Sometimes it’s easy to feel like you’re getting motherhood completely wrong, and that’s what we usually vent about. The social media (and actual media!) pendulum has swung from perfectionist aspirational to confessional: “Real talk” about modern motherhood is usually conducted through the lens of stress and inadequacy and see-how-messy-my-playroom-really-is.

Misery loves company, but sometimes we’re actually doing really well. Yes, maybe your child will only eat corn dogs (guilty) or has fingernails that look like a caveman’s. But let’s also give ourselves some credit, especially on Mother’s Day.

Read on for glimpses at what these moms have absolutely done right.

“Empathy and compassion. Both of my kids understand that there are people struggling in the world, near and far, sometimes in their own classroom, in small and big ways. From selling lemonade on the corner to showing plain old kindness to someone who needs it, I am proud that they can put themselves in another’s shoes if they need to, and I have seen them inspire others to do the same. Most days I feel like I’m winging this whole parenting thing and often wonder WTH I’m doing, but I feel like this is one of the things we got right.”
Karen, mom of an 11-year-old and 8-year-old

“Making holidays important, passing down recipes (latkes, hamentashen, challah, blintzes) and making family important, especially during the holidays.”
Stephanie, mom to a 17-year-old and 14-year-old

“Keeping our family intact, loving, functional and involved after their dad died.”
Mary, mom of a 10-year-old and 8-year-old

“Teaching consent and bodily autonomy.”
Erin, mom of a 5-year-old

I’m not a food pusher, but I have never made a different meal for my kids. We all eat the same food. If they don’t like it, they can find something at the table they do like. This has been from the very beginning.”
Mari, mom of a 12-, 14- and 17-year-old

“Apologizing when I’m in the wrong.”
Sarah, mom to a 9-year-old and 7-year-old

I’ve gotten my daughter to sleep in her clothes for the next day. It makes mornings a million times easier.”
Beth, mom of an 8-year-old

“I raised a calm, happy, easy-going kid by having a calm, easy-going, happy home. I’m careful to keep stress, anger or aggression far, far away from her. It helps that I’m not married! Ha! Also, I realize it could just be her nature and not my amazing parenting at all.”
—Alyssa, mom of a 3-year-old 

“My daughter will put down a bowl of ice cream or a plate of cake with food still on it and say, ‘I’m done.’ She has actually learned how to listen to her body, even when the offering is sugar.”
Megan, mom of a 9-year-old


“Creating a trusting relationship. They both come to me with their problems and trust me with secrets. I’m thankful for this in the teenage years and pray it continues.”
Jessica, mom of a 15-year-old and 8-year-old 

“Sleeping and languageI say this all the time. I microwave all their dinners; I don’t do Pinterest-worthy arts and crafts. But I poured a ton of time and energy into getting to sleep right from the get-go. And I’m good at talking to my kids constantly, so I think that has helped with their language development.”
Neely, mom of a 3- and 2-year-old

“Compassion. Without fail, when she sees a kid crying or pouting, whether it’s at the playground, school or ballet, she goes over, asks what’s wrong, gives them a hug and says it’s going to be OK. It makes me cry/smile every time I see it. And it makes me hopeful for the kind of adult she’s going to be.”
Devon, mom of a 4-year-old

“Teaching consent, even between brothers or mothers. You don’t want a kiss or hug? Just say so.”
Susan, mom of a 6-year-old and 4-year-old

“When traveling, our daughter is given a budget of her own. The amount depends on location, length of stay, et cetera, but when her money runs out, that’s it. It completely changes the conversation about shopping, candy and wanting to spend money.”
Sandi, mom of an 8-year-old

“I have never focused on diets or exercising. We talk about healthy foods and being active because it feels good, and we have always modeled a healthy lifestyle. My two teen girls have such a healthy relationship with food, their bodies and being active because they see they feel better! For that I’m proud.”
Laura, mom of two teenagers

“Kindness to elderly relatives. Our daughter actually loves going to visit her great-grandmother and plans what she can do or say with her to make her happy.”
Marli, mom of a 7-year-old

“I’ve messed a lot up as a single mom. Our routine is to not have one; I work away from home and they have had to be really independent. But two things that are awesome about my kids are how accepting they are of differences and how confident they are in the world. People tell me all the time that they are so thoughtful and independent. I think their accepting nature comes from having and being raised with siblings who have disabilities, but I think the confidence comes from being raised to think they are capable and able to do anything.”
Jenn, mom of an 8-, 11-, 17- and 20-year-old

“My daughter eats everything that’s in front of her, including duck paté!”
Cindy, mom of a 2-year-old

“My son (almost) always says please when he asks for something.”
Cheryl, mom of a 5-year-old

“I have nailed getting my kids to love reading. Once when my son was about 8, we arrived in a hotel room that had a massive flatscreen TV. He looked at the TV and said, ‘Wow, that’s a big TV. But we won’t need it, because I brought lots of books.'”
Laurie, mom of a 14-year-old

“My children love each other. When they were kids, my greatest fear was that they would grow up and act on their threats of, ‘I’m going to kill you!’ But as adults, all three of them love, respect and care deeply for each other. That is my greatest accomplishment.”
Joni, mom of adult children