Am I a Good Mother?

FIve generations of strong women. 2004. www.ShelleyGoldbeck.com

FIve generations of strong women. 2004. www.ShelleyGoldbeck.com

In response to an invitation to write something for a Mother’s Day contest, I wrote this piece. It had to be 325 words or fewer; mine is 324!

Sometimes we mothers wonder, “Am I a good mother?”

I recently realized my grown daughters are messy. Their shoes and clothes are strewn about their house. There always seem to be dirty dishes on the counter. Their laundry is rarely all done and put away.

Bemoaning their habits, I declared I had failed as a mother. A good friend asked me if my adult children’s neatness is a true measure of my parental success.

(Pause) No.

THIS is how I gauge my success as a parent: my children are decent human beings.

They share their meager wealth with their friends and family. Generous.

I once was walking with my then late-teen daughter when the elderly woman in front of us tripped and fell to the ground. My daughter sprang into action, lifting the woman, brushing off her clothes and gathering her spilled groceries in the blink of an eye. “What if that were Grandma?” she replied when I commented. Decent.

This spring one daughter’s friend longed to visit her dying mother one last time but couldn’t afford the flights to Ontario. My other daughter had a pass for two flights and gave them to her sister’s friend. Compassionate.

I once regretted that my daughters came from a broken home. About 15 years ago they told me that they didn’t consider themselves from a broken home but from a happy home. Loving.

The mother of my Grandtoys often foregoes housework to ride bikes, play games or sing and dance with her girls. Priorities!

I love my wise, beautiful daughters. Being their mom has been, bar none, my greatest life experience, my most significant life purpose and my most satisfying accomplishment.

When their father became ill over 30 years ago, I knew my only job was to prepare my children for adulthood, in case they lost me too.

It wasn’t easy but I did my job.

My daughters are decent human beings.

I am a good mother.

Happy Mother’s Day to all our mothers.

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