The Mom Barometer: 5 Questions I Ask Myself to Gauge My Parenting Performance

Posted May 16, 2011 by

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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?


Darah Zeledon aka The Warrior Mom is a wife, mom of 5, writer, fitness buff and thinker. Her unique voice reveals an experiential and academic knowledge of the social sciences—particularly psychology and sociology. Her empowering messages are born from an appreciation and passion for life and a nonstop quest for truth, reflecting a wisdom and resiliency earned by an array of challenging life experiences. Despite it all, Darah’s personal favorites are the quirky anecdotes exposing the chaotic tug-of-war between motherhood and personal passions. She’s currently working on her memoir—a tragic, yet inspiring story of the last five years of her life entitled: A Lucky Girl. You can read more of her musings at:

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  1. BusyHealthyMom Report

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I think most moms are so hard on themselves (including myself), and set such high expectations for our parenting. We need to look at the big picture, and commend ourselves for the good job we are doing. It brings tears to my eyes when another Mom or teacher tells me that my daughter is a joy to be around or that she is a genuinely good kid. It makes me think that I AM doing something right! Thanks for your post.

  2. FitnRead Report

    I just had a conference with the school teacher and speach pathologist. Great news–my son is an angel! He has good grades, improving where he needs! Then why am I about to cry? He struggles getting his classwork done and homework. I’ve tried every stragedy, even letting him fail. That seems to work the best, but is the most stressful for all. Yet, after reading your blog, I need to remind myself that he is doing well and everyone thinks he is polite, respectful, and a nice boy. what else could I ask for? (Except, do your homework!)



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