort.
- If a school-aged child serves a mental need like a failing grade on a test, the mother should respond with her best effort.
- If a preteen serves an emotional need like freaking out over some boy who said she was fat, the mother should return with her best effort.
- If an adolescent serves up a spiritual need like how to deal with death, the mother should return with her best effort.
Children develop in each of the 4 Dimensions in each age group, and mothers should have the knowledge to return with the proper response.
Founder, Low Income Relief
I always think of parenting like a bank account: you make deposits with love and good memories, and you make withdrawals with discipline and correction.
The trick is to always keep the balance in the positive so that when hard times inevitably happen, there’s a high enough balance in the account to preserve the quality of the relationship.
Speak your children’s love language
Early on in my parenting journey, I read the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. As someone with an Acts of Service love language, I realized I wasn’t connecting as effectively with some of my children who had distinctly different love languages.
Now, it is part of our family tradition to complete a Five Love Languages survey every year or two. As my children have grown, their love languages have evolved.
But by making sure I always understand how they feel most loved, I’m able to make sure that I am showing them love in a way that resonates with them.
This is an efficient way to keep those relationship balances high.
Learn and teach emotional resilience skills
Life is hard. One thing that I feel like previous generations have really lacked is a sense of emotional resilience. Yes, people have always known how to push through hard and difficult things, but they often sustained a lot of emotional damage along the way.
As someone with a serious anxiety disorder, I’ve had the opportunity to learn emotional resilience skills in therapy and then teach them to my children.
I believe it’s a parent’s responsibility to break as many damaging generational cycles as possible. After all, I want my children to have a better life and be more successful than I have been.
The tools and techniques I learned in therapy have really helped them cope with some of the difficult situations we’ve faced as a family. I also take comfort in knowing that those skills will serve them well for the rest of their lives.
There are many tools out there that can help children and parents become more emotionally resilient in the face of life’s challenges. This helps minimize those withdrawals to those emotional accounts, too.
Admit your mistakes
Parents aren’t perfect, and we harm our kids when we pretend to be. In our family, we focus on progress instead of perfection. I try to model that by apologizing quickly and sincerely when I make a mistake.
My children have picked up on that, too, and it has really helped decrease the conflict in our house.
Founder, Miss M Online Classes
Excitement about my first pregnancy was the beginning of a big change, which started with setting high standards around motherhood. Nine years later, I admit it was the worst decision I’ve ever made.
Live a life that is true to you
I realized that the perfect routine and the healthiest menu were only a tiny aspect of parenting.
The lesson I’ve learned is that the most important gift I can give as a mother is living a life that is true to me, my interests, and my circumstances.
It is about taking care of myself in the first place, nurturing my resource as a person, and sharing it with my children in the most positive way.
Remember that perfect is not the same as good
This realization came after I caught myself doing all the right things as per the recommendations of the child and maternal health nurse, picking up all the advice from mum blogs, and listening to friends’ best practice tips.
A fresh and varied diet, regular walks outside, and developmental activities for kids were my obsession and a priority over having a cup of tea while the child had a nap.
Deep inside, I felt that this “right doing” was never enough, as there were always new recommendations, new ideas, and expert advice to follow.
The fear of my child missing out on important developmental milestones was so strong that I ignored my inner callings just to be myself for a very long time.
The divorce came as a wake-up call that brought a lot of reflection and changes into my life. Today I know that my perfectionism and the need to be loved made me act the way I did.
Accept your mistakes and forgive yourself
By accepting my mistakes and forgiving myself, I started a new journey where the focus was on understanding my purpose in life, realizing my dreams, and setting the right example for my children.
I quit a well-paid corporate job to start a project I am passionate about, where I combine my teaching degree and long-standing marketing experience.
It is such as pleasure to be able to nurture children’s curiosity about entrepreneurship, marketing, and critical thinking through everyday examples.
And while the new income is yet to match the corporate salary, I know I made the right decision because the energy level and the pleasure of doing what feels right and true for me is unbelievable.
And my children feel that, too! We’ve noticed that the house is full of smiles, laughs, great talks, and fun ideas we all enjoy.
Be present as often as you can for your kids
It is essential to be present as often as we can for our kids. The saying the days are long, but the years are short is very true. Sometimes life can get so busy, and it seems like we are rushing through every moment.
When we are present, we can truly make connections with our kids, learn from them and share things with them. By being present, we can also teach them to live life to their fullest potential.
Practice being present by limiting distractions and being intentional about your time with your children.
Allow them to make their own mistakes
It’s easy to be so involved in our kids’ lives that we try to limit the mistakes they make. We try to help them every step of the way, so they get things right.
