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Hey, Mom! Want to Know What Your Kids Really Think About You?

Amanda is a retired educator with many years of experience teaching children of all ages and abilities in various contexts.

A mother and child spend quality time togehter.

A mother and child spend quality time togehter.

It's Hard Out There for Moms

There’s no handbook, no practice run, and no opportunity to shut the whole thing down, reboot, and start again; at least not with the same child. But even then, every child is different.

There’s no mom school.

Yes, we experienced our own mothers’ parenting. But we were just kids at the time, seeing everything through a kid’s eyes. We mostly love our own mothers and have a lot for which we feel very thankful. Most of us can easily forgive her mistakes, too. Because we know that she loved us, gave us her best and did a fair enough job of raising us. I mean, we’re okay, aren’t we?

Remember that when you’re judging your own parenting skills. Based on the study that was conducted, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • You don't have to be perfect.
  • Be yourself.
  • No one is watching you.
  • Look after yourself.
  • Don't be guilty of feeling guilty.
  • Maintain clear boundaries.
  • Your kids love you.

But First, How Study was Conducted

Watch the above video. Someone asked these moms to say how they felt about their parenting and to share their thoughts, their feelings, and their anxieties.

Then their kids said what they thought about their moms. Their answers were beautiful.

  • "My Mom is my hero."
  • "Beautiful, kind. We love each other."
  • "She's like my heart, I guess because we're so close."

If you're anxious about how you're doing as a mom, you are not alone. But I hope this video and the article below will help you realize that you are doing just fine.

To be a good mom, you don't have to be perfect. Relax!

To be a good mom, you don't have to be perfect. Relax!

You Don’t Have to Be Perfect

You can’t be perfect. Your kids don’t want you to be perfect. A kid raised by whatever your idea of the perfect plastic parent is would most likely have a pretty unrealistic start in life. Don’t you think?

There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.

— Jill Churchill

Be Yourself

Yes, mom, you do need to be a superhero. But you should also be yourself; a woman in your own right; a human being with weaknesses and failings as well as strengths and successes.

Our kids need to learn from us how to live well despite weaknesses. They need to learn how to pick themselves up and persevere towards success despite failings. They need to learn that love is forgiving and deserves forgiveness. That life can be tough. That helping each other and working together is more important than being in control and getting everything right the first time.

There is no way that a "perfect parent" could ever teach them that stuff. And that’s the most important stuff to learn. Forget about school grades and getting in the sports team; that’s secondary.

No One Is Watching You

Most of the time when we’re doing our mom stuff, no one is watching. No one admonishes us for mistakes. No one rewards us when we do something wonderful. Maybe that’s why we get so anxious and self-recriminating. Better to judge ourselves harshly and be on the safe side.

But no, we’re making a mistake when we do that. Mom needs to love mom, forgive mom, and accept mom. That’s called self-respect.

And who’s going to teach her children self-respect, self-reliance, resilience in a difficult and unpredictable world? Who's going to teach that by example?


Better still; don’t judge yourself as a mom at all. Just get on with it. You’re most likely doing fine.

So, how do you be a great mom?

Look After Yourself

Remember to be yourself. Look after yourself. Be kind to yourself.

Don’t feel guilty about taking time out to read, to watch a movie, to go for a walk, go to the gym, and meet up with the girls for lunch.

It might not always be possible, especially with little ones. But when you can get “you time,” be happy about that and enjoy it to the max. Your kids need a break from you, just as much as you need a break from them.

Never forget that even though having kids is a game-changer and all your priorities get re-ordered, you are still you. You are who you are—being a mom is one of the things you do.

I think every working mom probably feels the same thing: You go through big chunks of time where you’re just thinking, ‘This is impossible — oh, this is impossible.’ And then you just keep going and keep going, and you sort of do the impossible.

— Tina Fey

Don't Be Guilty of Feeling Guilty

Get rid of the guilt. You do not stand accused. No one’s judging you. There’s no need to be perfect. There is nothing worse for herself or her child than a perfect mom.

Maintain Clear Boundaries

Back in the day, families were more structured along patriarchal lines. Pop ruled, mom kept house, and they bound the kids to unquestioning obedience. Okay, not quite, but nowadays how most of us do family has changed. We discuss things; our kids are involved in major decisions that affect the whole family. We try to listen to our kids' needs and opinions. All to the good.

