What Makes a Good Mother?

By Shannon Gurnee
In Family
November 29, 2014

Smiling Boys

Growing up, I loved watching television and some of my favorite television shows were those that featured the “perfect” mother.  I’m talking about “The Brady Bunch,” “Leave It To Beaver,” and “The Cosby Show.”  You remember those, right?  Then there were the television shows with the mothers who were not so perfect, like “Married with Children” and “Roseanne.”  As a young girl, I had this idea of what I would be like when I became a mom.  I naturally assumed that motherhood would be a piece of cake and I would be a perfect mom!  

It was a little different than I thought it would be and I realized that when I gave birth to my first baby boy.  Suddenly, I was at the beckon call of this amazing, little person I had made.  I would be awake through the night watching reruns of “Friends” while I nursed him to sleep.  I would be puked on, peed on, screamed cried at, and more.  I would experience the greatest love and sacrifice I ever had before.  And I would be thankful for the opportunity to do it.  Then motherhood became a little more challenging with each baby, but the rewards I reaped were also greater.  I developed a greater sense of love and a desire to protect my children and give them the most I could.  And now as a mother to six, my blessings and feelings of happiness have doubled.

Now, about the “perfect” part.  First off, that is a load of bunk.  There is NO perfect mother.  And if she claims to be, she is either lying or going to be in for a very rude awakening – very soon!  I admit there are times when I raise my voice out of frustration or have said things I regretted saying.  This doesn’t happen all of the time, but does happen sometimes.  And when I have made those mistakes, I apologize to my children.  I think overall we are generally harder on ourselves than others are of us.  And often times that’s what leads us to feeling like we are failing as mothers.  Ladies, you are not a failure.  Do you love your children?  Do you want the best for them?  Do you recognize your mistakes and strive to not make them again?  Guess what, that makes you a great mother!!!

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I feel like a great mother every time I see my child offer to help another in need.  Every time they hug me or say they love me.  Every time they say “please” or “thank you.” Every time I tuck them into bed and see how safe and comfortable they feel in our home.  I feel like a great mother when I give them the rest of the food off my plate because I know they’re still hungry (even if I’m not quite full yet).  I know I am a good mother because I provide for their emotional and physical needs.  If my children read this blog post someday, I hope they know how much I want to be the best mom I can be for them and how much I love them.  I am so thankful for the blessing of motherhood and the challenges that come with it, leaving me as a stronger, kinder and more nurturing woman.

What makes you a good mother?

About Has 2151 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of Redhead Mom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

65 Responses to “What Makes a Good Mother?”

  1. Michelle Hwee says:

    You have a beautiful family πŸ™‚ I think a good mother is someone who will love you no matter what and can care for you with unconditional love~

  2. Lisa says:

    What a great post. The greatest thing a good mother can have is love. After that, it’s all gravy.

  3. Such a nice family post, I love my mum so much, to me she is the best mum in the whole world!

  4. Wow God has blessed you with a beautiful and large family. I’m not sure what makes me a good mother but I tend to think it was something to do with how I raised them because they are amazing adults now, each one of the.

  5. Fi Ni Neachtain says:

    This was such a lovely post. It’s always the little things our children do that mean the most to us isn’t it? I feel like a great mother when I see my little boy cuddling his teddys and showing them so much love, just like all the love and affection I give him.

  6. Courtney says:

    Omg what a great and touching post!!!! Love is what makes a great mother to me!! What a cute family you have ❀❀❀

  7. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    Your family is so cute. A real life Brady Bunch πŸ™‚

  8. Nina Say says:

    I can tell by the joy on your face in the photos with your kids that you’re a wonderful mom. I am not sure what makes me a good mom, though.

  9. Carra D says:

    Aww look at those smiles! Im not a mom but one thing I appreciated about my mom was she was open and that allowed me to be open to her

  10. michele d says:

    Such a beautiful family. Thanks for sharing your photos with us.

  11. Debbie Jean says:

    You have such a gorgeous family! And no there is n perfect mother! Some days I feel like I`ve done horribly and others I feel like super-mom (and super-tired!), then there`sthose rare days where everything just flows nicely! You just take it day by day and do your best – you obviously are!