As a good mother, it’s important to allow them to make their own mistakes and learn from them. When they are able to do this, they build their resilience and also confidence in themselves to sort things out.
Know that you are enough
Social media has a way of making us compare ourselves as mothers with others. You see another mother that keeps the home spotlessly clean or prepares meals beautifully, travels with her kids, and the list goes on.
It’s easy to feel like you are not a good mother. One thing that we need to remember is that we are enough.
Even on days when you feel like no matter how hard you try to do things perfectly, something slips through the cracks, remember that you are enough.
Our kids do not need us to be perfect. They need good mothers, a mother who is there for them and committed to them, and loves them unconditionally.
Brand Storyteller, MarketAPeel
Have open communication without judgment
Open communication without judgment or corporal punishment, along with asking them questions to inspire empathy and understanding, was the key to my success.
My kids got along because when they were young, I told them they were responsible for each other.
Every time I could see them start to fight, I told them, “You can fight, but you must hug and say I love you first — then fight all you want.” I encouraged them to say “I love you” to each other.
Stories you can use if you need something different or more.
What I did as a mom:
Don’t get upset easily
When my son was young, he and a friend broke a window in the house. When they came to tell me, I didn’t get upset. I picked up the yellow pages (when they were still printed), and they each had to phone a window company and ask how much it would cost to fix it.
Whenever he made a bad choice, I didn’t get upset. I asked questions, and we discussed solutions. He was responsible for fixing the problem with my support but not my stepping in.
Today he is an independent, self-sufficient, responsible 23-year-old who has been on his own since he was 18.
Give your children responsibilities that fit their capabilities
As my children grew up, they were given responsibilities that fit their capabilities when we ran errands, such as grocery shopping.
First, was put the groceries on the cashier’s counter. Then as they got bigger, they had to carry the groceries in. When they got older, they had to put the groceries away.
Then they had to use my card to pay for the groceries while I stood there. By the time my daughter was 12, she was doing the grocery shopping better than I did.
When we’d go shopping where there were toys, we’d go look, and if they wanted something, I’d say, “Put it on the list. What else do you want on the list?” Then they would go to the next thing.
They’d have a big list by the time we left but wouldn’t be upset that they didn’t get anything. They would talk about what they wanted with each other.
My daughter would say, “I don’t have that, Dora.” On the list, it would go. Made shopping for birthdays, Christmas, and good behavior rewards easy.
Founder and Chief Blogger, Healthy Happy Impactful
A happy mom = a good mom
The truth is, there are thousands of ways to be a good mom:
- You can be a better listener.
- Be more playful.
- Feed your kids healthy foods.
These are all important. And we shouldn’t be against any of these. It’s essential to grow. But if we only focus on being better, we’re missing a crucial component. A good mom is a happy mom — both in motherhood and her life in the outside world.
She’s taking care of herself as well as her kids. And she’s letting things go for the sake of her mental health.
In a world that’s obsessed with being better, too many moms live in the burnout lane. These women take care of their kids, partners, coworkers, and friends and often do much more work than they can handle.
They want to do it all and be it all for everyone. In fact, they feel lazy if they’re not.
But it’s never enough.
Inside they’re slowly dying, ignoring their own needs for quiet, friendship, or fun.
Know that your worth is not determined by how much you get done
A good mom knows that her worth is not determined by how much she gets done. She’s productive but also rests, knowing that rest is not the enemy.
She makes time for good books, inside jokes with friends, and long walks in nature, noticing the crunch of the leaves under her feet.
Give more hugs and smiles to your kids
And then, because she’s taking care of herself, she can give more hugs and smiles to her kids. She feels more patient with them. And she’s also modeling what health and happiness look like to them. So they will grow up knowing to listen to their own needs as adults.
It’s a beautiful cycle that supports both kids and moms. And perhaps most important, it reminds moms that a good mom is not a supermom. It’s simply a woman who’s loving, grateful, healthy, and well-rested.
Founder, Made in a Pinch
A good mother makes the time
Most mothers provide their kids with the basics: shelter, food, clothing, love, affection, guidance, etc.
However, in today’s busy-as-a-bee society, moms are stretched thin — maybe thinner than ever between work, raising kids, managing a home, and trying to be everything to everyone.
What makes a good mom is an effort to make time. And while that may sound like “one more thing” on the to-do list, it’s really not as hard (or takes as long) as it may sound.
Make time to get in touch with every family member
Make time to get in touch with every family member and connect with them every day. Ask them how they’re doing and listen. Make time to offer guidance and support or dig deeper when needed. Make time to make memories.
As long as the physical and emotional health and safety of the family are prioritized, everything else will fall into place — the chores, the schools, the sports, etc.
