What makes a good mum?

I was thinking about this recently, having had a bit of a stressy time with the boys over the extended Christmas holidays. I do try to keep my cool with them, but it’s not always easy, so I was wondering what exactly makes a good mum?

Is it the “stepford wife” who cooks everything from scratch, keeps the house in perfect order and still has time to whip up brownies at a moment’s notice?

Is it the disciplinarian mum who’s children behave perfectly all the time, never have more than one toy out at a time, and are able to play quietly?

Is it the sycophantic mum who spends all day keeping her children happy, doing what they want to do and playing with them at their request?

I am under no pretences that I am far from a perfect mum. I am prone to shoutiness, and lost patience far more often than I would like. I would love to be the kind of mum who keeps a supply of craft materials on hand and can rustle up a perfect papier mache model, that Blue Peter would be proud of, at the drop of a hat.

But sadly I am not.

I am more the “make a den out of an old blanket and the clothes horse” rainy day kind of mum. Or the, “let’s have a wii tournament” sort. We play games, and we go splashing in puddles, but I would love to be a more relaxed mummy, and let go of the mucky footprints on the carpet, and not care about the glitter on the floor. I would love to have beautifully behaved children who never needed to be told to stop shouting at each other, or to put their toys away.

I wish I was a better mum, but instead I just try to be the best I can. My dad once told me that the time to worry about not being a good enough mum, is when you stop worrying that you are good enough. I like that advice.

What would your best tip be on how to be a good mum?

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9 thoughts on “What makes a good mum?

  1. I think the key to being a great mum is to go with the flow and also to know when to ask for help. Parenting/mothering is tough, and sometimes we need help whether it be when little one is poorly, or doing things we don’t understand, or we are over our heads.

    Great post, and I am sure you are a great mum, I’d love a lets make a den type mum! My mum got dad to do all that with us!

  2. Rebecca Watson says:

    I think you’re a great Mummy Claire! My Mum wasn’t an ideal Mum when I was a kid; my Sister died when I was young and Mum was very depressed so I didn’t get a lot of the care I should have sadly. When I see Mums like you, who do so much for their children it really does fill me with the confidence to know that when my time comes I will have good role models to follow!

    I’m not saying my Mum didn’t do her best, bless her but I wish she’d have been more like you are with your little uns 🙂 Keep up the good work – it’s never easy being a Mum but rest assured, you’re doing an amazing job! X

  3. Michelle Thompson says:

    To me the perfect mum is someone like you who does the best she can with the tools and skills she has. We learn by our mistakes, and our children learn by there’s and ours. If we don’t let our children run riot every once in a while, then they will never learn the lessons we have learned.
    I am by no means a perfect mum but I’m happier 4 it. Yes there are times when Josh has me in tears of frustration but his smile or the new things he learns makes up 4 that 100 to 1. I’ve seen the stepford mums and there children will never know the happiness of jumping in a muddy puddle or the little bit of happiness from doing something naughty and getting away with it (or at least thinking you have).
    I’m a mummy who makes it up as I go along and that’s how it should be.

    • Claire says:

      Love the letting them think they have got away with something. This Christmas Ben and Josh both learnt the delights of searching for Christmas presents, and thinking I didn’t know – a milestone in childhood (and parenting) I think.

  4. Million dollar question, I have no idea what makes a good mother, but I think that by trying to find answer makes you good. The fact that you have stopped to ask the question – I think that the word ‘consideration’ covers a lot of what it takes to be a good mother. Who knows – I guess we all try to do what we think is best at the time.

  5. What a fab post Claire! If you get a chance look at my WAHM guilt post today – it touches a bit on feeling like we have to do everything and be everything. I think if you are worrying about whether or not you are a good enough Mum, then you already are.. you wouldn’t think about it otherwise.

    Incidently, I have a friend who would lose the plot with anything art and craft related (or messy really) in her house, and is most happy for her brood to enjoy that sort of stuff at school “where it belongs”. That might sound off to some but she is one of the best Mums you will ever meet, and her kids are very lucky (and bless them, seem to know it!). My point it, it’s not doing everything… it’s doing what you do well and enjoying it.

    (And I think your boys are very lucky themselves) x

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