Am I A Good Mother? Just Pass Me The Paracetamol And Call Me Joan

It’s been a Joan Crawford sort of day. If I had a turban and a cocktail shaker they would have come in useful. I have found myself wondering “am I a good mother” – again!

My mood has veered from tired, frustrated, tetchy and on the edge of morphing into my arch nemesis “Shouty Mummy“.

Shouty Mummy is a stranger to Veet and likes the occasional cigar.

Am I a good mother? Joan Crawford

The late, great Joan Crawford

So what has Mommy Dearest been up to on this blustery perimenopausal day?

Washed net curtains to get rid of mildew (#FAIL), took kids to the supermarket and tried to avoid buying any more cheap plastic toys (#EPIC FAIL) and cooked (well reheated) spaghetti bolognese (#FAIR TO MIDDLING).

Leaving aside my peculiar fondness for net curtains (how very Miss Marple), this has hardly been a day of sterling successes.

And, as a ‘late’ mother, this is one of the hardest aspects of motherhood to deal with after working for so many years.

Now, marketing is one of those professions where you can easily spend years feeling like you haven’t achieved anything at all.

In legal services, where I spent over 13 years, marketing is still in some Jurassic quarters viewed as “something to do with golf”.

Things have moved on but it may not be the best career choice for the results driven.

My daily question to myself is “how do I know I’m doing this (mothering) right?” Am I a good mother? Let’s be honest, it doesn’t matter how many people tell you that you are, you have to feel it deep inside.

I worry that one mummy tantrum may irrevocably scar my kids, one shout too many may stunt their emotional development and one denial of a smile in favour of a stern talking to may blight their ability to ever play more than chopsticks on the piano.

I have a very conflicted view of discipline.

Motherhood involves a kind of subjugation of ‘self’.

It’s all about the needs of others, kids, husbands, partners, family, pets and I think sometimes maternal moodiness is more to do with this loss of identity than it is with the stress of parenting.

I struggle to find an appropriate role model for late motherhood.

Celebrity mothers have an army of nannies and housekeepers, not to mention personal trainers and chefs so I’m not sure their lessons are applicable to a stay at home mum in South Wales.

Am I a good mother?  Well, the kids are alive, eating (not vegetables obviously) and expressing varying degrees of attachment to me so it’s not all bad.

If you can think of an inspiring older mum, please comment and let me know. In the meantime, it’s a strong cup of tea for me, unless there’s a ‘y’ in the day.

Oh come on now, you know that makes it a legitimate wine night.

*This post was first published in October 2013.  I’m not entirely sure I’m any the wiser on the mothering front.


  1. Phil @ ParentingPhils
    13 May, 2018 / 7:46 pm

    Love this post! Very witty but very real… i feel the same about daddy tantrums and scarring the kids… given myself many a timeout haha

  2. 25 April, 2015 / 7:35 pm

    I'm not a late mother but I do have net curtains! I think that young mum's, average age mum's, older mum's – everyone will resonate with this post! We never ever know if we are doing this mothering thing right – in face I am pretty sure I'm doing it all wrong., I feel like that but then I look at my little lad and think that maybe I'm not since he is a happy, wonderful little boy! Who am I to judge myself! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  3. 21 April, 2015 / 7:20 pm

    I'm not a 'late' mother but everything you've written resonates with me! (Except for the net curtains, in their place I have a broken Roman blind)

    • Linda Hobbis
      21 April, 2015 / 7:23 pm

      haha – they're a swine to dust though; x

  4. 21 April, 2015 / 1:26 pm

    I'm a "late" daddy. I throw a lot less tantrums than I did pre-kid, but it happens. The key is that you are trying, and thats more than a lot can say. Bourbon seems to help

    • Linda Hobbis
      21 April, 2015 / 4:58 pm

      I find red wine is an excellent de-stressor. Wish I could remember to count to 10 but kids really know how to push your buttons, don't they!

    5 November, 2013 / 9:29 am

    Ha, it is difficult re-booting to parenthood after years working! Found you via the Parenting Pin It Party!

  6. Esther James
    1 November, 2013 / 8:52 pm

    Its wine night every night in my house. Can't think of any older mother role models, apart from you of course!

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