By Gary M. Unruh, MSW LCSW
You’re a good mom. How do I know? I’ve worked with more than 2,500 families in my 40 years as a child and family therapist, and I’ve seen the uncertainty on so many mothers’ faces. They all wonder if they’re doing enough, being there enough, and loving enough. They’re not concerned about the crazy hours, the lack of pay, or the meager amount of appreciation. They just want to know they’re doing right by their kids. In my opinion, moms are truly amazing, and it’s high time we give them some high fives for what they’re doing right. Here are my “high fives to moms” list. (If you see yourself doing a lot of these things, count yourself in the Good Mom’s Club.)
1. Moms are on call 25/8. Moms always squeeze in an extra hour a day and an extra day a week, yet there’s always more to do. Shopper, health and mental care provider, nutritionist, educator, sports specialist, chauffeur, cook and bottle washer, spiritual counselor, bodyguard—and that’s just a part of the workload. And in between all of these things, a mom must be a calm, productive employee, mother, and wife.
2. Moms display courageous endurance. Iron Man athletes have nothing on moms. The last few months of pregnancy, giving birth to a baby, and the unbelievable endurance needed during the first month of a baby’s life require every bit of strength a woman possesses. I vote for a new Olympic sport: parenting—birth through the first month. Or better yet, the “Parental Order of the Red Heart” medal.
3. Moms are nurturers extraordinaire. Every time a kid gets hurt (physically or emotionally), Mom is there to offer a hug, a kind smile, and comforting words. And it doesn’t matter whether Mom’s super busy, tired, or feeling like a failure, she’s always willing to offer warm attention. Priceless!
4. Moms serve as educators and activities specialists. Moms have got to be ready after a hard day at work to be tutors (even if you don’t know “new” math), police officers (“Spelling—now”), and supervisors of missing homework. Then they kick in their time management expertise to fit in swim practice, piano lessons, play dates, field trips, and weekend soccer games. Oh! Can’t forget a mom’s cheerleading skills—no matter how her day went or how good (or not so good) her kid is at something.
5. Moms are kid protectors. “Don’t mess with my kid” is Mom’s specialty. She deals with the real, scary problem of predators as well as the everyday stuff—a coach who doesn’t see her kid reallycould be the next Carmelo Anthony, the teacher who’s way too strict, and the playground bully. Keep your dukes up, Mom; you never know what’s coming next.
Moms, you’re doing so many things right. Focus on the positive and set aside the negative. You’re a good mom!