What is the definition of a ” Good mother ?” I have never thought about it. What qualities should she have? It’s kind of obvious that she should take care of the child’s physical and emotional needs, should teach the child what’s good and what’s bad and set up the first boundaries. And of course, she should love their kids.
But is this all?
Other than that I hadn’t really thought about this, I have always just done what feels right. But I guess by now I know a bit more what this means for me – and of course, there are as many possible definitions of this as there are people so I’m not claiming this as some kind of revelation . . . I breastfed both the girls until 6 months even though it would have been easier to give them formula. A few years later when I had clear evidence that diet was responsible for the behavioural problems that I had been trying to investigate with medical and psychological help, I put my girls on a diet which improved their (all our) lives and mood – even though by doing so many people take me for a health-freak.
I support my kids in their plans and dreams and I try to steer them when needed into what I believe is the right direction. I play with them. We run together and I am for them whenever they need me, and when they want to do something independent I move away (at least I try) .
Why did I ask a question about being a “good mother” to myself?
Two days ago my girls went for their first summer camp away from me. To register for this we received advance paperwork to fill in with basic data and there were some questions about the child. We were asked to write letters to kids for each day. I wanted them to feel that I’m thinking of them, so I put in some memories of when they were little and also I made up a little serial story for each of them which developed over the five letters. That was all fun and quite hard work. It wasn’t the thing which prompted a moment of pride which made me think maybe I qualify as a “Good Mother”.
In the registration package was a questionnaire about what they like to do, how they react to stress, what they don’t like, what they’re afraid of and so on. I wrote long answers to every question very easily. I felt that I was prepared for the camp, not because I wrote the answers but because I knew them. It was a moment I realised I know my children. Over breakfast before dropping them to camp, I read the answers to them and they were both nodding “Yes that’s me.”
When we were standing in the queue at the camp to register children I heard parents discussing these questions. I realised that there were some parents who didn’t know what to write about their children. That was my proud moment. I know my children and it makes me a good mother.