I don't usually feel like a good mom. I used to. I did all sorts of "good mom" things. Like let them go play in the pouring rain, come inside dripping wet, get them in the warm tub, and serve them hot cocoa in the bath. That's the stuff good mom's do. Read them chapter books. Feed them super healthy, homemade food. Do art projects and science experiments. Go to China with them. Make them eat their peas.
I used to do those things. But life got fast and complicated and more multi-faceted than this mom could keep up with. There have been lots of days, maybe even weeks, when I didn't do any good-mom deeds. Days when all I did was love them from a high speed distance while I try to keep all my plates spinning. Sometimes I've felt bad about that. Someone pointed out to one of my older kids that the younger kids are "being raised differently than the older kids were." I think it was dripping with judgment and condemnation, but I'm not sure.
I sleep good at night in spite of all this. Why? Because I know that being a good mom plays out in a hundred different genres and colors. God hasn't given me big kids and little kids at the same time so that I would be laden with guilt that their upbringings are different. I think He's given me these 5 kids all spread out in ages so that I could know Him in a different color. Need Him in a different genre. Rely on His grace more acutely. He shows me that my goodness, even as a mom, isn't what works. It isn't what makes a child grow up and be something special. It's Him. And He doesn't need my pre-packaged formula to work in their hearts. He uses me. But He doesn't need me.