Good Mom/Bad Mom

Let’s play good mom/bad mom.

Action: Baby slept through the night.

So I’m a good mom. Having a kid sleep through the night is almost the epitome of good parenting. But…

I’m a bad mom because this is one of the first times he’ slept through the night since his birth.


Action: He is on a pretty great schedule. He’s up at 7, down at 8ish. Awesome.

So I’m a good mom. Except, I probably should have had him on a schedule ages ago. So I’m a bad mom.

But, I could argue that by being responsive to his needs, and accommodating his changing selfhood I’ve been a good mom and not held him prisoner to a schedule. I’m a good mom.


Here’s the thing about “good mom”. It’s a moving target. What’s hot now could be abusive next year. Right now, screen-time for kids is a no-no for kids under two, but maybe in three years ipad apps will be mandatory for one year olds. Just when I think I suck as a mom, I can always find something I do well. (I’m very good at reading aloud to my son.) Conversely, just when I’m riding high as The Best Mom in The Whole World, ™ I remember the habits that aren’t contributing to good motherhood. (I don’t read aloud to my son often enough.)

You know that joke about San Francisco? If you don’t like the weather, wait 15 minutes. The same thing for parenting. Your parenting style is unpopular? Wait 15 months. The tiger mom? She’s wicked popular right now. She told her kids that some work they did was garbage. Garbage. Yikes.

So, we should be cool. As long as you are not abusive, we can all win at good mom/bad mom. At least one round of it.


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