Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI, ABC, Aaron Montgomery/JPI, Howard Wise/JPI

Not every ma makes their offspring wanna cry, “I want my mommy!” Some of them yell, “I want my mommy to stay far, far away!”

According to the well-worn song, M is for the million things she gave me… although in the case of soap-opera kids, those “things” just might include more issues than any magazine ever put out and a crushing sense of self-doubt that no amount of ill-advised trysts with inappropriate lovers could ever diminish.

Being a mother is, in short, a mother! (And being the child of one, arguably even tougher!)

More: Soap stars and their real-life moms [PHOTOS]

Anyway, today of all days, it seems more than right, imperative, to acknowledge to accomplishments of the daytime-TV heroines whose maternal instincts are second to none (or at least second to few) — and skewer the venomous snakes who make Mommie Dearest read like a fairy tale.

On our nice list, should you want a lil’ preview, are a boozehound who’s always intoxicating company (even when she’s on the wagon) and a butt-kicker in whose hands we’d be happy to leave our disappearance. And on the naughty side of maternity? Oh gee, we’re talking madwomen and murderers there.

Looking at them, your mother is gonna look better and better!

Click on the photo gallery below to find out which characters we cheered and which we jeered. Then, by all means, after you’re done calling your own mamas — and you’re destined to want to! — hit the comments with the moms, good and bad, that you think deserve singling out.