20 Women Share the Moments That Make Them Feel Like They’re Winning at Motherhood

20 Women Share the Moments That Make Them Feel Like They’re Winning at Motherhood

Parenthood isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, but sometimes you know you’re doing it right.


By Leah Maxwell

One of the most difficult things about parenting is that there’s usually very little validation of a job well done -- least of all from the children you’re working so hard to keep alive and mostly well. Yet even if you know motherhood is a mostly thankless job, and even if you’ve come to peace with that knowledge, that sure doesn’t take away the elation you feel when you experience those little moments that remind you you’re not totally messing up everything beyond repair. Here, 20 moms share their proud parenting moments as they complete the sentence, “I feel like a good mom when ...”

1. “... when I do something small and simple for my kids (like take my son to his favorite playground -- the one with the sandbox) and am told, ‘You’re the best mommy EVER!’” -- Cari T., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

2. “... when my kids hug-attack me.” -- Kim L., Saint Peters, Missouri

3. “... when I pack my bag for two or three different destinations/activities for my daughter and don’t forget a thing. FIST PUMP.” -- Kelly O., Holloman Air Force Base, Arizona

4. “... when my son kisses me, unprompted.” -- Katrina R., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

5. “... when my tween stepdaughter and I bond over upcoming emoji. Taco! Unicorn!” -- Dawn K., Topeka, Kansas

6. “... when my son looks at me, in the middle of doing whatever we’re doing, and we share a laugh. My whole being clicks into place.” -- Sarah P., Durham, North Carolina

7. “... when I take the time to sneak a surprise treat into my kid’s lunch and she thanks me for it at the end of the day.” -- Angela C., Seattle, Washington

8. “... when I’m enjoying the activity just as much as they are.” -- Ashley B., Las Vegas, Nevada

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9. “... when my 2-year-old says, ‘Thank you, Mommy!’ or ‘Good job, Mommy!’” -- Tamara B., Los Angeles, California

10. “... when I read with him.” -- Rachel T., Dallas, Texas

11. “... when my kids say, ‘No, we just drink water,’ when we’re out to eat.” -- Helen Jane H., St. Helena, California

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12. “... when my son told me, ‘Thank you for cleaning the bathroom.’” -- Jessica S., Florence, Colorado

13. “... when I see my son show empathy toward others, like at the park when he sees a kid fall down and he asks them if they’re OK and if they need help. I feel like a parenting rock star.” -- Hillary W., Coquitlam, British Columbia

14. “... when I get an unsolicited hug from the teenager.” -- Jennifer S., Tallahassee, Florida

15. “... when my son apologizes, unprompted, after some bad behavior (usually much later, but at least he’s thinking about it).” -- Liv H., Santa Clara, California

16. “... when I slow down and just sit with my kids and fully engage in whatever they want to do. No checking my phone or trying to multitask.” -- Lisa M., Oakland, California

17. “... when I tell my son he gets to choose the activity and he wants to do anything ‘as long as it’s with you, Mom.’ Can you even?!” -- Sophie M., Cleveland, Ohio

18. “... when strangers compliment my children (or me) on their good manners.” -- Erica A., Ennis, Texas

19. “... when my kids ask, ‘What’s for dinner?’ and they are HAPPY with the response.” -- Stephanie P., Boston, Massachusetts

20. “... when I pick my son up from the babysitter and he’s so happy to see me he bounces up and down and cackles with glee.” -- Miriel R., Rochester, Minnesota

How do you complete the sentence, “I feel like a good mom when ...”?


Leah Maxwell is a book editor, freelance writer, cereal addict, wife, and mom to two young boys. She has been blogging at A Girl and a Boy since 2003.

Image ©iStock.com/knape


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