How to REALLY Know If You’re A Good Mom

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Girlfriends, I got to get something off my chest.

My house is never clean. Like ever. I have friends (with kids) whose houses are spotless. Are they better mothers than me? Nope. Am I a better mother than them? Nope.

I work out every day. I have mom friends who don’t exercise. (I mean other than running around like crazy people after their kids). Does that make either of us a better mom? Nope.

I have a friend who gave birth in a pool in her living room. I pushed mine out in a hospital bed after receiving a gift from the epidural fairy. Both of us are good moms.

I drink a beer or glass of wine (sometimes in front of my kids!) on occasion. I’m a good mom. My neighbor and good friend doesn’t drink. Also a good mom.

I’m a yeller. I have a good friend who is quiet and extremely patient. I envy her. But we are both good moms.

I have friends who are super organic, chemical free, and dye free. My kids sometimes eat popsicles for breakfast. The cheap kind that are 50 for $2.00. Are either of us better than the other? Nope.

photo credit: Karen Johnson


I swear, but not in front of my kids. Are you a bad mom if you do? Hell no.

I’m involved with my kids’ school but I don’t volunteer and live there every day. Are the moms who volunteer daily any better than those who never do? No. Am I incredibly grateful for the moms who volunteer every day and help the teachers? YES.

Are stay-at-home moms better than working moms? NO.

Are working moms better than stay-at-home moms? NO.

Are married moms better than single moms? NO.

Are you a better mom if you take your kids on exotic vacations? NO.

Can you be a good mom if you the closest thing you get to a vacation is the park? YES.

Can you be a good mom and have a super scheduled summer with lots of planned activities? Yep.

What about if your summer is lazy with no plans? Yep.

Do good moms let their kids watch TV? Yes.

Play video games? Yes.

What about if you say no? Also fine. Your choice. You’re the mom. And a good one.

I’m a Christian. My friend and neighbor is Muslim. Another friend practices no religion at all. WE ARE ALL GOOD MOTHERS.

My other friend is gay. Her kids have TWO mothers. They are both good moms.

I breastfed. My kids barely had any formula. Am I better than moms who give their kids formula? NO.

So how about this? Can we all climb down off judgmental mountain for a second? And just support one another? And just say, Hey, motherhood is hard. You’re doing a good job. Raising kids can knock the wind out of a person. You got this.

How awesome would that be? Just a thought.

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This post originally appears on Karen’s FB page, The 21st Century Stay At Home Mom. Go follow her!

Lover of bacon, wine and beer, and Doritos, Karen Johnson is a writer at The 21st Century SAHM and assistant editor at Sammiches and Psych Meds. A former English teacher, she began writing when she became a stay-at-home mom in the vain attempt at salvaging a few brain cells. Karen’s work is featured on sites such as Scary Mommy, Sammiches and Psych Meds, and The Huffington Post, and she is a contributing writer in several anthologies. Karen writes about all things parenthood as well as social justice issues.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Yaaassss! Not sure anyone else has put it better, ever. I get so tired of the Mommy Wars that at times I actively avoid the topic of motherhood. We all have different journeys, ideas, preferences…and we’re all doing the best we can – we gotta lift each other up! Thanks for such a great post.

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