And in the end, when you look back on being a mom (or being raised by a mom), the things that stand out are those snippets of time — not whether the dishes or the laundry were always done.
Entrepreneur | Founder, theMindfulDev.com
Make sure that you have time to take care of yourself
Being a good mother meant understanding myself better (through therapy) and making sure that during the week, I had the time to care for myself. As a result, I have the capacity to show up and care for others wholeheartedly.
Becoming a mother was a wonderful but emotionally triggering experience.
My first two kids are just 1.5 years apart, and while pregnant with the second one, I felt incredibly overwhelmed while also feeling burnout at my Engineering job, and that’s when I finally decided to reach out for professional help.
Part of the overwhelm was that I was used to taking care of everybody else first and making time for myself at the end. That was before I had kids.
After I had them, I had no more energy or time left in my day. And so, initially, I was almost always tired, easily triggered, and stressed out. But that wasn’t the kind of person I wanted to be.
The talk therapy based on Dr. Russ Harris’s ACT was extremely powerful and helped me get unstuck, and out of the rut I was in.
Just hearing the names and labels of what I was dealing with:
- Complicated grief
- Past codependent relationships
- Narcissistic caregivers
- Postpartum depression
- Super-woman complex
Knowing what these were called was very empowering cause I was able to educate myself on my issues, process them, and let go of my traumas, and thus rewire my thinking without needing any meds.
I now use what I’ve learned in therapy not only in caring for my husband and children but also use that knowledge in my coaching business, in which I help Engineers find more fulfillment in their lives through their careers.
I know I’m a good mom cause I put the work into getting there and becoming the kind of mom I wanted to be.
CEO, Kitty Baby Love
Keep your children active and creative
I’ve found the most important in being a mother to three children: keeping them active and creative.
When I had my first child, I was completely exhausted and got into bad routines of staying all day indoors and giving my kids unengaging activities to do, like watching TV.
Over time, I picked myself and decided to make more of an effort to give them creative activities like arts and crafts to nurture their brains and stimulate their mental development.
The same goes for physical activities, too. I signed all my kids up for sports teams when they were young. If they didn’t enjoy the sport, I never forced them to take part, but I encouraged them to try something else active instead.
I feel like these steps had a massive impact on their overall development from birth.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the qualities of a good mother?
A good mother typically displays the following qualities:
• Nurturing: A good mother provides a loving, caring, and safe environment for her children to grow and develop.
• Patience: She exhibits patience when dealing with the challenges that come with raising children, understanding that they are learning and growing at their own pace.
• Empathy: A good mother is empathetic, trying to understand her children’s feelings and experiences, which helps her to respond appropriately to their needs.
• Resilience: She remains strong and resilient during difficult times, providing support and encouragement for her children.
• Adaptability: A good mother is able to adapt to the ever-changing needs of her children as they grow and develop.
• Love and support: She provides unconditional love and support, helping her children to feel secure and confident in their abilities.
• Communication: A good mother communicates effectively with her children, actively listening to their concerns and expressing herself clearly.
• Boundaries and discipline: She sets appropriate boundaries and enforces them consistently, helping her children to learn respect and self-control.
• Fostering independence: A good mother encourages her children to become independent and self-sufficient, teaching them essential life skills.
• Positive role model: She serves as a positive role model, demonstrating good values, morals, and behavior for her children to emulate.
These qualities contribute to a strong, healthy parent-child relationship and help to create well-adjusted, confident individuals.
How do I control my anger towards my child?
Managing anger towards your child is essential for maintaining a healthy parent-child relationship. To control your anger, start by recognizing the triggers and considering proactive solutions to address them. When you feel anger building, take a break by stepping away from the situation, taking deep breaths, or engaging in a brief calming activity.
Additionally, incorporate relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation into your daily routine to help manage stress and anger more effectively.
To improve communication, express your feelings calmly and assertively, and make an effort to listen to your child’s perspective. Furthermore, seek support from friends, family, or a counselor to gain valuable insights and coping strategies. Set clear and consistent boundaries for your child’s behavior to prevent misunderstandings and reduce potential conflicts.
Also, develop empathy by trying to understand the situation from your child’s perspective and focus on finding constructive solutions to problems instead of getting angry. Regular physical activity can also help release tension and reduce stress, which may contribute to anger.
If your anger is negatively impacting your relationship with your child, or if you struggle to manage it despite trying these strategies, consider seeking help from a mental health professional.
Remember, feeling angry or frustrated is normal, but learning to manage these emotions through various strategies and techniques is crucial for maintaining a positive and healthy parent-child relationship.
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