Am I a good mom?

Bebe - posted on 10/16/2012 ( 23 moms have responded )

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I know I'm not the world's best. I've made mistakes. I know that I'm not the most clever, imaginative, or sometimes even the most on top of it. But, I put my kids first and I try. I'm constantly thinking about how what I do will shape my kids. I try and give them as many experiences as I can afford. My kids are fed, clothed, clean, and loved. They know they are loved. We believe in respecting their individual personalities, rather than squashing them on the road to helping them become who they'll be. Are my kids perfect? Hell no! My kids sometimes misbehave. My kids occasionally get upset and have a fit. And, what I'm told by the extended family around me when these things happen is stuff like

"My kids never behave/behaved that way."

"Well, it might *partly* be his or her teething/being tired/being hungry..."

During a rough patch that my one child was having a while back (tantrums, etc.), one of those same family members flat out refused to be around us one weekend.

I was most recently commented on--in a passive-aggressive way--because I mentioned that one of my children is having trouble sleeping in their own bed lately. We recently moved and since the move, this child wants to sleep with us about half the time. We're working with them on it. So, when I made this brief comment, the two extended family members exchanged looks, smirks, and I then heard:

"Do your kids know how to sleep in their own beds?"

"Our kids *never* slept in our room unless they were sick."

I felt kind of deflated after that.

I hear from my parents every-so-often about what a great parent my sibling is. I don't ever hear the same about me. Well, once, I was told that I'm a loving mom--and how they were pleasantly surprised by that. Again, it's deflating. It hurts my mom-esteem. Or, am I just a subpar mom and I don't even realize it?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Janelle - posted on 10/21/2012

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You know what B? I never realised how political parenting can be until I had my own kids! People turn it into a comparison/competition game. It gives me the shits when I see this. The only way you know you are a good parent is when your conscious tell you! Trust your instincts. Society at times is making people doubt themselves. People are so quick to attack and judge other parents. (Yes and I do appreciate the families and individuals that support others , like this site) but the judging is rife today. People just need to hold back and accept that people have their own way of parenting. Everything you mention above is really loving and responsible parenting. No worries there. Besides, no parent is perfect so don't try to be one or you will only set yourself up for failure. Kids are not perfect either, they have off days just like everyone else so we can't expect them to be perfect performing monkeys everyday. It is a trial by error experience as kids don't come with instructions or remote control do they? So don't stress this one. You are doing fine. Don't worry about other people's opinions, only you know what goes on in your house hold. Do what feels right for your children because they are no one elses. You are the only one that is in tune with your children's needs. Young kids grow out of wanting to sleep with their mummy and daddys bed (as long this doesn't cause maritial issues!) I don't know any 11 year olds that sleeps in their parents bed! lol Don't give someone else the power to make you feel like a crap parent. You only do if you consent to *their* opinions. Kids who grow up in safe and loving environment is one of the greatest of all starts in life because that sets them up for healthy realationships for the rest of their lives. A lot spins off from that early start. Best of luck.

Michelle - posted on 10/22/2012

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Sounds like the problem is not you or your kids. Some people will just judge you and run you down no matter what. Every child is different. I have a 7 year old whom I have very little trouble with now, but he was a handful when he was younger. There was some things said about him behind my back by my in-laws. It took me a long time to get over it. The thing was they put his cousin up on a pedestal for some reason. But the kid up on the pedestal would kick, push, and is still very disrespectful. And even though I had to stay on mine a lot to make sure he was behaving, he was never allowed to get away with those things. He's one of the sweetest children in the world. So, just do your best. Don't let your kids run all over you, but don't feel like you have to raise them according to someone else's standards either.

Frances - posted on 11/15/2012

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Hi, Bebe. I think the fact that you care to even wonder whether you are doing a good job, is proof that you are trying to be a good mom - you know what I mean? And from what you've said, it doesn't sound like anything atrocious is happening in your house more so than any other. Don't rely on what the family says - what does your children and husband/partner say about how you are raising your kids? How do you feel at the end of the day? In the example you gave - them sleeping with you - do you feel they are sleeping in your bed b/c of bad parenting or b/c they've moved and their going thru a transition? Perhaps sleeping with you makes them feel safe in their new environment. Its funny - I don't know why some people hold having your kids sleep in their own bed as some high mark of parenting. My youngest, who is 7, still climbs in my bed sometime - if her dad's out of town, if its raining, if her sister's getting on her nerves. She feels comfortable there and safe. I hope you don't take all your family's comments too harshly and keep on trying. That's the best any of us can do.

Eileen - posted on 11/03/2012

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This is heartbreaking. You are not a bad mother! You sound very loving and caring. Don't listen to the people that say otherwise, even if they are family,



Some people just ENJOY putting others down, my husband's entire family is like that.

Tracy - posted on 10/24/2012

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1) fed, clothed and educated is all that is really expected from a parent. Anything else you do is a bonus. So, it sounds like you are many points ahead of the curve!



