Almost every mother wants to do a great job. It would be great if there was a manual or training course that covered it all! Mothers read parenting books, attend parenting workshops, and try their best every day - and regularly feel as though they are failing! We might even feel like we are doing a terrible job some days. (Even some weeks, and sometimes some years! :)
What makes a great mother? Having everything home-cooked? Staying slim and gorgeous? Keeping the home immaculate? Having the home messy and relaxed? Lots of laughter? Lots of teaching? Slaphappy? Always busy? Talkative? Reserved? Not too strict? Not too lenient? ...
The truth is that we are all so very different. A great Mum could be any or none of the above. There is only one quality that I believe all great mothers share, and it's this: They care. They love you more than they love themselves. They care enough and love you enough to do their best every day and to never give up on you or on themselves.
A good mother may even make lots of mistakes - but not because she doesn't care or isn't trying hard enough, but just because she gets it wrong sometimes. She will apologize to her children for the mistakes she makes, and might explain to them that she'll probably make more mistakes - as hard as she's trying not to.
And that will be probably be ok, because her children will be able to see and feel and believe that she loves, and cares, and believes in them, and always will. A good mother isn't necessarily perfect, but her love almost is.
I find that enormously comforting! The thought that a good mother is simply one who truly cares.