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What Makes a Good Mom?

Updated on August 19, 2017
Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran is a writer & former newspaper reporter/editor who traveled the world as a soldier's better half. Her works are on Amazon.

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The answer may not be what you think.


Mothers.

I have one.

I am one

I have a daughter who is one.

Those facts should give me some credentials for commenting on the subject. Now, if only the relationship between mothers and their children wasn't so difficult to put into words.

I know people who feel the need to speak to their mothers every day. I also know people whose teeth are set on edge at the very sound of their mother's voice. And I know people who would place themselves in both of those categories with no reservation.

One of the best illustrations of mothering I've ever heard was given by a preacher. (That happens a lot.) He told the story of a mother eagle perched on the cliff of a ravine over a raging river that was rising moment by moment closer to the nest where her three baby eaglets were sleeping.

The mother eagle watched the flooding waters break over the rocks, throwing pillars of steaming white water high into the air. Then, unconcerned for her own safety, she began one by one to fly her babies across the treacherous current to the safety of the far side of the ravine.

As she clutched the first one in her beak, the eaglet said, "Oh Mother, this is the most wonderful thing you have ever done for me. I'll spend the rest of my life trying to repay you for this kindness." The mother eagle opened her beak and dropped the baby eaglet into the raging waters.

As the mother flew the second eaglet across the flood, this one said, "Oh Mother, this is a brave and wonderful thing you are doing for me. How can I ever repay you?" The mother eagle opened her beak and dropped the baby eaglet into the violent stream.

As the mother eagle carried the third eaglet over the torrent, the baby said, "Oh Mother, this is a tremendous thing you are doing for me. I only hope I can do the same for my children one day." And the mother eagle carried that eaglet to the safety of the far side of the river.

Some children can do no wrong in their mother's eyes. Some are the light of their mother's life. Some can never please their mothers or get over the guilt of not living the lives their mothers expected of them. And you can't always tell which folks fit into which category by just hearing them talk about their mothers or by seeing them in their company.

I fit in there somewhere. And if you asked me to tell you my definition of what a mother is supposed to be, I'd give you this example.

My mother never doubts that she can find me in a crowd. I don't care if it's fifty Girl Scouts getting off a bus, or a thousand capped and gowned graduates in a football stadium, or masses of people moving through an airport. My Mom is always certain she can pick out that one face she came to see

I love finding my Mother in a crowd before she finds me. I love to see her scan a sea of faces, squinting to focus, beginning to make a recognition then realizing it's someone else, and moving on with her relentless search.

The reason I love to see her do this is because not once, no matter what I've put her through in the past, or what dreams she had for me that I've let die, not once has she ever found my face in a crowd and looked like she was disappointed to see me.

That's mothering.


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    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      6 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      And to you, Paula, as well. This was a very early hub of mine. (Actually was one of my newspaper columns back in the day!) Glad you saw it and took time to comment.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      6 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Jo....I second that! We are unjustifiably hard on ourselves but maybe that is why we continued to try harder forever! Maybe that's why we kept going forward and up instead of giving up? We were determined to do it until we got it right! And our wonderful children is all the proof we need to know we succeeded!

      Great Hub, Kathleen. I wish a very "Happy, SPECIAL Mother's Day" to all you beautiful women! (That's one adorable baby with that cute sexy Mama! No surprise you've held up quite well!)

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      6 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Blessings on those women who have given us our lives. Mine is no longer with me, but in my memories of her. Happy Mothers Day!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Five years ago this week I posted this, my first hub. It's been a great ride - 154 hubs later. Thanks HP and everybody who's helped me along the way!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      abbaelijah: Welcome to my hubs. My Mom has been gone over a year now. Glad to see this one read again.

    • abbaelijah profile image

      Abba Elijah aka elijagod 

      4 years ago from Abuja - Nigeria

      Wonderful hub !

      Thanks for sharing !

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      glassvisage: What a wonderful thing to be able to say about any mother under any circumstances. I actually wrote this hub quite a while ago, but just lost my Mom recently. I saw it in my profile and just felt like sharing it. Glad it spoke to you.

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 

      5 years ago from Northern California

      Thanks for sharing this perspective! As an adopted child, I feel blessed that my mother is able to love me for who I am, though I'm not biologically her child - I know she would do anything to help me to better myself at any time.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Hear! Hear!

    • The Unlearner profile image

      Jo 

      5 years ago from Isle of Wight UK

      I don't know anyone who thinks they are a good mother, because we all seem to beat ourselves up. In the spirit of Mothers Day- I hear by declare, WE ARE ALL WONDERFUL MOTHERS :)

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Somebody's reading a lot of my stuff today - THANKS!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Happy first anniversary on HubPages to me! Here's my very first hub - on Mothers!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Mother's Day is coming round again. The message never changes. Thanks for sharing.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Wonderful Hub about mothers and you and your mother in particular. Made me tear up about my own mother, but in a good way. :)

      I burst out laughing at your response in the comment section, "You know encouraging a writer is like throwing gasoline on a fire!" How true, how true! :) SHARING

    • Ultimate Hubber profile image

      Ultimate Hubber 

      7 years ago

      Kathleen, that is a great story! Mothers care for their children without even thinking about a reward.

    • profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for the comments. I'm so encouraged that folks have already found my articles and showed interest in them. You know encouraging a writer is like throwing gasoline on a fire!

    • orangecountyjill profile image

      OC Jill 

      7 years ago from Orange County, California

      Great story. My definition of a good mother also includes one who is strong enough to do the hard work. To teach the lessons that need to be taught, even when it makes you unpopular at that moment.

      I promise my kids that I will always be honest with them and tell them the things I think they need to learn so that they grow up right. I've seen a lot of "no show" parents lately ;(

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 

      7 years ago from Northern, California

      Welcome to HubPages!

      "...not once has she ever found my face in a crowd and looked like she was disappointed to see me."

      A most remarkable and poignant observation! I am an instant fan Kathleen. The mother eagle story was quite moving!

      It seems you are going to be an outstanding asset for high quality hub content. I look forward to reading more of your work.

      K9

    • Betsy Czark profile image

      Betsy Czark 

      7 years ago from Panama and Seattle

      that was wonderful. Nothing gives me greater joy than seeing one of my daughters' faces - especially when I am least expecting it.

      Thanks for the good lens.

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