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What makes you think you're a half decent / good mum?

80 replies

screamer1 · 04/06/2019 08:51

Just wondering what things you do / qualities that you have that make you think you're doing a good job. I'm not talking one off special event type stuff, but the day to day things that basically mean your kids have a happy life.

Just wondering this after a bit of a crisis of confidence!

OP posts:
bitchfromhell · 04/06/2019 09:05

I know all the words to 'wheels on the bus'. I especially like the 'mummies on the bus losing the will to live' verse.
I can also bounce to bouncy chair whilst drinking coffee AND mumsnetting,
I am mother hear me roar.

Andonandonan · 04/06/2019 09:11

That I’m there for them, I guess. They’re cared for, happy and healthy and know they have parents who love, like and are interested in them.

At the same time they have solid boundaries, consistent routines and so are safe and secure. We’re their parents, not their friends - so they can absolutely trust us to have their backs but that doesn’t mean we’ll always rush in and save them. A big thing for me is that they have the chance to make mistakes and learn from them / learn how to fix them.

I mean, there are days when we all want to kill each other, where they watch tv & eat way too much junk food but it’s balance, isn’t it? Trying to be ‘perfect’ all the time is probably worse in the long term than being yourself and being human (assuming all basic needs are met, including emotional ones).

I work with a lot of families who don’t do / can’t manage the basics. Being confronted with those differences is quite useful for helping me see that we’re doing ok / how lucky my dc are.

SnuggyBuggy · 04/06/2019 09:12

I've kept her alive better than my plants.

Andonandonan · 04/06/2019 09:14

Aargh that lucky bit sounds really big-headed. I don’t mean it like that. More that it helps me see that those mistakes I spend ages agonising over - we’re all making them, and my kids are lucky they know who’s picking them up from school each day and that there will be dinner to eat later on and someone to read them a story.

Andonandonan · 04/06/2019 09:15

And I’m lucky I can give them those things.

BetterEatCheese · 04/06/2019 09:16

I like to try and really listen to my dd as much as I can. She talks a lot about everything and I sometimes zone out. Trying to remember to really listen and seeing her face light up when she realises I'm right there in the moment with her makes me feel like I've got it.

Mum2girl2015 · 04/06/2019 09:17

I find my 3 year old is happiest when either watching tv 🤭 or drawing/colouring .... honestly though just knowing not just her but her younger sister are still alive means that I’m at least doing an ok job in that sense .... don’t be too hard on yourself poster motherhood is hard enough as it is

AnneOfCleavage · 04/06/2019 09:20

It's really just little things to be honest eg:

Reading a story whilst they have a soak in the bath (eczema sufferer)
Cutting the sandwiches into what they request eg triangles or with cookie cutters not just into squares
Dancing around the kitchen when they move up a reading band
Putting something special in their lunchbox on a Friday (I put in a smoothie carton of drink)
Bringing snacks at school pick up: ice pops on really hot days always go down well
Mealtimes round the table with conversation so a lap tray dinner on occasion is a real treat and you are a cool mum
Pancakes for breakfast as a treat
Cooking favourite meals on SATS week or assessment weeks
Putting little notes in their lunchbox to wish them good luck on a test or happy birthday confetti on their bday or a Christmas serviette etc

sar302 · 04/06/2019 09:22

I don't have many natural "mothering" qualities, so I try really hard. I'm a SAHM through choice, but I don't always think I'm very good at it.

