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I’m a good mom
September 30, 2010 4:50 pm | by

This morning, a stranger told me I was a good mom and it made my day.

Each morning, I wait with my boys for the school bus. Our neighborhood is filled with early morning walkers, most past their parenting years. One of my sons was on the ground investigating something on the sidewalk. A walker approached and I shouted, “MOVE!” The polite walker said, “Oh it’s okay.” Not wanting to seem an overbearing mom, I replied, “We’re trying to teach him awareness of others.”
Little did I know that statement would spark a five minute conversation. I discovered my neighbor was a retired 4th grade teacher. In her opinion, awareness of others and basic social skills are just as important as academics. She shared some things she’d encountered in her years in the classroom and reassured me it’s never too early to start teaching good manners. Our conversation ended as she said, “You’re a good mom. Keep up the good work!” She popped her earbud back in, turned and resumed her power walk.
My neighbor had no idea three days ago, I’d taken my children to the pediatrician with claws for nails and scratch marked arms from a recent brotherly tangle. She couldn’t have known my husband found a cup of spoiled milk in my minivan when we swapped cars yesterday. I hope she couldn’t see the toys strewn on the floor from our front windows. She had no idea of my recent mom failures.
What she could see was that I was a mom that cared enough for my children to invest in what I believe will make them the best people they can be. My daughter may have wild, uncombed hair in public, but love, manners and concern for others are drilled into my children. That’s what is important to our family. That was enough for her to deem me a “good mom”.
I feel I have pretty good parenting self-esteem. I work hard not to compare my family too much to other families. I was surprised at how much her simple positive comment reassured and fortified me. It also made me realize I need to be more purposeful in supporting and encouraging other parents as well.
Have you encouraged a good mom or dad lately? Share your story, I need some ideas.

About the Author

Heather is mom to four, born within 40 months (single, twins, single). She writes transparently about her chaotic household to encourage others through the twists and turns of parenting.



  • Sofia said...
    October 17, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Whenever I see a mother struggling to make it all work out, I give them kudos. Often times moms do not hear any positive support from those whose lives they try and make better. It’s a terribly rewarding job but one that can really take it’s toll. A little “thanks” once in awhile will make a Mom feel like a million bucks!

  • ricajean_02 said...
    October 6, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    I have had a home daycare for three years now and being in the military I have seen many parents and children come and go. I have seen so many parents some good and some that still have a lot to learn. But you can tell what children have good parents but the way they act and the things they value (The parents) and ask of you for the care for their children. I alway make it a point to tell those parents what a good job they are doing and what great children they are raising. With our husbands gone for 7 months at a time it is often way to easy to get cought up in our children and forget to take a min for our selves to sit back and give our selves a pat on the back and say I am doing a good job and often days it feels like your not or you could be doing better for them or by them because your time is so monopolized by keeping up with the day to day its hard to find the time to have with each child or a min a sec or anytime for yourself. So I always try to tell my parents you are great keep your head up and if you ever need a min I am here because we often dont have family to fall back on all we have is each other. My husbands grandfather who never say anything ever called me the other day to tell me he thinks i am a great mom and my children are blessed it made me feel so good to know someone thinks I am doing right by them. I know it made my day and only takes a sec to make someones elses day by letting them know you think they are doing good.

  • Nichole said...
    October 3, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    I also pretty much gave up my outside life when becoming a mom but I’m working on at least getting a little “me” time. Just joined the YMCA recently and their two hours of free babysitting per day is a godsend. We’ve only ever used it for about an hour but sometimes that’s the only alone time I get. 🙂

  • Nichole said...
    October 3, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    I think it’s wonderful when someone gives you a compliment. Most of the time we moms are overlooked and definitely taken for granted. I work a little on the side (writing resumes), I’m studying about 70 hours a week on my Medical Transcription course (plus an additional few hours on a credentialing exam coming up), cloth diapering, running a household, including our finances, running a meetup group, trying to get in some exercise, and a lot of the time it all gets overlooked.

    I got a negative comment the other day from a family member and it was quite hurtful. She said I have it easy since I have my husband around. Yes, my husband is around and he helps out whenever possible, but he also works 70-80 hours a week to make ends meet.

    I’d love to hear that I’m a great mom just once. My husband tells me, but that’s because he sees what I go through day-to-day and he truly appreciates it. It’s not always easy to take breaks and just sit and play with the boys and teach them, but I also always make time for them and make them a priority. I guess we’re just meant to have like 6 full-time jobs!

  • Anna said...
    October 1, 2010 at 9:42 am

    I recently had an encounter with a young mother who was sitting on a bench in a park seemingly getting ready to nurse her child. She looked at me, looked around, and I could tell from my own personal experience with nervousness with regard to nursing in public, that this is what she was talking herself into doing. I walked past her and said “Isn’t it a lovely day to nurse outside?” She let out a deep breath and said that she was thinking of going into her car but it is so pretty outside and she didn’t want to hide. I agreed with her that it was too pretty outside and that nursing in the cool air would be great for her and for her new baby. As we walked by again a few minutes later she was sitting quietly, nursing her child in public. I could literally feel the connection to her as a mother and hope that she felt that much more comfortable the next time she needed to feed her baby in public.
    It truely is amazing how much we as mothers can support each other if we just open our mouths and do it. Thanks for sharing your story!

  • dannyscotland said...
    September 30, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    I’m a teacher too. I wish more parents would teach their children awareness of others, empathy, and basic manners. These are becoming lost. Way to go, Good Mom!

  • Margaret Zamudio said...
    September 30, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    You are a good mom Heather. And a cool person to know on top of that. Kudos to you!!!