I really hate the term “good mother”.
It gets thrown around, casually. It gets used by people with children, people without children, people with no interest in children.
It bothers me, because it implies that there is a set of known standards for the job.
I wish like hell there were. If you fulfill requirements A, B, and C, you will get result X, and will thereby be considered a Good Mother. A success.
Instead, we get to guess. And second guess. And guess 200 times over, into the wee hours of the morning.
You can’t even, really, base it on results. If a kid turns out to be a productive member of society, or if he’s a drug-dealing piece of crap, it may have jack shit to do with his mother. Could be he was a bit of a dud, right out of the gate. Inherently flawed. Or not.
Who gets to decide if you’re a good mother?
The mother is usually too hard on herself. Or too easy. Other parents bring their own biases to the table. Strangers don’t have all the information. And kids haven’t been around long enough, they lack perspective.
Are good intentions enough? How about trying to find a balance? For a lot of people, the terms “good mother” and “martyr” are interchangeable. (I disagree with that one. Vehemently. Teaching my son to expect servitude from any woman makes me ill. Teaching my daughter to sublimate her own wishes, needs, desires makes me equally nauseous.)
I really hate the term. People are using it to praise, and using it to pass judgement.
I can’t come up with a better term.