If you’re doing these 11 things, you’re a better mom than you think

Let’s get this straight right off the bat – motherhood isn’t for the weak. It’s a role filled with so much joy, but also, let’s get real, a ton of struggles and challenges. 

I became a mom back in my early twenties. I was still doing some growing up myself, so you can imagine how nerve-wracking the idea of raising a little human was for me. 

I questioned myself every step of the way. At night, I’d look at my sleeping child and feel sorry for him that he had a mom who didn’t really know what she was doing. 

But you know what? Once he hit his teens, he told me, “I’m so glad that I’ve got a cool mom.” (Yes, hold onto your seats – a real live teenager said that out loud to his mother’s face!)

My point is, we moms are often too hard on ourselves. We often need someone else to point out how we’re actually doing well. 

So if you’re needing a little reassurance, here are 11 things that show you’re a better mom than you think. 

1) You let your child fail

There are different kinds of moms – the prim and proper, the Type-A, the free-spirited, the lone wolf, the professorial, the super friendly…

Moms come in all sizes and shapes but there’s one thing we all have in common – we hate seeing our kids fail. 

In fact, some moms hate it so much that they hover, earning themselves the moniker “helicopter mom”.

Which, unfortunately, is one of the most counterproductive things you can do as a mom

The hard truth is, kids learn through failure. Just like everyone else. It just feels more painful for us because, well, we’re their mom!

According to Bright Horizons, when we let our kids fail, we teach them resilience and social and emotional skills. Which will then help them be confident and capable adults.

That’s why, if you can push past the fear of your child failing and give them time for trial and error, you’re a better mom than you think. 

2) Your go-to approach is encouragement

Following on from that, what’s your response when your child does fail? 

If it’s encouragement instead of criticism, you’re a better mom than you think. You’re developing a healthy sense of self-esteem in your child. 

Actually, even with success, child experts encourage encouragement (see what I did there?) instead of praise. 

A very thin line between those two, though. Here’s what it would look like: 

Praise: “Wow, you’re so smart!”

Encouragement: “Wow, you worked really hard on this. You must be so proud of yourself!” 

See the difference? Praise focuses on quality or end result; encouragement focuses on effort. 

Now here’s why it matters: 

Praise trains a child to be dependent on approval because it’s judgmental in nature. Encouragement isn’t – it’s simply supportive and trains a child to be self-sufficient and independent.

This brings me to my next point..

3) You give your child their own set of responsibilities

Part of training your child to be independent is to teach them responsibility. 

I started giving my child tasks to do when he turned two, as soon as I could see that he understood the concept. It was nothing big, just made him pack up his toys after using them. 

As he grew older, his responsibilities extended to a bigger sphere. Aside from putting his clothes in the hamper and brushing his teeth on his own, I began involving him in the care of our golden retriever and in the plants we had in our garden. 

Moms often think that the definition of a perfect mother is one who does everything for their child. 

I totally get that. But the thing is, if you do that, they won’t learn how to be responsible. They’d grow up expecting you to pick up after them and make sure their every need is met forever. 

So, if you know how to step back and give your child their own set of tasks or chores, that’s another sign you’re being a smart mom! 

4) You hold your child accountable

The natural consequence of teaching your child responsibility is that they also learn accountability. 

And that’s important. Imagine a world where all of us were blaming each other and never owning up to our mistakes. 

Or let’s get a little more personal: Imagine your child going around hurting people and breaking their promises. 

Do you cringe at that thought? Then you’re already a better mom than you think. 

Holding your child accountable teaches them that it’s never okay to blame others for what they do. It teaches them the value of apologizing and trying to do better next time. 

In a larger sense, you’re helping them to grow up to be a good person who’s mindful of how their words and actions can affect others. 

pic1895 If you're doing these 11 things, you're a better mom than you think

5) You provide a routine

We’ve all got different parenting styles. Like I said, there are all sorts of moms. 

But no matter how you roll, one thing is certain – your child should have a routine. 

Why? 

Because stability is a core need in childhood. Routines provide structure, which gives kids a sense of safety and predictability. 

So yeah, your kids might balk at the schedule and rules you set for them, but trust me, you’re being a better mom than you think. They don’t know what chaos awaits them if they didn’t have you setting that routine for them!

6) You limit screen time

Speaking of rules, do you give your child free rein over their screen time? 

Or do you set a limit on it? 

If you answered yes to the second question, I’m sending you a virtual hug because I know how hard that is. You’re the monster mom who doesn’t even care that they’re almost at the next level of their game! 

Well, fellow “monster mom”, you know you’re not really, right? You’re just looking out for your child because you know the damage too much screen time can do on their growing brain

7) You’re consistent

Just like structure, consistency is a priority in parenting. Think about it – if the rules are kinda wishy-washy, you can’t blame your child if they get confused. 

“How come I can’t go out and play today? You said it was fine yesterday!”

“Why can Charlie eat in his room but I can’t?”

Chaotic, huh? Which reminds me, consistency benefits parents as well – less temper tantrums, less arguing, less bargaining…what mom doesn’t want that? 

The Parenting Assistance Line at the University of Alabama states, “Inconsistent parenting causes confusion, poor self esteem and oftentimes very negative values.”

That said, flexibility is also important, as the next section shows…

8) You’re flexible

Okay, I hear you – we must be consistent but also flexible? I mean, how do you know when to bend a bit? It’s all so confusing!

Well, I did say motherhood (or fatherhood, for that matter) isn’t for the weak, right? 

It’s really tricky to nail that balance. On one hand, you don’t want to be an authoritarian parent who can never be contradicted. That’s a surefire way to alienate your kids or make them unsure and scared of you. 

On the other hand, you don’t want to be letting them walk all over you. 

What helped me strike a good balance was to recognize that my child is a person with his own ideas and sense of individuality, little though he may be. He’s not a robot I can manipulate on command. 

When you view your child as a whole person, it becomes easier to understand when flexibility is needed. 

If you take the time to: 

  • Listen to your child
  • Understand their perspective
  • Make decisions that respect both their individuality and the boundaries you want…

…you’re being a wise and excellent mom! 

9) You get to know your kids’ friends

Why is this a sign that you’re a better mom than you think? 

It’s pretty simple. It points to how involved you are in your child’s life. 

It shows you care enough to take the time to protect your child from possible negative influences. 

And if your child is a teen and they voluntarily introduce their friends to you? Oh, you’re golden. 

It means you have a good relationship with your child and they feel safe and comfortable enough with you to let you into their outside world. 

10) You’re present and intentional 

When it comes to parenting, it’s not the ones who can shower their kids with expensive gifts who are actually doing a great job. 

It’s the ones who shower them with the most precious gift of all – their presence. Quality time. Full attention. 

Costs nothing, yet brings great rewards. 

When I look back at my own childhood, what I remember most are the times my mom was there for me. 

I’m sure that’s what your child will remember most about you, too. 

11) You’re reading this article

Yup, that’s right. The fact that you’re here today reading this is a sign that you’re a better mom than you think. 

You know why? Because you want to do better. Any parent who wants to know how they can do better is already being a great parent. Or at very least, trying to be. 

See, not everyone can do that. Not everyone can recognize that they need to do better. 

Great parents question themselves. They’re aware of their own strengths and weaknesses. And that pushes them to seek better ways to raise their kids.

If that sounds like you, then please give yourself some credit. You’re doing the best you can, and you will reap those good seeds someday when you see your child doing well on their own. 

Picture of Roselle Umlas

Roselle Umlas

I am a freelance writer with a lifelong interest in helping people become more reflective and self-aware so that they can communicate better and enjoy meaningful relationships.

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