When it comes to motherhood, there is a lot of pressure to be perfect.
Before you read any further, let me tell you, there is no such thing as perfection.
We are all human, and we all make mistakes. If you can master the qualities of a good mother, you are already doing the best you can. The beauty of these qualities is that none involve emptying your bank account.
After pondering this question for a few weeks, I decided to work with a mom friend to develop a list of what we think are the 12 best qualities of a good mother!
And here they are.
12 Qualities Of A Good Mother
1. Is a Good Listener
No matter your child’s age, the ability to stop and listen is priceless. It doesn’t have to be when there is something wrong.
It could be when your child is super excited to share their day with you or something funny happened.
All those times you could potentially dismiss their emotions for something that could wait until after they have shared their news, be it good or bad, will make a huge difference in their lives.
If your child is raised with parents who listen, you are validating their thoughts and feelings and allowing them the tools to talk. If it is about a broken pencil at the age of 4, by the age of 14, it may be about something more serious, such as bullying or peer pressure.
They build on what they learn at an early age as they age.
When you are an adult, it is easy to be bogged down by life, bills, and general responsibilities.
We forget that we were mini nose pickers or feral teens who just wanted to play all day long once upon a time. It could be toys, board games, or as your kids get older, it may even be a musical instrument or video games.
Whatever it may be, join in! Even if you have no idea what to do or how to do it, let them show you or take charge.
Playing can come naturally to some adults, whilst others have to search their brains for that time they were more carefree.
The trick is to see the joy on your child’s face as they pick up their dolls or roll the dice. It all boils down to quality time spent together.
3. Starts With a Clean Slate
If there is one thing to be learned about your individual parenting style, you can learn it.
If we look back at our childhoods and are brave enough to tell our parents what we didn’t like about our upbringing, as insignificant as those things may be, then we can view parenthood as a way to avoid making those mistakes with our own children.
It could be as small as knocking if you enter their rooms instead of walking straight in or far more serious abuse or mental health issues.
There is no easy way to tackle those more serious issues, but being aware of patterns or behaviors within yourself that you could improve over time with help or therapy would be a great start in not allowing your own issues or past to affect your ability to be a good mother.
Perfect doesn’t exist! By thinking, ‘I wish my own mother did this more/less when I was a kid,’ you can apply these changes to your current situation. If it is more behavioral than habitual, there are ways to step back for the greater.
If you are a mother with a nervous disposition, but your child is begging to climb a tree, these are the moments where your fears can become theirs.
4. Knows That a Child is More Important Than Social Media
What are you missing out on when you are scrolling your social media? What will you miss out on if you were to put your phone down until your children’s bedtime?
Regardless of how much of a habit it is to pick up your phone and scroll needlessly through a feed, you aren’t present; you are being sidetracked.
Time is a funny thing, it can drag, or it can fly. Blink, and that innocent childhood stage has gone. Put your phone down more.
I always think about what my child must think of me from his viewpoint. Playing Lego by himself or in his sandpit in the yard while I am head down in a tiny screen, just lost in the moment for all the wrong reasons.
I know we all glance at our phones or reply to messages, but the message you are sending to your child is that you aren’t there.
5. Teaches Cooking Like a Pro
Cook, cook, and cook again! I am not saying to be a good mother, you have to present 5-star meals every night for your kids, but a great way to bond and have fun is to cook together. Whether it is mashing potatoes, baking a cake, or pressing a button on a blender.
You don’t know how much information your child retains when watching you. So offer them in. Teach them about food, get them to try it, or help with a task.
Quality time together becomes even better when you introduce your little one to the wonders of food and its flavors.
The best thing about making or preparing food – is eating it! Chances are, if you have made something yourself, you appreciate it all the better.
The same goes for kids.
To have helped them or encouraged them to be independent, they are likely to try more new things and add to their food list.
6. Is Less Risk Averse
What are you scared of? Is it spiders? Or maybe bees? Maybe you hate heights. Whatever it is, is there a valid reason for it other than you panic a lot or think you will fall?
We are all alive right now, and all the previous days we have been alive, we have got through no matter how hard or scary they were.
Teaching your children that it is alright to be uncertain, but climbing that tree or rolling down that hill anyway is the best thing you can do. Do they like picking up worms and holding spiders? Great! Let them!
It is alright to be uncertain – but it is your task to rule out fears as much as possible and instead ask questions. ‘Wow, that spider has a lot of legs but look how tiny he is compared to us,’ or, ‘That tree is huge, isn’t it! Make sure you can spot where to put your feet as you climb.’ Try to avoid ‘CAREFUL!’ and ‘DON’T PUT THAT IN YOUR MOUTH, YOU’LL CHOKE!’
Being risk-averse will flow down the generations too!
7. Is An Explorer
Get out, get out, get out. If you don’t have a big budget, take a day trip to the beach or the woods. Explore local parks. Feed wildlife. Visit new towns.
