Where Do You Draw the Line?

I'm wondering where the "bad mother" line is.

I mean, it's obvious that beating your children, leaving them home alone for a few days and/or teaching them to drive you home from the bar are on the bad side. But what about appearing on Toddlers and Tiaras? Never attempting to feed them vegetables? Only letting them listen to Raffi?

I feel like the line is blurry in some places.

For example, what about not minding when they're sick? It's not that I want them to feel bad - of course not. But to be calm and quiet? To lay around watching age-appropriate television? To not demand food every 5 minutes? To not fight about toys? To know that we have to stay home, lest we infect the rest of the population?

It's kind of awesome.

And I say that after cleaning up a lot of vomit this morning. Now we're on to strategically placed trash cans, unlike this morning. But they were fine when they went to bed last night. Stupid stomach virus.

Anyway, I'm wondering if enjoying this day at home, with lots of quiet and hugs, makes me a bad mom. Wouldn't a good mom be crying at their pathetic little faces? Or dragging them to the ER for fluids? Or something other than blogging and refilling water bottles and hugging?

It's not that I expect myself to be the perfect mother. That's a dream that gets ripped out of your hands when the second kid comes 15 months after the first and is colicky to boot. And anyone who's read this blog for a while knows that I can be on shaky terms with "good mother" as well. But I never thought I'd cross into "bad mother" territory. Yet here I am, feeling a sense of accomplishment and peace as my 2 older children nap on the couch and the little guy plays quietly.

Am I the only one?


Leslie said...

Normal mom: Enjoys some quiet that comes (sadly, of course) with sick kids.

Bad mom: Makes the kids sick to enjoy some quiet.

You're just an optimist, finding the silver lining in the pukefest you're living through!

Cuz Greg said...

You're just an honest mom not a bad one

WordVixen said...

The hugs alone make you a good mom. Believe me, the cry-fest and rush to the hospital are signs of panic, not caring. I mean, you can care very much and cry and rush your kids to the hospital, but one does not mean the other. Not to mention that they could catch much worse than a stomach bug at the hospital.

Maura said...

I would say the hugs keep you in "good mother" territory; there is nothing wrong with a quiet day at home and enjoying it. I would say that creating a home that people enjoy resting in is a sign you are doing something right. How many folks seem ill at ease in their own abodes?

Beth said...

It all sounds perfectly reasonable to me. But I do think Toddler and Tiaras is bad mother territory.

davismusic said...

A bad mother would not care if they had water, would keep them in the bathroom (so as not to ruin the carpet or furniture) and would NOT give hugs. You are a wonderful, caring, mother, who has a good head on her shoulders and knows better than to panic over a silly little stomach bug.

Miss you.

Am I Really Grown Up? said...

A bad mother wouldn't clean the puke (and assuming the kids becasue Annabelle tends to puke all over herself). Wanting down time as a mom is normal. I want to some days even though she's been in school all day.