Sunday, October 24, 2010

“You’re a Great Mommy” by Cyma Shapiro

My son said I’m a great mommy the other day. I was stunned. I can’t ever remember telling my own mother that; I’m not even sure what that means. So, I set out to investigate by asking him. He responded by telling me that I make him good sandwiches, give him good food, play with him, and go to school with him. I responded by telling him that he’s a good son – he’s cute, charming, sweet, loving, smart and just an overall good kid. After big hugs, I walked away.

Now, I’m on a quest to find what really does make a good mommy.  I think I might write a few more blogs on the subject. To start, here are a few on-the-street comments (ok, most of these people are my friends):

For me, a great Mommy is one who can put aside her own wishes for who her child will be, in order to listen to, and nurture, the person the child really IS.IP

A great mommy drops what she's doing to answer a question, or stops cooking or cleaning or fussing to play. In the words of Anna Quindlen, "I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less." – JH

The person in your child's life who will stop whatever needs to be finished to just sit down, legs crossed, and watch ants march in single file from the sidewalk to your garage...for an hour. 

The one person who will wear her hair in the style (to work) that your five year has coifed...butterfly burettes and all. 

The one person who will lay beside her son in his single bed and watch him throughout the night...making sure his fever isn't so high that he doesn't have another seizure. 

The one person who loves so hard, that the first waking thought she has is their welfare and their future and the last thought she has before slumber is the blessing it is to be their mom. - KR

A good mommy is patient – AV
A good mother is one who respects her child as the individual he/she is. 
She listens, although may not agree on certain issues and will discuss why she doesn't agree. A good mommy will not demand that certain things be done only HER way, or not at all. A good mommy will never spank her child or yell rudely or condescendingly towards her child. A good mommy will show and verbalize the love she has for her child, no matter what the circumstance.
That's only the beginning of what a good Mommy is...CM
Flexibility makes a good Mommy. Your expectations and approach to parenting needs to be flexible. Physical dexterity helps too…I once nursed my screaming infant daughter in a traffic jam on the Bourne Bridge without unbuckling my seatbelt or her car seat. Thank god I didn’t have to drive too. - MF
T. Suzanne Eller, contributor to, outlined her thoughts in the article,  “Three Principles Every Mom Should Know” 
  • Moms can’t be afraid to ask for help. 
  • Moms will sometimes make mistakes, but we can learn from them. 
  • Moms must nurture the nurturer
I love this last one the most. She explains, “The last key to providing a loving home is to nurture yourself along the way.” I love that word, NURTURE.
According to Anonymous and several other contributors on wikihow, the following list applies:
Be patient. Being a mother is a little challenging sometimes, especially if you have a son. But keep your cool and try to stay patient. Try this approach to other problems. Stay calm, explain the practical reasons not to do something, and then why YOU don't want them to do something. 
Take an interest in your child's interests. If your son likes music buy him a guitar and watch him play. Ask questions, like what is your favorite type of music, what is your favorite song, etc. If your daughter is interested in fashion, take her out for a shopping spree. Ask her what her favorite thing about fashion is. Don't be afraid to ask just don't be pushy.
Don't be tight about money. Okay, so blowing money day after day isn't the best thing to do, but don't automatically say no to everything your kid asks for. If you always say no and follow this with a lecture about saving money, you will be known as the "Tight Parent", the one who never buys anything. Buy something small every now and then.  
Make sure you are an approachable person to talk to. Try your hardest to always be understanding and a good listener. Knowing that they can go to their mom for friendship advice, information on puberty, homework help, or just a hug goes a long way for kids. Not having someone they can talk to can cause kids to retire into a shell, so make sure you talk to them about how they feel regularly. 
Be supportive, and never laugh at your kid’s hobbies, interests or friends. So, your daughter doesn't want to study medicine and become a doctor? Don't get angry, this is your child's life and they can make some of their own decisions. Understand that it's okay if your child thinks differently from you. Don't get mad because they have a different opinion to you, or your son wants to become an engineer and not a doctor. Don't laugh at them, or their friends. Who cares if you daughter listens to hip hop music and wears too much eyeliner? She's still your daughter. And so what if your son is friends with a guy who speaks in a funny accent or who has a different skin color? You might not do what your kids do, but that is their decision, not yours. You have a big impact on their lives already-you choose what school they go to, when they eat dinner, the amount of allowance they get a week. Don't overdo it. 
Be able to admit that something you did may have been wrong and don't be afraid to apologize. It might be hard, but it's better for everyone if you just admit to your mistakes and apologize. It saves everyone the trouble of being mad that you're being stubborn and teaches your kids that it's okay to make mistakes, as well as the importance of an apology. Simply calm yourself, evaluate the situation, determine what you did wrong and why. Then apologize and explain how or why you acted the way you did. 
Respect your child’s love for the other parents. You cannot be jealous of your child loving your husband or ex-husband. 
Stacey in her Blog, Is there a Mommy out there? posted this:
Quite often, the comments here, which I love and adore, which make my day and make me laugh and make me think and introduce me to new lives and stories all over the world, frequently these comments - you - tell me that I'm a good mother. That I care. That I am perceptive with my kids. That I have good ideas.

And quite often, I try and I am and I do.

But, it is easy, in all honesty, to be perceptive and loving on paper. On blog, I guess I should say. 
It would be a sweet story. True in its own right and so incomplete. So there you go, I give you the ugly underbelly, the moment before the moment. Because you know what, I am still a good mother. I am just not a perfect one. 

And, Jill Smokler in her Blog, Scary Mommy, writes the following – a testament to how far good mommys often go:
For the first five years of my children’s lives, I baked all of their birthday cakes. Come to think of it, baked is not an adequate word; I slaved over their birthday cakes. Poured my blood, sweat and tears into cake pans time and time again. I am not a natural baker and the process made me far more miserable than happy, but the hours I spent creating them was a proof positive of my undying love for my kids. Good mothers bake their own cakes, so bake the cakes, I would, dammit.

So, there you have it. I think, in part, that being a good mommy is in the eye of the beholder. I also think that love, nurturing, respect and support go a long way in parenting children.  In all cases, I’ll take my childrens’ compliments, any day.

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