But I have a good sense of humour, and I can make my toddler laugh til he cries. And we laugh every day. The other day we did that thing where you laugh together about something, look away, and then when you look at each other again, you both burst out laughing again. He's only 18 months old, but he's going to have a cracking sense of humour, and that'll be down to me :)

IVEgottheDECAF · 04/06/2019 09:22

I am often complemented on the dcs good behaviour. They have consistent boundaries and know the consequences for their actions. I do not make false threats. The older three are making good progress at school, teachers praise them for being kind to others.

anitagreen · 04/06/2019 09:22

My children tell me twice a day that they love me and I'm their best friend hero what ever that means but I love it because it's their own words to me, my parents never showed me any love at all as a small child to even now if I used to ask them for a cuddle they'd tap my back and say there you go.
When I had my own I promised myself I'd always make them feel loved no matter how hard the days been etc because growing up to me without that was fucking hard.
Another one that makes me think I'm an alright mum is that I listen to them even when I feel like smashing my head off a wall because the sobbing is so loud no matter how minor it is I'll just listen to them as again no one would listen to me.

QforCucumber · 04/06/2019 09:25

It's nothing I do, but the fact that my DS comes to me and says that he 'needs a mummy hug' , a lot of the time I need that hug more than him. It's what he does which makes me remember I'm a good mum.

elQuintoConyo · 04/06/2019 09:25

I caved in to KFC after his rugby match last weekend [nailing it]

He has a lot of freedom, he has solid boundaries, we get him to socialise as much as possible (e.g. Don't miss a party just cos we can't be arsed!), he has time to himself to fill with Lego and giant cardboard box fun. I make him heart-shaped biscuits for his mid-morning school snack, I sew him stuff (toys, bags, costumes, sleeping bag for his favourite bear!).

We do lots of outdoor stuff together and let him cheat at boardgames Grinrather

But I am very, very shit in other ways and truly winging it Sad

Milicentbystander72 · 04/06/2019 09:29

I have teens. Some days are better than others Grin.

Im normally at home when they get home from school. They come to me immediately and talk to me about their day. Sometimes hardly anything has happened and sometimes lots. I love the fact they talk to me, although sometimes I can feel over-loaded.

I cook for them most nights, although the eldest has begun to cook the odd evening meal herself.

I drive them around to do their hobbies and facilitate their social life (we live rurally). I'm active at school, a school governor.

Really, I'm generally interested in what they're interested in. My eldest recommends tv dramas to me and we'll sometimes watch together and discuss.

I nag them to revise and do homework!

Tell them (and show them) I love them all the time - Hugs, kisses and general interest in what they gave to say.

I'm not perfect at all and done days we really get on each other's nerves. I have no idea what makes a 'good' mum. I hope that I'm good enough for them.

PrincessSarene · 04/06/2019 09:30

Because I often worry whether I am actually doing a good job! I figure if I didn’t worry it would mean I didn’t care as much.

But more practically, spending time being involved with them in what they’re doing at the time, whether that’s playing a game, drawing or whatever. And always being there for a kiss and a cuddle. Not being afraid to say “I love you”. But also yes to the setting boundaries and sticking to them.

TheGirlWhoLived · 04/06/2019 09:33

When dc achieve something that they are proud of, no matter how big or small then I always congratulate them and give them a big compliment. When they are older then they will always know (as I always have) that no matter where they are in the world, or what has happened, or what time it is, or how much trouble/strife they are in, or how much we have spoken recently.... there is nowhere that I would not come and get them. If they needed me then I would find a way to get there.

AlyssasBackRolls · 04/06/2019 09:33

I get motherly pleasure from simple stuff like a little predictable routine, like getting my children out the door in the morning, clean, fed, in clean uniform, bags packed and waved off with a smile. We have never been late in 9 years of school run helps that we live on the same road as the school
Grin Now my eldest leaves for secondary on the dot of 8 and I'm chuffed he's carrying on our calm little morning routine. I'm not naturally organised but somehow getting the day off on the right foot makes me feel like I can do something right!

I think it stems from childhood where mornings were chaos and people arguing and slamming doors as they left and I just wanted to swerve all of that.