  12. Such a beautiful family, you’re a lucky mother!

  13. Kae James says:

    Awwwies! You have a beautiful family. I think being a good mother is putting a smile on your child face. You clearly have that down packed!

  14. Lynndee says:

    For me, being a good mom is teaching your kids how to respect themselves as well as others. When there is respect, everything else follows.

  15. Emilee says:

    Every time I see women with lots of children I have to stop and give you mad respect! I only had one, and he’s a teenager now. I can’t imagine the hustle and bustle of raising that many kiddos. Hats off to all you not “good” but GREAT mothers! <333

  16. Lisa Bristol says:

    You are so right there is no such thing as a perfect mother. I have always taught my kids to be compassionate and kind.

  17. paula schuck says:

    You have a beautiful family Shannon! You are blessed and so are they. I feel like I am a good mother because I try hard and I support my kids and I honestly tell them I have your back and I am always on your side. I knew my Mom was always on my side even when she disagreed with me she was still my biggest supporter, you know? So the other thing I think that’s super duper important is recognizing when you are wrong and showing kids I am sorry I yelled just now. I shouldn’t have raised my voice. Sometimes they need to see that we aren’t perfect.

  18. Ann Bacciaglia says:

    A good mom is a mom that put her kids needs first. She is a loving and caring mom. There is no such thing as a perfect mom.

  19. Chrissy Mazzocchi says:

    Awww what a great blog post, you have a beautiful Family πŸ™‚

  20. Erica says:

    I think we all go through times where we think we aren’t a good mother but I feel like that is life. I realize how good of a job I’m doing when I see my kids out in public doing something good or being polite and respectful. I just love it.

  21. What a lovely family picture! Everyone looks so happy! I think just doing the best that you can do, recognizing your faults, respecting the individuality of your children, and striving to do better is what makes a good mother.

  22. kendall says:

    Gorgeous family! A good mother has heart and compassion. πŸ™‚

  23. Brandy says:

    Such a beautiful post – I think what makes a good mother is one who simply loves her children and those she loves as her own fully, unconditionally and will do whatever it takes to raise them (not be their friend) …. unconditional love and respect goes a long way in being a good mom. Thanks for this beautiful blog post πŸ™‚

  24. Kathy says:

    Beautiful pictures! I think being a wonderful mother is just being there for your children. Help them when they need it the most. Just be the best mother you can be.

  25. Liz Mays says:

    It’s great to see your kids grow up as principled, kind people. We do our best!

  26. Pam says:

    This post is really touching. I think a good mother is a mother who supports her kids, loves them unconditionally, and tries her best to make sure they turn out to be good people.

  27. Dawn says:

    I always respond to posts like this literally verbatim. I guess it’s just because I believe it so strongly. Being a good mom means loving your kids. Anything after that is gravy.

  28. Thank you for sharing the story about your family! My heart grows when my kids offer help/assistance to others without being prompted too <3

  29. Debbie Denny says:

    That is wonderful. A mom needs to be there for her kids… That to me is perfect.

  30. Kecia says:

    This is such a great post! I think so many moms strive to be perfect that they don’t see their kids love them tremendously, despite their flaws. I know I still struggle with that. I feel like a good mother when my son says thank you or “I love you Mommy!”

  31. michele d says:

    What a wonderful post. You have such a wonderful family.

  32. Letting your kids know that no matter what, you’ll still love them. No. Matter. What. I thank goodness that the perfect mother doesn’t exist because I’d sure have a heck of a lot to live up to.

  33. Jess Scull says:

    Such a beautiful blog post – Your family is lovely!

  34. Pam says:

    I thought I would be the perfect mother too. Then I had kids! I think always being there for your kids is the best way to be “perfect.”

  35. Being a mother is the toughest job on the planet. You have a beautiful family, thanks for the great post!

  36. I couldn’t agree more that there is no perfect mother–but the pride we feel when our children pay it forward and make good choices is priceless. There is nothing better than that in my book! BTW you have a beautiful family and I enjoyed your post!

