I don't personally know any bad mothers. I am aware that there are some out there, but only from what I read or see in the news. This doesn't mean that I don't occasionally see or hear a mother doing something that I know is not in her children's best interest (including myself) but as a general rule, mothers are awesome.
We're awesome because every one of us does things right. Not everything, of course. Some days we might feel like we do hardly anything right, but I'm pretty sure we usually do more things right than wrong.
I love seeing when other mothers do something right that I haven't thought to do, or used to do but seem to have forgotten. And I love when another mother thinks I've done something well. I love how we can learn more right things to do from each other.
Two weekends ago we visited a branch that has a few really great families in it. The Zańs are a super sweet clan with a mother who is incredibly patient and takes her responsibility as a mother more serious than most other moms I know. She is also a very good friend of mine and we talk motherhood a lot. She is a super humble person and, despite her awesomeness as a mom, asks advice, always wanting to be better.
She drove with her husband and 3 boys, ages 4 and under, an hour each way just to hang with me and my four kids in our hotel room on Saturday! Being around her made me want to be a better mother. It always does. She is so loving and teaches her very intelligent kids about the gospel and how to be creative in such a motherly way. It's hard to describe, but here's what she and her family look like:
Another family is the Cielenskis, the branch president and his wife and daughter. Agata is a wonderful mother and has lots of experience with kids and is just a logical thinker and instinctive mother. Her daughter is 10 months old but she was already asking me how I get my kids to behave at church.
Well, this is a great question for the wife of a branch president to ask. I asked myself it about ten years ago. Greg has been sitting on the stand for that long (well, only on Sundays. He comes home and goes to work etc. during the week) and, as a Single Sacrament Meeting Mom, having kids who behaved at church was not a luxury, but a necessity for me. I shared my tricks with Agata and then told her what I'd learned from her that Sunday:
Here is her baby chomping on a carrot as a snack/toy (and Aaron staring in wonder). I have never had my babies do that (!). And I really want Spencer to love veggies. I have started giving him carrots to gnaw on (when he is well supervised, of course). My life is better for having learned that.
The main thing other people seem to think is good about my kids is their public behavior. They are mostly pretty well behaved at church, in restaurants and other places where we expect them to be calm and civilized and I am happy, when asked, to share how I try to train my kids in those situations in exchange for information, much of which I gain through observation, such as how to be more patient with my kids or teach them good eating habits.
Thanks, other mothers, for the things you teach me just by being the good moms you are! And also, please never come to my house and see how my kids act in their own environment. :)