Saturday, April 28, 2007

Good Mom Definition

I often think about motherhood today compared to motherhood when I was a child and even longer ago than that. My mom told me today that Mother's Day is not one of the most important holidays to her because just birthing a child does not mean you are a good mom. Of course, not. As my mom put it, "cats have lots of babies." It got me thinking: what makes a good mom? What do you think?

Is a good mom the one who puts her career on hold so that she can stay at home with the kids until they are required by the state to go to school? Or is a good mom the one who works full- or part-time (outside the home, I mean) to help pay the bills and provide for her children?

It's not that simple. I know a few stay-at-home moms. One elementary-school-age daughter told me that her mom is constantly on the phone & doesn't have time for the kids. Surprising words from an 8 year old. I think a good mom is the one who is NOT so preoccupied with her corporate job OR socializing beyond the house. A good mom is the one who doesn't miss opportunities to play Thomas the Train and Care Bears.. even if that means climbing on the floor in her newly pressed slacks and button-down shirt to climb through the playhouse door. (I can barely fit through that door, but it makes Little K laugh with glee. I better stick to my strict eating regimen or I'll get stuck.) Somehow I think a good mom is able to rely some on others to help her through the week, while keeping her child/children a top priority. It's a fine line between relying on help and having someone else raise your child.

In the end, we all make the best decisions we can. As if we don't have enough to worry about: from the right elementary school to another episode of child stalkers on 20/20 to potty training to college applications. At some point, I think we all realize that if it wasn't for that overwhelming love for our children, we wouldn't have to make some of those tough decisions about life. Can you look your child in his/her eyes and feel like you're trying to be a good role model -- however you define that? Good job.

Until the next nap time...