  37. Stefany says:

    Everytime I see my kids help others, open doors for elderly, pray together, or just offer a smile to someone who is down, I feel like a good mother. Showing them that there is so much to be thankful for in this life is something I strive to do every day.

  38. This is hard for me to answer! I feel like I’m still learning the ropes but try to do what I can for my son. He just turned TWO!

  39. Tonya C says:

    You’re amazing! I too get so excited when I see my kids think about others and want to do good in this world.

  40. Pauline C. says:

    This is a heartwarming post. πŸ™‚ You’ll never know how rewarding it feels to be a mom until you have children.

  41. Crystal says:

    Now those kids look like they have a great mother! I think I’m a good mother because I’m always there for my kids.

  42. That is hard to say. I guess the fact that I enjoy being with my boys and they know it. I also listen when my kids try to tell me something.

  43. A good mother is one who understands her children’s dreams and motivates them to achieve them!

  44. I think every mom tries to be great in their own way! There’s no perfect mother but theres lots of great moms. Just being there for your child says a lot.

  45. Erin Kennedy says:

    beautiful family! Love these photos. I am a mom to my fur babies. Great pet gift roundup!

  46. Lauren says:

    I love this post! You have a beautiful family!

  47. susan says:

    For me being loving and caring and there for your kids when they need you.. This is some of the thing that go into being a good mother.

  48. Motherhood can be tough, but it’s so rewarding. Just being there for my kids and encouraging them every day to be the best they can be makes me a good mother. I’m not perfect in any way, but I try my best at this “motherhood” thing!

  49. Love your post! We all do the best we can, and I cherish the memories with my girls, but loving them is what matters most I feel. Each kid will process their childhood differently, through their own filters, and we give of ourselves in the best way we know how, and that is the takeaway for me. I love unconditionally and with my whole heart.

  50. Such a wonderful post. I tend to complain to my mom a lot and all that but for me – she is the best and I couldn’t ask for more. πŸ™‚

  51. Theresa says:

    You are right. There is no such thing as a perfect mother. However, I do feel like I am doing a good job when I see my children go out and do good in the world without me having to encourage them to do it.

  52. Catherine S says:

    What a great post and a wonderful family picture. I try to be here for my son emotionally and physically.

  53. MommaDJane says:

    Such a good reminder. I think as moms we are harder on ourselves than anyone else. We see faults in areas that are normal for anyone. My favorite part of being a mom is the unconditional love and quality time with my children.

  54. Christie says:

    Gosh, there’s so many good things I do. I think it’s also in asking for forgiveness when we get things wrong.

  55. This is such a fantastic post and it echoes my thoughts exactly. Your reasoning behind thinking you’re doing an alright job is the same as mine and I take pride in my children’s helpful nature and manners. We’ve only got four children but would LOVE to add two more to the mix. You look very young for having that many! πŸ˜›

  56. christina aliperti says:

    You have a really beautiful family! I think most moms have the tendency to be extra hard on themselves! We need to give ourselves more credit.

  57. Rosey says:

    I always think what a nice family you have, when I come over to visit. Kids are amazing. πŸ™‚

  58. Chrysa says:

    Such a lovely and inspiring post about motherhood. Enjoy all of it each day as time is fleeting.

  59. Manu Kalia says:

    A one big happy family. What a beautiful shot from your family. I am inspired by your words.

  60. Manu Kalia says:

    A one big happy family. What a beautiful shot from your family. I am inspired by your words..

  61. I’m not a mom yet… but hopefully I will be just like when that day comes! We have been doing rounds of fertility treatment for 4 1/2 years, so I can’t wait!

  62. Tonia says:

    What makes a good mother is unconditional love. Once we get that right so many important things fall into place.

  63. Kendra says:

    I agree that the manners and I love you’s are some of the things that I feel like make me a good mother. When my youngest does those, I realize I must be doing something right. πŸ™‚

  64. Nancy says:

    My husband and I will be trying for our first child in 2015. I’m excited, and nervous all at the same time.

  65. There is no perfect mother because there is no perfect human. Perfection is a myth set forth by societies standards of what they think mothers should be.

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