Explore as much as possible.
Your children only see of the world what you show them, so broadening their horizons can show them how wonderfully diverse and interesting our planet is, near or far!
This may be brand new for you as well but take small steps. You certainly don’t need a fortnight in Bora Bora to show your children a good time.
Half the fun is finding fun towns and cities or even Christmas markets to stroll around. Lots of fun to be had during school holidays as well with local activities. Time to get involved and widen those comfort zones!
8. Is Open-Minded
We are living in ever-changing times. Matters of the heart arise now more than ever and are accessible through books, music, and the internet.
Books for children now cover various topics, including mental health, bullying, sexuality, and race.
Whilst you don’t need to litter your bookshelves with these and thrust them into your child’s life, it is wise to allow for age-appropriate conversations with your child. If you are open-minded, they will be too.
Remember that children aren’t born judgemental. A good mother knows this and, in turn, has it in her control to pass it on to her child.
Children are naturally inquisitive, so questions surrounding these topics will crop up and be very matter-of-fact.
How you respond and how much time you give to these subjects will be the foundation for your child’s core belief system.
9. Takes An Interest
I will be the first to admit some things my own child adores, and I raise an eyebrow and wonder how, when, where, and how long this will last.
Whether it is watching a washing machine spin whilst sat in his diaper at 9 months watching in amazement, or that annoying new game everybody seems to be playing, TAKE AN INTEREST.
You don’t have to be waking them up at 5 am with a basket load of dirty laundry, but you can pause and sit with them through their excitement and share the moment with them.
We are all different, and watching joy spread across your child’s faces, and being right there with them, is the best. One of the best attributes of a good mother is to rejoice in their small wins and encourage them to build confidence from it.
You may even surprise yourself here and discover a new love or, at the very least, open up chances to see things in a different light. Watching or doing something through brand new eyes can be a very mindful task.
It can bring out different meanings to what you once just saw as a simple task or sight. Remember that being a mother is a learning experience; every day is an opportunity to learn something new.
10. Encourages Learning
Children have a great habit of protesting. One day they could be happily rolling around in mud or sand, and the next, they are being asked to do some reading or do their homework, which can be a battle.
The trick is to be constantly nudging them to learn, even if it is outside school time. From picking up a knife and chopping vegetables to helping you shop or write a list.
It can even be about learning to save money, buying a piggy bank, and putting their pocket money in it.
Each time you show them how to do something or encourage them to discover something for themselves, they store it.
Not everything is fun – we all know homework can be hard! What is key is laying down those foundations and working towards the importance of trying their best.
If you do this away from school, they are far more likely to instill values and beliefs into themselves, which is great for growth and responsibility.
Kids love being put in charge of something, regardless of their age!
11. Is Supportive With Hobbies
This is more than allowing your children to have the hobbies they want. This is standing in the snow and rain, watching them play sports.
This is about sitting in a room packed full of wide-eyed parents, watching them play Silent Night on clarinet. Why? Not because you are obliged to, but because of the look of pride they give you if they score a goal or after their piece of music has ended.
We do it because these moments are memories forever stored in our hearts.
Our children, celebrating their enjoyment of a hobby in front of you. What could be better?
There is also a flip side to standing with other parents – you could make a friend or two!
It can become a very sociable event to gather on common ground and will create a definite family atmosphere when you go.
The same goes for gathering around a board game. ‘Family nights’ can be themed around picking out a few favorite games and enjoying winning and losing as a family.
12. Allows Them To Be Them
You can gain nothing by living vicariously through our children. Wishing and seeing out our own dreams through their eyes isn’t helpful to either mother or child.
When our children are born, we may even desire them to be musical or be good at dance.
Maybe you would want them to follow in your footsteps, support your sports team, or like the foods they like, questioning them if they don’t.
It is a common trait in parents to stamp their identity onto their children, and while moral codes are great to pass on, let them figure out what they like. They will thank you for it.
When kids discover who they are and what makes them tick, it could be an open door for you to learn something new.
It doesn’t mean you both have to love the same things, but it does mean you can broaden your horizons and dip your toes into new ideas.
One of the most important characteristics of a good mother is allowing their children the space to do so.
The Definition Of A Good Mother
A good mother is an open book. A blank page, ready for anything. She is kind and understanding.
She wants her children to live their best lives, and she strives for her own happiness as an aspiration for her children. She is content and content to be so.
I have also added a post that discusses the attributes of a good father, which is also worth a read.
Conclusion – Are These The Only Qualities A Mother Should Have?
When it comes to the qualities of a good mother, you need to assess your own personal situation.
We derive from different backgrounds with diverse budgets. Some of us live in a large house with an even larger yard, and some live in a flat with a window box for a garden.
Neither is wrong, but you must work with what you have and not judge or compare yourself to others.
Comparing yourself to others is wasted energy that you could be putting into making your own life more unique.
Your happiness, if you allow it, will rub off on your children.