Although I’ve done my best to eliminate, as much as possible, the use of the terms – or feeling like – a “good mum” or a “bad mum” this terminology remains rife within our society.
Just like food, I don’t believe, necessarily, that there is any such thing as a ‘good mum’ or a ‘bad’ one for that matter. I like to think we are all, or a vast majority of us, are doing the best we can with what we have, including our value systems, beliefs and all the rest of it.
The words, in relation to parenting, don’t really sit well with me. It comes from when I worked with a lot of really fat people, helping them to change their food and activity behaviours and their lifestyles overall, and I came to hate the words “good food” and “bad food”. From them, not much was either “good” nor “bad” (except maybe serial rapists and paedophiles) in my world.
Still, the phrases persist and it makes me stabby. A couple of years back, I embarked on some research into what makes either a good mum or a bad mum. This research I did pretty much confirmed all the theories I already had around what makes a “good”, and by the same token, a “bad” mother … so I’ve collated the responses and present you with an overview as to what makes a good/bad mother …
Other Mothers defined being a Good Mother as someone is gives themselves over/is devoted to their children 100% and as one that is independent, who puts her own needs and happiness first so that she can be a “better” mother for her children.
She is one who ‘wears’ her baby and is constantly attached all the time (at the fanatical extremist level), one whom embraces attachment parenting and co-sleeping (at a more ‘normal’) level, whom will ‘not let her child win’ when it comes to sleeping, has extremely strict routines and all her children’s activities are timed to the second (at a fanatical extremist level) and one who prefers her child to be less attached and sleep in their own bed (at a more ‘normal’ level).
A good mother will never leave her children alone/will provide her children with opportunities to learn skills and responsibility/will do everything for her child/will encourage her child to do things for themselves/will not allow her child to be cared for anyone else/will put her child into the care of others/will home school/will send her child to a mainstream school/will send her child to a specialist school/will send her child to a private school.
A good mother will calmly rationalise with a child throwing a tantrum and attempt to discuss the issue/will giver her child a smack on the bum when misbehaving/will use a firm voice/will reward/will punish/will discipline her misbehaving child.
Good mothers also treat their children to fast foods and sweet treats/never