"You're such a good mom!"

Ah, the words that every mother wants to hear. "You're such a good mom!" A mother can bask in those words for hours, hungily slurping up the much needed and infrequently received feedback. I recently got such praise at my son's preschool on his birthday. I have 1 son who turned 3 this week, and he's finally at that age where he actually cares about his birthdays. Oh, and he has so cared about this birthday for weeks, months, practically, ever since his mother told him he'd have to wait until his birthday for his Super Sonic Superman toy. (The kid is WAY into superheros, by the way. More on that later.) We bought Spiderman cupcake holders and sugar cake decorations months ago, mostly because Jacob was screaming at the top of his lungs in the grocery store, "I NEED THAT!" and my ears were beginning to ring. So, the day finally came when we could use these cupcake holders at his preschool. I dutifully made cupcakes as birthday treats for his school. And since there is one kid in the class who is violently allergic to eggs (we're talking quick trip to the hospital here), I found a recipe that did not call for eggs. The upshot of that is that the cupcakes taste "healthy", because the recipe calls for wheat flour. Ok, so I brought them in, everybody got nice and sticky, and the mother of the allergy kid said, "Oh, you're such a good mom!" I smiled, and so, "Oh, bosh", or some other sort of self deprecating comment, and smiled appreciatively. Then I thought about it some more. I'm a good mom because I can decorate cupcakes? What about the angry spanking I gave my child the day before for flushing an entire roll of toilet paper down the toilet? What about the fact that my kid wears socks that are 3 sizes too big because I misunderstood the shoe sizes listed on the package of 12 pairs socks I bought at Target, and I'm too cheap to take them back? What about the fact that almost every day when my husband gets home, his child is buck naked because I don't have the energy to put the little stripper's clothes back on for the fourth time that day? Baking cute cupcakes erases all of these things? I realize, of course, that this woman was being nice, and I actually like her quite a bit. But it makes me wonder if she really thinks I am a good mom. I mean, she sees me twice a week for 5 minutes when we pick up and drop off our children together. What does she know? So what is the criterion for being "such a good mom?" One thing I do know about that other woman who thinks I'm so great. She clearly did not taste the cupcakes.


Anonymous Julie Sheffield said...

I'm glad to know I'm not the only mommy who hasn't got a handle on socks. My son's socks are all either way too big or way too small. Well written, Heather! Welcome to the blogosphere. And although I've never tasted your cupcakes, I'm confident that you are indeed a great mom. Or at least a delightful chronicler of mommyhood.

3/07/2005 12:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Heather O. said...


What is it with socks? Perhaps getting a handle on the socks holds the keys to ultimate motherhood nirvana! That, and finally finishing the laundry, something I was never able to do even before I had Jacob!

3/07/2005 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger Andrea Wright said...

Heather, this is my new favorite blog! It's funny what we pat ourselves (or get patted by others) on the back for as well as what we feel inferior for as moms. It's nice to know there are others out there who don't feel they have all the answers.

3/07/2005 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...


So glad you are here! Let me know if you want to be a permanent contributor--the more, the merrier!

3/07/2005 06:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Andrea Wright said...

I'm so embarrassed! I was just trying to comment and am obviously not the most savvy gal around because I set up a blogger identity for myself. I kept thinking that was really strange to have to do all that to comment :) Have I mentioned I was a single mom (hubby out of town) of 3 kids all weekend? Still a little fried.

3/08/2005 12:16:00 AM  
Anonymous claire said...

Heather, love the new blog.

RE: such a good mom. Argh! I actually feel really inferior when someone says that to me. Sort of like when someone says "you're SO crafty." (I'm not!) What they usually mean, is I would never stoop to hemming my own pants! I'm much too sophisticated for that. You, on the other hand, are so crafty, because your brain is devoid of any real aspirations in life.

3/08/2005 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...


I served as an Enrichment counselor for a short stint, and took great pride in the fact that for the longest time, we did NO CRAFTS in our Relief Society. Ha- I was going to enrich and enlarge the women's minds! Then somebody actually said to me, "Are we ever going to do a craft activity? We haven't had one in a long time, and we're all itching for one." Are you SERIOUS? I realized she was indeed, very. Then I discovered something else- she wasn't serious because she thought being crafty meant being a good Mormon, like I tend to think (hmm...there's a post idea for you!), but that SHE ACTUALLY ENJOYED IT! I was blown away.

3/08/2005 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger annegb said...

Sadly, I think we, especially Mormon women, keep score way too much, we are human doings. We rate ourselves and condemn ourselves on the basis of very superficial things, like how clean our house is. As I've gotten older, those things matter less, and I find myself often comforting the young girls who feel like failures because they have dishes in the sink.

You girls are one up on that young stupid mother I was, I think, smarter, better informed, more evolved. :) Take the stroke, cupcakes can be a lot of work. Maybe that other mother really meant it.

3/14/2005 11:04:00 AM  
Anonymous claire said...

heather, I'm with you on the no crafts at enrichment thing. That's actually what I find so funny about people saying that, I'm NOT CRAFTY. I just do things like make my kids halloween costumes instead of buying them at Party City. This is mainly a control issue, BTW, not as a way to show off my sewing skills. People get defensive about it I suppose, and it turns into, you are such a good mom!

3/21/2005 11:38:00 PM  
Blogger Joseph Salazar said...

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3/23/2006 01:14:00 AM  
Blogger Joseph Salazar said...

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3/23/2006 01:16:00 AM  

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