Recently, I have had the time and luxury to be a full-time mother and I am, sure, loving it. I have also, in the process, learnt what it means to be a ‘good mother’ as I take notes from observing the role models around me and evaluating my shortcomings. I am sharing that with you to help you make your own plan on how to be a good mother.

1. Good mothers shower and dress prettily to hang out in the park. They don’t wear T-shirts saying ‘Got Rid of the Kids, the Cat Was Allergic’.

2. Good mothers intervene when their kids are snatching other kids’ toys. They don’t laugh and say ‘Take the other one as well. I like that colour!’

3. Good mothers discuss hobby classes with other good mothers. They don’t make fun of Carnatic music by singing a spoof. Even if they do, they are smart enough to find out that the mother 3rd from her right is the Carnatic music teacher herself before launching into one.

4. Good mothers chase their kids, cajoling them to eat a bite of the healthy snack they have prepared. They don’t run after their kids to grab the chocolate the kids are eating, and gobble it themselves to demonstrate their commitment to Kids’ Healthy Eating.

5. Good mothers are knowledgeable about good paediatric medicines. They don’t say, ‘For fever I give him the red thing kept on the top shelf.’

6. Good mothers comb their hair before they ask their kids to do so themselves.

7. Good mothers invite other Good mothers for tea, especially to express gratitude for a favour done. They don’t say, ‘Can I buy you a beer this weekend?’

8. Good mothers know the names of their kids’ friends. They don’t call them by saying ‘Hey Green shirt, your ball has rolled into the hedge.’

9. On a rainy day, when kids can’t go out to play, Good mothers engage the kids in indoor activities that are good for cognitive development. Punching bubble wrap and pounding thermocol does not meet the above definition.

10. Good mothers read good bedtime stories to the kids. They don’t read a chapter from ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’ by Sigmund Freud just because it makes the kids sleep faster.

I am still on the learning curve, but each day brings a good amount of learning. I take each day as it comes and reflect on what I have learnt. I must go now – the healthy snack is in the oven. But before that, let me comb my hair…