Pressure, pressure, pressure. Being a mom comes with a lot of pressure. Your circle of moms, family members and even geographic location can affect the specifics, but we are all familiar with those important decisions that make us a good mom or a bad mom.
Here are some hot topics around my neck of the woods:
Vaccinations, circumcision, breastfeeding, cosleeping, diet, and the list goes on.
It’s so easy to nit pick and decide that someone is a good or bad mom based on their decisions regarding one or all of these topics. However, I have learned that there isn’t a right answer.
That’s right, there’s no right answer. You see, every child, family and situation is so different, there is never one right answer. The truth is that no one knows your kids or family better than you do. Will you make some “wrong” calls? Sure, we all do, but the key to being a good mom is to prayerfully consider your options and do what you know is right. The right thing isn’t always the same from family to family or even child to child.
Let me give you an example: Breastfeeding, and specifically nursing is really important to me. I was able to nurse my first until he self-weaned at 20 months. I was thrilled to do the same with my second, but we have problems. Nursing HURTS! I have had blisters for all seven weeks of our nursing relationship. The pain affects my sleep, energy and activity level. Just this week we were finally able to have Timothy’s severe lip tie corrected, and I’m hoping this will correct our nursing relationship.
STOP. Already I’ve had people express to me that I must be crazy and that I would be a better mom if I just gave it up. On the flip side it’s been said that if I stop nursing (even if I pump) I’m giving up too easily and am depriving my baby of what he needs. Some have even told me I’m an amazing mom for sticking it out for so long.
See. It’s impossible to make everyone happy. The truth is, no matter what happens, I am a good mom. Why? Because I am doing everything in my power to give all three (yes, my husband is important too) of my boys the best outcomes I see possible given all factors and circumstances. No one else has the data I do. No one else has poured over this decision in prayer like I have. No matter how this situation ends up, or what others think, I’m a good mom.
So stop focusing on the pressure all around you. Turn to the only One who has all the answers, the one who can give you the strength to do what is right.
Oh, and one more thing; take a minute to encourage another mom even if her parenting style and decisions are different from yours. I truly believe that encouragement, not judgement, brings out the best in one another.
What about you? I would love to hear what makes you feel like a good mom.