But they’re still kids. Let them be kids. And kids need structure. Part of that is to know when to lay down the law because you maybe know best. Talking and listening and being respectful to your child are positive modern developments. But boundaries still matter: bedtime, table manners, accepting a sensible “no” still stand.

Your Kids Love You

Above all, remember that your kids are going to love you because you are their mom. Feed them, clothe them, and educate them. Look after yourself. Recognize that their lives are already their own. Trust them. Trust yourself.

Mom? You’re doing okay.

If only we knew the beautiful truth. We're doing fine!

If only we knew the beautiful truth. We're doing fine!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2014 Amanda Littlejohn

Moms' voice box / soapbox / comment box...

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on October 18, 2014:

Hi Vellur!

Thanks for your kind contribution. You're right - there is no 'one size fits all' solution to parenting. That's one of the reason's why so many of us fall into doubt about how well we are doing raising our kids.

I really hope that this video and article will help encourage moms to realize that they don't have to be perfect and for the most part - they're doing a great job!

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on October 18, 2014:

Great hub for all moms in the world. Parenting is no joke and there are no sure fire ways that work well with all children. Great write, voted up.

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on October 17, 2014:

Hi Cleveland Teen!

Thanks for your comment. I'm glad you enjoyed this piece and took the time to leave a comment.

Bless you :)

Sidney Hill from Cleveland , Ohio on October 16, 2014:

I really like your blog, it will mean a lot to me if you check out my first blog comment and tell me how you feel about it.

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on October 13, 2014:

Hi pstraubie48!

Thank you so much for your comment.

Yes, I think you arrive at a very interesting and enlightening point - namely, that we tend to emulate our own mothers if we feel that we had a good childhood and yet paradoxically, many remain confident that they are doing everything wrong!

Still, there are bound to be times of doubt - especially through some of the more difficult phases - but i hope this article will help in some small way to put things in a new perspective for moms who are struggling.

I'm so happy to hear of your positive experiences, both as a daughter and a mom. Thanks for your lovely contribution.

Bless you :)

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on October 13, 2014:

Being a Mom is one of the hardest jobs that no one can teach us how to do. However having been raised in a loving home with a Momma who was patient and kind and taught me to make good choices is the model I had.

You have done a nice job of expressing concerns and issues that we as Momma's face. My 'baby' is now grown and she is an awesome Mom to my two grandsons.

Angels are on the way to you this morning. ps

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on October 08, 2014:

Hi mathira!

Thank you so much for your kind comment. It is so good to hear that you treasure your motherhood and that you have such a close relationship with your daughter.

Bless you :)

mathira from chennai on October 08, 2014:

Adored your hub as I treasure my role a mother. I am my daughter's best friend and she shares her innermost feelings with me. I consider it as the best compliment she can give me. Voted up!

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on October 03, 2014:

Hi Rajan!

Thanks for your comment. I think you have it there. Let's get the message out.

Bless you :)

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 03, 2014:

The crux is that moms do it right, their kids think the world of them but moms just keep fretting if they parented right. Rest assured, Moms!!

The excellent video says it all.

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on October 02, 2014:

Thank you Andrea!

I definitely cried when I saw it. That's one of the reasons why I wanted to share it. And then it inspired the article I have written here. It seems so important to me. I'm so glad it's beginning to reach out and connect with other women.

Bless you :)

Andrea Tomms on October 02, 2014:

Yes! Yes! Yes! That's soooo beautiful. I warn anyone else who watches the video to have some kleenex handy. Pretty good therapy for this mum. Great quotes too. This is going on my facebook! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on October 02, 2014:

Hi AliciaC!

Thanks so much for your kind words. That's really supportive. I do so think that this message is important - I've known it myself and I've seen others go through it. In most cases it is just a case of reassurance that's needed; just someone to say, "Hey, you're okay."

If this video and article goes some small way towards that for some young Moms, I'll be very happy.

Bless you :)

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 01, 2014:

This is a lovely article for moms. It's full of reassurance and great advice!

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on September 30, 2014:

Thanks for your kind words, Bill.

I think you're right enough. Mine are grown up now, but I do remember the doubts and anxieties. The key thing I want young mothers to realize today is that, even with all the new pressures, they should go easy on themselves. They're mostly doing a great job. A wonderful job. And I hope this video helps folks realize that.

Thanks again for watching/reading and commenting.

Bless you :)

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 30, 2014:

Beautiful perspectives. Being a mother is the toughest and most important job on Earth.