If you’ve ever questioned whether you are a good mom, remember this one simple piece of advice I was given recently by an experienced mom…Do you ever question yourself in motherhood? Do you ever wonder if you were really, truly cut out for this task?
I do. All too often.
Some days, I wonder if I’m doing too much for my kids…or too little. I wonder if I should be spending more time teaching my kids academic skills. Then I wonder if I should back off more and let them just play freely and be kids. I wonder if I should comfort them when they fall, or whether I should encourage them to brush off their scrapes and be strong. I wonder if I’m firm enough…or compassionate enough.
I wonder if I’m being the mom my kids need.
All this is not helped by the endlessly competing parenting philosophies vying for my support. Breast or bottle? Cry it out or co-sleep? Helicopter or free-range? Public school or home school? What would a “good” mom do?
There are so many decisions to make as a parent. every. single. day. And can be exhausting…but it doesn’t have to be.
The truth about motherhood
On Mother’s Day this year, an older woman at my church spoke to the congregation and shared some of her insights gained through decades of mothering.
As I sat in the pew listening to her life’s experience, one piece of advice she gave struck me to the core. She said simply:
“Whatever you do, moms, it’s right.”
Now, obviously there are limitations to the truth of this statement. There are some actions of parents that are not right. But the point she was getting at rang true to me.
There is not one right answer. Just because the mom down the street has piano prodigies for children doesn’t mean I need to put mine in lessons. If I want to feed my kid processed mac ‘n cheese instead of organic, I don’t have to feel guilty. Nor should any other mom feel judged for having a “no sugar” policy in her own home.
I’ve made a lot of choices as a mom:
I have had unmedicated births.
I do not co-sleep.
My babies both learned to self-sooth through some tear-filled nights.
I try to buy healthy food, but I don’t worry about organic.
We don’t have a “no running” rule in our house.
That’s me. That’s what works for my family.
But your story, your house, and your family likely look different than mine. We all wear the role of motherhood differently…and that’s as it should be.
I know my children. You know yours. We were given these children for a reason, and we have the capacity to be the mothers they need–just the way we are.
There is not one right way to be a mother.
Our job as moms is not an easy one. We are faced with raising individual children who have individual personalities and needs. Not to mention the fact that we are individual women with our own strengths, weaknesses, and parenting styles to work with.
When we combine all that individuality, it becomes clear why there is not ONE right parenting method. There is no authoritative book that will give you all the answers (no matter what some parenting books may claim).
Once we realize this truth, we are free–free to be the mom our children need.
So, give yourself the freedom to choose what works for you. Have confidence in your choices. Certainly, it’s good to be open to learning new and better ways to do things, but it’s also okay to reject others’ ideas in favor for something that works better for you and your family.
Remember, Whatever you do, it’s right.
Share your thoughts!
What do you think? How have you found freedom in allowing yourself to be different from the moms around you?