I've already begun to notice all the advice expectant and new moms receive and the challenge that it is to figure out what type of mom you want to be. There are many types of moms out there and lots of choices to be made. How does a new mom decide?
What I've begun to realize is that there isn't one right answer when it comes to parenting and that to me is what makes parenting challenging. What one mom does with her family might not work for another family. I've already started to see that moms are judged about all different things. Is the baby breast or bottle fed? Was the delivery natural, or did the mom get an epidural? Does the mom work or stay at home? The list could go on and on. Moms are judged all the time for their choices, and I think many of them find the need to justify their decisions.
Recently I realized though that at the end of the day, all moms have the common goal of loving their children and being the best mom that they can be. There are many parenting philosophies out there but really what matters most is that we do the best we can and that we love our child.
I've always been one that is an overachiever and wants to do everything to the best of my ability. I like things neat, organized, and structured. As I think about my life with a baby, I've realized that I need to be okay with flexibility and that everything doesn't need to be perfect. I think it's common that we as individuals and moms often feel that we aren't good enough and that we could always be doing more. There seems to be so much pressure on people and kids.
Today I was at the hair salon, and my hair stylist said that looking back on his first few years of being a parent that there were many things he would have changed or wished he could have done differently. I think we are always going to be that way and look back on a situation and think about how it could have gone better. But hindsight is 20/20. We make the best choices we can at the time. Of course it's wonderful to reflect and figure out ways to improve ourselves but it's important not to dwell on the past and things that we can't change.
Whether you are single, newly married, an expectant parent, a new parent, or a veteran parent, I encourage you to remind yourself that you are doing enough and that you are doing the best you can during your everyday life. I've been working on putting less pressure on myself and more focus on taking care of myself, my husband, my family, and my friends.
When I first stopped working and started telling people I planned to be a stay at home mom, I felt the need to justify my situation. I do have a college degree. I did teach for six years. I accomplished this, and I did that. I almost felt guilty that I wasn't working full time anymore and teaching those sweet children I impacted over the past few years. But then I realized that it's okay, and I shouldn't feel the need to explain why I made the choice I made and how I ended up where I am today.
We all take different paths, and we all have various challenges but it's important that we cherish every stage of life. Sometimes there is so much focus on the future and what's coming next. Take a moment to enjoy today and remind yourself of all the great things in your life. Hope you all have a great weekend!