1. Work Choices. Well, now I work full-time (although half from home and the other half traveling) and I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t matter what you need to do (or want to do) as far as working, part-time working, being a stay-at-home mom — you name it — it does NOT define motherhood. There really cannot be a bar about what makes a good mom with regards to working. Honestly. We just all need to embrace and encourage each other where they are – maybe you want to work or maybe you want to stay at home. Your motherhood abilities and awesome cannot ever be delineated by that status.
2. Food Choices. I paid for sharing that my family eats fruit cups sometimes when I made a video about the insane difficulties in opening them up (see the Fruit Cup Wars of Motherhood). I know there are tons of healthy options in foods and that many of you are vegan or only eat organic or non-gmos or so on. And that there are also tons of you who eat McDonalds and chicken nuggets and pbjs. And that there are also tons of us who are somewhere in-between. Seriously, now, listen. Those are choices and cannot define your ability to mother. Are there super awesome choices? Yes. But sometimes we all make choices because we have to – like me – our family is gluten free. Do you know why? My son Samuel has Celiac Disease. Sometimes when I say I’m gluten free or I need a gluten free menu I get the oh you’re gluten free look. But, they don’t know the reason behind it. So let’s not judge food. Maybe they can’t eat peanuts or dairy or whatever. Food choices don’t define motherhood.
3. Education Choices. I probably am the queen to talk about education choices. I homeschooled my kids and have sent them to private school and have sent them to virtual online school and now have sent my youngest ones to public school. Do you know what I realized? The school option is a choice but what matters most is the parent involved. There shouldn’t be judging over how a child learns what 2+2 is or where the equator is or who George Washington was or any of that. Some kids become doctors and some teachers and some moms and some entrepreneurs and some Postal Workers on and on and on — no matter how they were taught.
4. Feeding Choices. The breastfeeding formula feeding stuff can stop. We do what’s best for our kids. I shared the parenting choice video put together by a formula company and received a reply that the breastfeeding moms were portrayed as being snooty. Well, here’s my two cents – if we’re always looking for one side to be portrayed with the worst light then it’s always possible to find it and ignore the message. The message was that at the heart and at the end of the day it was about us all loving our kids and that all of the feeding choices and parenting choices ultimately didn’t define us as moms (and dads).
5. You Choices. I once read an article about how it was selfish for moms to take time to themselves because part of being a mom was in the self-sacrifice of giving. And even though I disagree with the thought of not taking time to rest or cultivate dreams and goals I also learned that I have no place in judging those who strongly believe that way. And because of that I’ve also learned that the you type of choices we make as moms really shouldn’t define us. Maybe some of us love yoga or running or cooking or making all the Pinterest crafts. Maybe some of us love camping or shopping or getting our nails done or gardening. That’s the awesome part of being us. We get to make choices and those choices are beautiful. Imagine a world without colors – that is what it would be like if we were all the same.
Just because we have different choices from the mom next to us doesn’t mean that we’re not being awesome. There’s no need to feel threatened when another mom has a different opinion or does something in a new way or has varying media rules or believes food she only be this way or so on. Imagine the strength in loving the person before the choice.
It’s when we become confident in who we are that the threat of other’s opinions wanes.
You are doing the best you can for your family.
Learn from others.
But don’t let others define your happiness.
Be you. Mother your kids.