For so many of us, it’s the storm cloud hovering over every big decision, every heat- of-the-moment reaction, every 11PM Google search made in desperation.
Am I sleep training correctly?
Is my baby going to have permanent damage from crying it out?
Am I a bad mom if I don’t make my own baby food?
Is she talking enough for her age?
Should I be doing more time-outs?
Am I making the right choice if I work instead of staying home?
Is he getting enough peer interaction?
Three years into this parenting gig, I still find myself on the merry-go-round of mommy doubt with no clue how to hop off. Why do we have this ingrained instinct to come down so hard on ourselves? Whether we recognize it or not, each decision we make for our kids is coming from the purest, most intense source of love. We want what’s best for them, bottom line.
Is this idea what drives us to second guess every turn we make?
I’m no stranger to the stay at home/go to work struggle. Do I want to be there for every special, precious, difficult, cuddly moment with my two toddlers? YEP. Do I want to stay relevant in the workforce and have daily adult interaction? Also, YEP. I find myself experiencing crushing doubt in either scenario.
Whether it be big decisions like this one, or those little in-the-moment choices we as parents are forced to make all day long, that feeling is along for the ride.
And I have to wonder if the people most affected by this vicious cycle of self-evaluating are not our kids at all, but in fact, us.
Close your eyes and picture your kids 10…20 years from now. Grown into their own unique, beautiful, messy personalities. And I ask you this:
- Are they worried about what brand of bottles you chose? Your work schedule? The details of their bedtime routine? Homemade, pureed butternut squash?
- What do they remember about your happiness, the sound of your laughter, the favorite book you read 437 times in one year?
What if we chose to take off our cloak of doubt and guilt, and traded it in for some parenting confidence? If this constant storm of doubt we brew inside ourselves is driven by love for our kids, then let’s start worrying less about the details of every moment… and more about the big picture.
Challenge yourself to make a bold parenting decision and not look back. Let them eat ice cream for dinner. Stay up too late and dance in the living room. Do what feels right for you, without Googling it.
Your family will thank you later.
Love this! So true, and a great way to push forward on this dreary Tuesday ? just a good reminder to keep things in check!
Thank you, Paige! Your kind words mean a lot!! I know I need to hear this from time to time (or all the time). 🙂
When I think I’m at my worst as a mom I step back and do something out of the daily routine as a mom to shake things up and make it memorable…. random sleepover in mom and dads room, late night ice cream run in a school night (gasp!), give her a “personal day” to re-coupe and re-charge… those are the moments she remembers and what will make a difference some day. Thanks for the reminder that as moms we don’t have to be picture perfect! We can be hot mess perfect in the eyes of our family and they wouldn’t want it any other way! ❤️
Mandy, SO TRUE! This inspires me to shake things up! I try to plan these special “big” events… but never think to do it when I’m having a less-than-perfect day. And you’re so right… that’s what is going to stick with our kids, not the time out they had, or the veggie we made them finish before leaving the table. This is GREAT advice. Thank you!
Amazing writing and inspiring words from a beautiful person, mommy and friend. Proud of you Bails! And thank you for speaking about Mom guilt, a topic that in and of itself can produce guilt!
Thank you SO much, my dear friend! It’s an issue that’s near and dear to my heart… and something I have to continually work on. I wish I saw you more, but it is blindingly obvious through your pictures and posts that Chris is one lucky little boy! What an amazing mommy he has.
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