What I’ve Learned About Being a “Good Mom”

By on May 14, 2017
good mom

I’ve come to a point in my life that I recognize the qualities of a “good mom” are not necessarily something you are born with or possess easily but is rather a process – learned as you grow and mature with your own children. I have three kids who are all grown, well into their 20’s and 30’s and four grandchildren ranging in age from two to almost seven. It has taken me the better part of my children’s lives to learn how to mother well. Not that I wasn’t able or didn’t take care of my children well when they were growing up, but much of what I’ve learned about being a good mom has come with time.

To All the Moms in My Life – Happy Mother’s DayIn my experience as a grandmother, I’ve come to realize how precious my own children are, truly a gift as the Bible states they are in Psalm 127.  Through the ups and downs and trials of being a parent, my best teachers have been my own children. And through my relationship with my grandchildren – I continue to gain new understanding into the world of little people.

Perhaps because of the time I have with my grandchildren to take leisure walks and lay with them in bed at night to read and talk, having conversations and listening to them – peering into their world, I’ve come to know them better. That may be one of the most important jobs we have as mothers – getting to know our children; their interests, their perspectives, their needs, their wants, their bent if you will, so that we might know how to mother them better. And it doesn’t stop when they leave home – it’s a lifelong process. I’ve discovered that getting to know my kids as adults and spending time with them is one of the greatest joys of my life. We have a lot of fun together!

natural sunscreen with zinc oxide

To All the Moms in My Life – Happy Mother’s Day

My daughter and I at a fundraiser for the Salvation Army – 2015

With my daughter-in-law and her mom at a cancer run in Bend, OR

With my daughter-in-law and her mom at a cancer run in Bend, OR

To be a good mother requires time and attention. I commend all the moms who have sacrificed their own interests and ambitions for the sake of their kids, to have more time with them. Moms who work outside the home as well as stay-at-home moms, but I have to confess staying at home was a challenge for me. It requires a mom to lay down her own desires or career ambitions to focus on the job of raising her kids. It means being at home 24-7, going through the day-to-day routine of wiping, changing, feeding, playing, cleaning…over and over again – which can get monotonous. I remember times when I stayed home from work or took time off, it felt like all I did was perform menial tasks all day long, until I settled in and focused on the more important job at hand – just being there, listening and loving them.

2016-10-08 16.39.43I miss those times, but it seems the gift of being a “Mimi” or grandma makes up for it – like God knew as a mother I needed a second chance to get it right.

It helps to have another mother’s in our life to help us learn how to “get it right.” I’m grateful for the women in my life who have taught me how to be a better mother – starting with my mother-in-law who has been the matriarch of our family. She set the example of what it means to sacrifice your own wants for the sake of your kids. She is 81 years old now and is available in a way she was not when she was busy with the duties of a mom and wife. Now when she comes to visit we have time just to be together with no agenda other than enjoying our time of “being” together.

My Mother-in-law

I also want to thank my own daughter and daughter-in-law who have taught me how to be more patient, to listen more, and talk less, albeit, I’m still learning. To appreciate the process of “being” versus “doing.” As a mom who worked full-time outside of the home when my kids were growing up, it seemed there was always something that needed to be done. What I love about my daughter is that she will let the menial things go to sit and just “be” with her girls. She and her husband will often take mornings or whole afternoons off just to be with their kids – playing, hanging out and “being” together. Both my daughter and daughter-in-law find it hard to imagine someone else taking care of their kids, especially when they were babies. They and their husband’s – my son and son-in-law, have decided that they will stay home until the kids are in school fulltime…which seems to be approaching quickly.

It seems I’ve learned more about how to be a good mom…and grandma, by watching my own daughters and adult kids who are the best teachers I know, other than God. Mothering is a role that evolves over the years through the familial – as we ebb and flow as a family. I don’t know any perfect mothers or families– but we can all become better if we’re willing to listen, watch, learn, and grow.

Thank you to all the moms in my life and to my kids for being willing to teach me how to be a better mom. Happy Mother’s Day!

Carol Doyel is Editor-in-Chief and Founder of LivingBetter50.com. She is a graduate of The Full Gospel Bible Institute and has a passion for women’s ministries, issues and lives. She and her husband of 28+ years have three grown kids and four grandchildren.  They currently reside in southern CA. Her desire is to inspire women to live better physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually.

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What I’ve Learned About Being a “Good Mom”