2) Where are these people's children while they are judging you? Chances are that their kids are off doing something they don't know about while you are facing anything your kids do head on.



3) The whole "MY kids never..." argument is SOOO tired. Tell them to get some new material. Maybe THEIR kids never had trouble sleeping in their OWN beds, but do their kids feel comfortable talking to them about anything? Probably not. Oh, and I always loved the "unless they were sick" argument. Try telling them your child is sick - sick of heart because the move has been stressful - and you are mom enough to recognize that not all sicknesses come in the form of coughs and sniffles. (These women would LOVE to hate my house - we allowed co-sleeping in our own bed for the first two YEARS - EVERY NIGHT! *GASP* My daughter just needed the extra time together. When she didn't need it anymore, she went to her room and literally kicked us out.)



4) It sounds like you need to either put these snooty women (?...probably women...) in their place or disregard them altogether. We all have enough judges and juries in our lives, we don't need to hold the door open for them too. If you don't allow them to judge you (or at least VOICE their judgments), they will simply move on to other prey. I held on to a friend for 25 years because I thought I was being unfair to her. Then I really started listening. I hate every word that comes out of her mouth. Not one nice word - even (especially?) about her own children. What is wrong with some people that they have to spend their time breaking things down instead of building things up - especially the things they SAY they care for?



5) FINALLY, be cautious having these people around because your children MAY pick up on their attitude about your mothering. Your children might catch on to their tone if not their words and begin to ride that wagon - questioning if you are right or doubting your authority. Then that would only "prove" these women right by completing the self-fulfilling prophecy of your children being unruly (which I doubt they are more than anyone else's crazy offspring - mine included).



Trust in yourself. When these people are not around, it sounds like you have it all together and are confident in your decisions (as much as any of us are). Don't let them have the power to take that from you. ***hugs***

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23 Comments

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Bebe - posted on 11/20/2012

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Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to all you Moms out there who posted such loving and supportive responses. I've enjoyed reading your takes on my original post. With your encouragement and the passage of time (time being the natural teacher and healer of wounds that it is), I've gained perspective and --dare I say--increased confidence that I am, indeed, a good mom. I'm not "Perfect Mom"--but no one is. We all have our parenting strengths and deficits. And while we strive towards *perfection*, we hopefully learn along the way, as our strengths become even more solidified and vastly outweigh our deficits in terms of the effects both have on our children. Thank you all so much for your input (except for that clown who posted the spam-like info about some clothing sale--start your own post to hock your wares!)



Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season (if you so celebrate)!



Appreciatively, Bebe

Melynda - posted on 11/14/2012

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It sounds like u have supar extended fam. Know ones perfect and being a mommy is sometimes a lot of give a take. If kids need to be with u at night then thats ok especialy after a move. Thats a big deal for kids. Keep up the good work.

Peace,love&happiness

Bubby - posted on 11/05/2012

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Pay no attention to the negativity that people will throw at you!

(Even if it's from your family/extended family!)



You're a good mom and I'm sure you know it as well as your kids! Sometimes people just like to nitpick at others out of jealousy, boredom, competitiveness, or thousands of other reasons, but as long as YOU know that you're doing the best for your children and providing for them in the best way that you can manage, just brush their negativity off!



Their opinions are merely opinions! YOU know the FACTS, not them!

Stifler's - posted on 10/25/2012

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Look you're not a bad mum. Bad mums abuse their kids, don't buy decent food, don't buy their kids clothes or look after them. You co sleep? So does most of the world except western countries. Most kids throw tantrums too I know mine do and these peoples probably do at hoe but they can't admit it.

Brenda - posted on 10/25/2012

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I think a hundred times a day I ask myself if I am a good Mum. I think that when we stop asking this question we become complacent and become a "mum" versus a good Mum. This is not meant as a criticism of anyone who doesn't questions themselves. From you post you describe someone I would classify as a "great Mum." You put you children's needs first versus meeting the needs of others in your life. Could it be that the people in your life look for others who parent the same as them versus recognising that every child is different with varying needs? Your job is to meet your child's needs not friend and family expectations. We all have different parenting values but as long as our eyes are on the needs of our children we can never go wrong. And if our eyes are where they need to be mistakes can be rectified before they become damaging to our children. Your children are the best evidence of your ability to parent not others in your life. When I come to the end of my life and my children are grown I may finally feel confident enough to say I know how to be a good Mum. Hang in there I believe in your abilities.

Jacquelyn - posted on 10/23/2012

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I always thought I was a bad mom too. My husband and I have always struggled but managed to keep food on the table and clothes on our sons back. Our son is now almost two, I don't have any thoughts of being a bad mom anymore after having a talk with my pastor who helped me to realize that what people say or what I think doesn't matter as long as you know in your heart you are a good mom. I have people tell me now that he is such a good boy and even in church he behaves really well. Every once in awhile he will run around the house screaming and playing with our two dogs, but every child needs to do that. I think a lot of his good behavior outside of the house comes from him watching veggie tales movies. He loves them and they teach important lessons like listening to parents and the one he is watching now is about giving at Christmas. I agree with the other moms that say follow your instincts. If you know you are a good mom then you are.

