7 signs a woman will make an outstanding mother, according to psychology

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Motherhood is incredibly difficult. I’m sure that’s something we can all agree on.

Not everyone wants it or is cut out for it, which is completely understandable seeing as raising a child is essentially the hardest job in the world.

However, there are certain women who possess traits that might make it easier for them to be excellent mothers; traits that are in sync with the kinds of responsibilities and behaviors that motherhood so often requires.

Care to know which ones?

Let’s dive in. These are the 7 signs a woman will make an outstanding mother.

1) She is self-compassionate

“Many new mothers say they would offer a friend compassion but can’t let themselves off the hook or be compassionate with themselves,” says psychotherapist Melissa Weinberg, LCPC.

This is a common theme I’ve noticed as well.

Since motherhood is so very difficult, you’d expect most mothers to give themselves a break when possible and feel proud of all the hard work they’ve been doing, but instead, many of us are our worst critics.

Guilt, shame, and self-loathing are way too common among mothers. And unfortunately, these kinds of feelings never solve anything. In fact, they usually make everything worse.

Does that mean your feelings aren’t valid? Not at all.

However, a woman who can cultivate a sense of self-compassion is immediately giving herself a chance to handle both motherhood and self-care more effectively.

You deserve to take a break. You deserve to cry it out, rest, and ask for help.

Of course, this is easier said than done.

As Weinberg writes:

“The difficulty in being self-compassionate is complex for most of us — rooted in fear, cultural conditioning, and sometimes trauma. It often needs to be carefully unpacked and examined (with the help of a professional if appropriate). I wholeheartedly encourage anyone brave enough to tackle this self-exploration to do so.”

2) She has excellent communication skills

One of the most significant things you could ever do for your kid’s future is to teach them how to assert themselves and communicate effectively.

Unfortunately, plenty of parents struggle with communication themselves, which means that their children are left to their own devices – and often only begin to learn the ins and outs of this vital skill in adulthood.

This is why a huge sign a woman will make an outstanding mother is that she knows how to navigate difficult conversations and conflicts in her relationships.

Psychologist Alicia Del Prado, PhD describes it best when she says:

“The importance of communication with our children is arguably more important than ever with the 21st-century dangers of excess screen time, vaping, cyberbullying, and more threats to their health and well-being. While we cannot be ‘perfect parents,’ we can strive for an open and genuine connection that will help our children feel secure and confident during their developmental journey.”

If someone prefers assertive and calm dialogue over passive-aggressive remarks if they would rather talk about things openly than avoid having difficult conversations, and if they have a way with words (for example, they can be honest without being cruel)…

Yes, that’s right. It means they might make for an amazing parent.

3) She is very empathetic

If there’s one thing children need, it’s the certainty that they will always be heard and understood.

If they scrape a knee, they want to know their parent will help them out and offer reassurance.

If they cry because of something that happened at school, they expect their parent to console them and give advice.

This is why empathy is such a crucial parenting skill.

“Acknowledging and validating children’s feelings is an essential aspect of nurturing emotional well-being, fostering resilience, and promoting healthy development,” writes parent coach and psychologist Jeffrey Bernstein, PhD. “By recognizing children’s emotions, we contribute to the establishment of their secure emotional foundation.”

So, how do you recognize an empathetic woman?

It’s all in the details.

Does she listen with intention? Does she intuitively understand whether you want practical advice or emotional support (or asks if she’s unsure)? Is her main goal emotional understanding and a harmonious relationship with the people she loves?

If you ask yourself these questions, you might soon find your answer.

4) She keeps her cool under pressure

Before we go any further, let me say this: no mother is ever perfect. It’s impossible.

There will be rough times when you might snap and feel guilty afterwards. You won’t always know how to handle a difficult situation. You may need to ask for help more times than you’d like.

However, an outstanding mother displays a general pattern of great emotional self-regulation.

This means that when it gets down to it, she doesn’t let herself get rattled.

When her child throws a fit, she knows that screaming at them to stop probably isn’t the answer.

When they accidentally break something, she doesn’t make a big deal out of it.

In other words, she remains calm when possible, keeps her cool in challenging situations more often than not, doesn’t make a mountain out of a molehill, and displays patience.

The latter is especially important.

According to psychologist David Krauss, PhD, responding with patience and care rather than anger and judgment is a challenge that many parents face. This makes complete sense, of course – most parents are exhausted from sleep deprivation, emotionally drained, and filled to the brim with worries.

Krauss often tells parents, “If you get it right 80% of the time you are doing great. If you get it right 100% of the time, we will call a priest and discuss saintliness (or a rabbi and discuss hasidut, an imam and discuss exceptional holiness).”

Where parenting is concerned, “outstanding” doesn’t mean “perfect”. It means that you do your best and always want to improve yourself, be it in the realm of patience, emotional self-regulation, or anything else.

5) She is protective over the ones she loves (but respects boundaries)

One of my best friends is fiercely protective over her family and friends. If you insult or hurt somebody she loves, she will fight for them tooth and nail.

I love that about her. I love that she is so filled with love and care that she can’t help herself but try to protect the people who matter to her the most.

I also think it predisposes her to be an excellent mother one day – if she keeps her protectiveness within reasonable limits, that is.

The thing is, outstanding mothers aren’t only protective over their children but they also know how to keep those strong feelings under lock and key when necessary.

After all, overprotective parenting has been linked to higher social anxiety in children, so it’s very important that parents know how to handle themselves when it comes to granting their kids enough freedom to explore life on their own terms.

Psychologist Cara Goodwin, PhD, recommends that we:

  • Let our children experience negative emotions
  • Allow our children to make decisions for themselves whenever possible
  • Help our children better understand their feelings
  • Let our children practice their emotional regulation strategies
  • Model coping skills for our kids
  • Role-play challenging situations with them

6) She is reliable and resourceful

It goes without saying that excellent mothers share one vital skill: you can count on them to fulfil their promises and responsibilities.

They make it a priority to be there for their children, be it showing up to school events, reading their kids bedtime stories, or picking them up at a specific time after sports practice.

This is very important because it establishes a secure bond between parent and child. What’s more, a mother like that goes by example, which means her children may grow up to be responsible people simply because that’s what they witnessed in their childhood.

Let’s not forget the importance of resourcefulness, of course.

From researching information online to reading books or coming up with creative solutions to difficult problems, an outstanding mother knows how to navigate the challenges of life because she believes in her ability to learn, incorporate new information, and grow as a person.

And that brings us to the last point…

7) She continually works on herself

If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this article, it’s that there is no perfect mother out there.

And that’s okay.

Parenthood is the hardest job on Earth, and sometimes, we all get it wrong.

What matters most is that you learn from your mistakes and keep trying. As long as you continue to work on yourself and your parenting skills and as long as you have your children’s best interests at heart…

You are outstanding in your own way.

Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley, a London-based writer, is passionate about helping others discover the power of self-improvement. Her approach combines everyday wisdom with practical strategies, shaped by her own journey overcoming personal challenges. Eliza's articles resonate with those seeking to navigate life's complexities with grace and strength.

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