|What is your
definition of a 'good mother'?
By VICKI HUFFMAN
a number of years, a Russian peasant woman held
the record for having the most children. She bore
69including numerous multiple births. She
was most certainly a mother. (And undoubtedly a
tired one.) But, I can't help wondering, was she
a good mother?
What is a good
A good mother
doesn't nag much. Only the essential
amount and only about essential matters. Like
where to squeeze the toothpaste, how to hang up
pants without making eight creases, the
inadvisability of 20-minute showers, and which
noises are easily produced but socially
A good mother has a
speech that begins, When I was your age,
kids had it much harder. My mother didn't take me
everywhere. I didn't have all these things you
kids take for granted.... She belts out
this national anthem of motherhood regardless of
the indifference of the crowd. She can make
herself heard over a blaring CD player by
teenagers hanging opossum-like over a bed with a
phone plastered to one ear.
A good mother
cooks, cleans, and launders without expecting to
be appreciated. She knows that only in TV
commercials do kids get excited about fragrant
T-shirts or seeing their reflection in the china.
In real life most kids have lost the directions
to the laundry room and would be content to eat
off paper plates or pizza boxes eternally.
But a good mother
is much more than just a resident reminder
service, cook, cleaning lady, and laundress. A
good mother is a launching pad with a soft lap:
hardheaded about discipline (especially compared
with everyone else's mother) and
soft-hearted about everything else. She motivates
her children to help them reach their full
potential and praises them whenever she catches
them doing something right.
A good mother gives
her children more than a balanced diet and a roof
over their heads. She teaches them how to feed
their souls and gives them a spiritual foundation
on which to build. She directs them into the
right paths and prays for them when they
occasionally wander off onto others.
A good mother cares
how her children turn out. She doesn't just wait
for them to get out.
companies have tried to glorify motherhood by
producing syrupy slogans on plaques. One of the
worst is: God couldn't be everywhere, so He
created mothers. That phrase may sell a lot
of trivets, but it just isn't so. God is
everywhere, and mothers can't be. I know because
Maybe God created
mothers because He needed someone to keep every
generation reminded of His presence. Good mothers
have been doing that for thousands of years, ever
since Eve held her first wriggling infant in her
need to be sentimentally glorified with
ridiculous statements, but it does need to be
respected. It is a high calling, a God-given
The writer of
Proverbs 31 described the woman who, like his
mother, was a good mother: She is clothed
with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the
days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and
faithful instruction is on her tongue. She
watches over the affairs of her household and
does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children
arise and call her blessed (Proverbs
31:25-28a, New International Version).
As important as
mothers are to us, it is amazing how often we
take them for granted. Mother's Day is a good
time to arise and call your mother blessed, but
any day will do as well as long as you do
it before it is too late.
football coach Bear Bryant used to remind his
players: Be sure to call your Mom.
Then he would add wistfully, I wish I could
So do I.
[Vicki Huffman is a
syndicated columnist and former editor with
Thomas Nelson Publishing Co. and David C. Cook
Co. Real Answers furnished courtesy
of The Amy Foundation Internet Syndicate. To
contact the author or The Amy Foundation, write
or e-mail to: P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI
48901-6091; firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the website