Corinne - posted on 10/23/2012

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I didn't realize how judgmental other parents can be of my parenting skills until I became a parent. What I notice is that older people with grown children are the worst. Its like they forgot what it's like to be a parent...or their kids were afraid of them. I've heard "my kid would never have done that." I know it wasn't as smooth going as they say. I also know that when I was growing up, if I had a temper tantrum in public, I would have gotten my but spanked in front of everyone. It's not necessarily acceptable to do that today. So, parenting styles have changed over the years and people just do it differently. My son does everything you mention above that your child does including not wanting to sleep in his own bed. That's a struggle every night, but he's doing well. My mom told me that my brother and I never slept in my parents' bed unless we were sick. I remember that. They locked us in our rooms at night so we couldn't get out. I know that sounds harsh, but it was recommended by the doctor. No joke! Surprisingly I don't hate my parents! LOL! Good luck and don't let them get you down. It sounds like you are a great mom.

Marcia - posted on 10/23/2012

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You are doing a great job. Our family doctor always told us that if both parents are on board with the child sleeping in your bed than that is fine. Sometimes things are going on that you do not realize they are aware of & pick up on. They go through stages & will not always want to cuddle with you. They just need extra security at time. I am the mother of five. Our second child was in bed on & off til she was ten. We always laid down with them for them to go to sleep. Our two youngest are always in our room. Our oldest is successful, our second is very independent now & out of state at college as the third will be going off next year. We live in a scary world & I think it is great you are willing to give them a safe haven. Follow your instincts & tell everyone else to bud out. Best Wishes!

Vie - posted on 10/23/2012

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Don't mind what people say, they will never know how good mommy you are. What important is that you take good care of your kids and that they are happy and well. Every parents have their own way of taking care of their children.

Keri - posted on 10/18/2012

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No one is a sub-par parent unless they are completely absent from the child's life. You sound like you do/try your best. Of course there are bumps along the road, your sibling probably has them too but is embarrassed to mention them in front of family. Kids get moody, upset, etc. and all deal with it differently - just like adults. A question related to your parents: whose kids are they around more? If it's yours, they will notice when the kids' behavior changes drastically versus anyone else's kids who they don't see much. Gently let them know how you feel about this, because a big confrontation about how it upsets you will get you nowhere.

Bebe - posted on 10/18/2012

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I really appreciate everyone's support and advice. Your words mean so much... thank you. :)

Deanna - posted on 10/18/2012

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Always someone trying to feel supior to someone else. They may not have your trouble but trust me they have 10 more problems than you.

Linda - posted on 10/17/2012

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Totally understand how u feel. My best advice is: realize that all families/ their systems are different. For ex. Your extended family members methods are not better, just different. Every child is different. My sister in law has children that never run around screaming but my kids do. Are my kids bad? My relatives think I don't discipline them enough but I do. They know what's bad, they know right from wrong but sometimes they want to scream and run around. Am I a bad mom? My kids also don't go to bed on time. Am I a bad mom? No, my family situation is different. Do I work on bedtime and not screaming? Yes, I do. -so this is an example. We are just different. The relatives that are comparing u to ur sibling simply thinks you are lacking in consistency and routine building. You may be, so work on it. No one is perfect and our parents are whom we learn from and then we better ourselves based on that foundation. Just take criticism with stride and better yourself. I am :)

Mary - posted on 10/16/2012

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Just because their kids never slept with them doesn't mean you can't give your child what your child needs (being with you in the middle of the night in a new place doesn't seem at all unreasonable as something a kid might need.) You say they know they are loved. As long as that is true, it doesn't matter if none of them know how to sleep in their own beds! They can learn that later...when they are young is when they really need to learn that they are loved.

Jessi - posted on 10/16/2012

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Do not listen to them, even family. They do not see everything like you do. If your kids are happy most the time, well fed and well loved that is all that matters. I'm sure those who say "my kids never..." weren't being completely honest. You are a great mom, and for you to be asking if you are, in my opinion, makes you a normal great mom. All the great moms I know ask if they are being a good mom. I know what you're going through, my parents went as far as calling social services trying to convince me I'm a horrible mom. Take care, don't let them get to you . :D



Jessi Tiger

Rebecca - posted on 10/16/2012

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" I put my kids first and I try. I'm constantly thinking about how what I do will shape my kids. I try and give them as many experiences as I can afford. My kids are fed, clothed, clean, and loved. "



really that is what matters most and if people cant simply offer respectful, helpful advice then they should keep quiet. Unfortunetly a lot of people have a hard time with that. There is always going to be somebody that disagrees with your parenting. As long as they have all your love and you are doing your best by them you are a good Mom. you dont have to be a tiger Mom to be a good Mom or have good kids

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