On being a good mother in these times.


When I became a mother, I spent a lot of time thinking about what kind of mother I wanted to be. I wanted to be kind, caring, loving. I wanted to be the kind of mother that didn’t get caught up in the nitty-gritty of dirty diapers and spilled milk but one who celebrated the miracle of life my daughters represent. One who sang silly songs in the car, danced in the streets with them and lay in the grass beneath trees making up stories about the clouds and all the people walking by and even the dogs and cats too.

I did not want my impression upon their gentle spirits to be a heavy hand of authority, but a light touch of loving guidance filled with caring consideration for their unique selves and their needs to grow into independent, strong, self-determined women.

Today, when I look at my daughters I am in awe of the beauty of their human essence. I am in awe of their kindness, their caring natures, their capacity to stand for what they believe in, to speak up in the face of tyranny, to tear down walls of discord, to build bridges of peace and love and joy. I am in awe and always have been, in their capacity to make my heart feel like it is bursting with joy, that being their mother is the most precious gift I have ever been given.

I believe I was (still am) a good mother. I believe that despite my many mistakes, some big, some small, some ginormous, I am still a good mother.

Not because I did everything right. Believe me, I didn’t.

No. I believe I am a good mother because… Well, just because. I am.

It is a choice.


To believe in myself. Or not.

And, because I can and want to, lovingly let my daughters’ living their lives without my constantly telling them what to do, how to do it and when to do it. I want them to be able to speak be their truth, not mine.

It is perhaps one of the hardest things about being a mother to two amazing women. They have minds of their own, ideas of their own, ways of their own that carve out their own unique paths in this world.

It is not my way, my path. It is theirs and as their mother, my role and responsibility is to honour their ways, their path, their own unique voices so that they can be free to be in this world without fearing my condemnation, criticism and complaints.

As a good mother, my job is to give their words, ideas, dreams space to grow without my interference.

And yet sometimes, I want to beat myself up with the stick of having failed because I fear.

I fear they will not have a world where it is safe to sing freely, dance with abandon, write without caution. I fear this world we are co-creating in all our flawed humanity will spiral down into rigid morality where there is only one path, one way,  — and that is the way of hatred. The path where racism, misogyny, territorialism grows stronger in the voices of those who believe all humans are not created equal, divine and miraculous, rise up and beat down the hearts of those who stand for the truth: We are all one humanity. One human kind. We are all One.


12 thoughts on “On being a good mother in these times.

  1. Beautiful and so apt right now. My daughter (nearly 26) called distraught Nov. 9 and I was at a loss in how to console her. She’s only known Obama in her adult life and has devoted her law studies to working with older prison inmates, transgender people, and artists. I didn’t know what to say and felt like such a failure as a mother. But one realizes, that as the children get older, they still want us to listen, even if we don’t have the answers and most likely they’ve already formed the answers in their heads and just want us to acknowledge and justify- not really give too much advice! You’re a wonderful, beautiful, loving mother! I’m sure your daughters know that. I do take pride that I raised 3 amazing individuals. That doesn’t mean I agree with them all the time but am proud that they’re good people, all working to make the world a better place in their own ways. Huge hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Liz! what a beautiful response — and so true. We are now that heart where our adult children come home to knownimg there is always acceptance here. Always love.

      Such a lovely gift!

      happy Thanksgiving to you and your family Liz. may it be filled with Peace. Unity. Light. Love.


    • Haha. I can always depend on you to be the cynic Mark! 🙂

      Though your comment does get my mind thinking…

      Change doesn’t happen because we do things the same way we created them. It happens when we choose to let go of what we created to make space for different, more effective — and in this case, it requires letting go of the belief that we are by nature born to break the law, fight, act unfairly, disagree and not get along and then must solve our differences through enmity.

      I don’t think humans are naturally motivated by fear, greed and selfishness. I believe we are motivated by Love — we’ve learned to think in terms of scarcity and in our fear there is not enough or we are not enough or that we must have more to get along, we act in selfish and self-serving ways. I also believe that our systems of government, leadership, corporate/commerce are built on a hierarchy designed to impose control and dominion over individuals, groups and communities because our power systems are built on belief structures that do not work in today’s world.


      • LG
        you wrote ” I also believe that our systems of government, leadership, corporate/commerce are built on a hierarchy designed to impose control and dominion over individuals, groups and communities because our power systems are built on belief structures that do not work in today’s world.`


        And our individual power to change it all …. not much.

        One person at a time.

        Sometimes two.

        But really, it requires many – and in between, chaos can happen – so most people sit on their hands and nothing changes until the collective will does.

        Like Brexit. Like Trump. Like …. yikes!


  2. Oh Louise
    You say it so well. Always pricking my heart with your words. And yes sometimes I may come in your backdoor and around a point you’ve made to get to mine lol, but you pull so much from me when I stop to read here.
    My heart like yours wanted to be that mother you described and my daughter at least has gifted me with her happy memories many times. Since my ex has died my son has made him into his hero & blamed me for our divorce. That’s okay I’m glad he loved his dad. I love the way my kids have grown into their own. It also scares me for them. As I am sure I scared my parents as I began to be able to make my own choices.
    As for my mistakes, there have been many. The big one, after they were grown. In a way I felt it was my life at the time. I guess I wasn’t thinking. We are never not moms even when our kids are grown and on their own. We don’t get to opt out of thinking our choices still matter to them. I think through it all it made my daughter and I closer. She told me something so bittersweet, she said “mom I thought you were perfect.” Me: (in my head) seriously?!
    It was like a punch. I totally am aware I am not. But I wanted to be again for her!! 😏💖
    That was over five years ago. Though I am worn out, I am grateful that I host Thanksgiving and we all can sit down at one table and love each other. Perfect and imperfect. I am a blessed mom. And you my dear are too! Happy Thanksgiving from CA to Canada❤️I am thankful for YOU.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Happy thanksgiving to you and your family too Di! ❤

      ps — I think when our children can quit seeing us as perfect, or imperfect, we can get real and honest about our shared human condition — and in that space, miracles happen! Your son will come home to your heart Di — because he never left it. ❤


  3. Louise, you captured my heart. Once again, I revel in your thoughts and insights.

    Estranged from my daughter’s
    coming up five years, I am in awe of their independence. Now (almost) 27 and 22, my hope is their strength continues. Both are smart, independent young women. Despite the pain, I am grateful.

    Liked by 2 people

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