I also try to remember to ask them what they think and not trying to undermine their feelings. My son was upset at leisure centre as he'd got water on his shorts so it looked like he'd peed himself but it was barely noticeable. I was telling him not to be silly and getting cross but his face crumpled and I remembered he's really self-conscious about how he looks in general and hasn't the best confidence. So big hug and I let him sit out with me and I said I had been annoyed as the session was only an hour but that I remembered how he felt about things like that. So don't always get it right but try! I love Phillipa Perry btw she's got some lovely approaches to parenting.

Newmumma83 · 04/06/2019 09:35

6 months in , I have learnt nursery rhymes.

I spend time making healthy yet tasty dinners for him

We have his just us time he is clean and his clothes are too

I hunt high and low for good deals so he can have as much of what he needs and probably doesn’t as we can afford

I talk to him everyday and sing everyday non stop almost he now says hi, hello, yeah, no, mumma and dadda! That’s our hard work ( mummy daddy and baby paying off )

We go out and visit family 5-6 days of the week... he will have close ties with his family and he loves them all
Already ... he loves being out .. I also do play group once a week even though it not my cup of tea.

His daddy went swimming with us even though he hates the water ❤️ Baby takes after me.

He is alive ... but everyday I feel guilty when I have to hang washing out.. I need to cook dinner / mow the lawn / get dressed / go to the loo and it makes him sad ( he is pretty good but some days are bad days )

I feel I should do more us time but sometimes I need to nap with him
Which means I do some jobs while he is awake ... he doesn’t always nap well
And his nights have not been great last two weeks.

I am exhausted

SolitudeAtAltitude · 04/06/2019 09:36

My teen DS just told me that one of his best childhood memories is of him and me singing along to trashy pop songs in the car.

Kids are funny, I was always a pretty hands off mum (would take them to the park, but would not go down the slide with them iyswim) but they like you being there in the background.

I don't think you need to strive for amazing or good, just good-enough and generally sympathetic/calm goes a long way

I hope Grin

prampushingdownthehighst · 04/06/2019 09:40

They have travelled great distances to visit me on my birthday.
Must have done something right over the years?

ThorosOfMyr · 04/06/2019 09:42

That my DC feel completely happy to come and talk to me about anything that worries them. In fact, I am the first person they think of to speak to. Long may it last!

LuannC · 04/06/2019 09:45

Honestly? As long as they've been fed, had a drink, washed, dressed, cleaned teeth, done hair then that's all that really matters apart from the genuine love you give them!

Ds always says "mumma I love you, you're the best" when I help him with something simple like finding a toy or guiding him how to use the remote to find what he wants on Netflix.
Dd wakes me up with her lips pressed on mine and if I'm up before her she'll come and find me for a cuddle. To me, that's me doing a good job!

I am also quite proud of the sibling bond they have (2.4yrs difference) and they both share toys, games, food and drinks with each other!

Londonline1 · 04/06/2019 09:46

@sar302 that actually made me tear up. I'm pregnant which may have contributed, but that's bloody lovely.

I have these crises a lot, OP. One thing that reassures me I'm doing ok is that DD will occasionally give me some critical feedback 😂 ("Mummy, you are speaking over me" or "Mummy, I don't like it when you use that firm voice"). To me, that means she's secure and she's not nervous about making her voice heard when she's unhappy.

NotEnoughTime · 04/06/2019 09:48

This is a lovely thread Smile
I try my best to be a good (enough) Mum. I will never be perfect but I will keep on trying.
I like to think I listen to my DC, value their opinions, compromise when I can. I love spending one on one time with them which I think (hope!) they enjoy too.
I tell them often that I love them and how proud I am of them.

ExpletiveDelighted · 04/06/2019 09:51

Mine are teenagers. I try and learn from my mistakes (there have been times when I've shouted, said things I shouldn't, made the wrong call on something, many times in fact). I look at what it was that caused these things to happen and try to change them to help in future, or at least learn what decision to make for next time. I also apologise if I was in the wrong and explain why. I try and describe the behaviour not the person (eg DC has strong likes and dislikes rather than calling them fussy eaters)

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