Each mother knows in which areas she is faltering — or rather, not thriving. But so what if we don’t prepare homemade organic foods representing all food groups despite the fact that yes, some of our Mrs. Perfect Mom Pageant colleagues do. And big deal if our kids by age 8 are not already excelling in some artistic or athletic endeavor, resulting from years of professional training initiated at age 2.
So what if our kids don’t always brush teeth before bed, wash hands before mealtime, or respectfully greet the elderly neighbor.
But yet, how do we really measure a woman’s degree of “bad mother-ness?”
What standards have we set as a society? Should we base our mother icons on those that receive the most media attention such as Kate Gosselin and Britney Spears, just to name a few?
Like a scale reflects an accurate indication of one’s weight, our children’s (healthy) development signals our success as a parent. While no child or parent is perfect, here are a few of the questions I ask myself to gauge my own performance:
1. Are my kids emotionally stable? (Barring any diagnosed mental illness or condition which is out of our control.)
2. Are my kids happy overall?
3. Do my children engage in play?
4. How is my child’s school performance?
5. How does my kid behave in various social situations?
I, for one, know I am light years from being a model parent. However, upon closer examination, my answers to each one of the above questions is relatively favorable — some more than others — but good enough.
Of course there is always room for improvement as women, wives, daughters, friends, and as mothers.
And isn’t that what Ghandi always encouraged and challenged us to do? Be introspective. Learn. Change. Evolve. Improve. It’s a lifetime endeavor.
So let’s try to live without the “coulda, shoulda, woulda and if-onlys.”
Because the real “Consumer Reports” can be read upon our children’s faces, day after day.
What is your barometer for your child?