I used to be the mother that would try and glean from the wisdom of the other mothers I knew. I mean ALL of them! All of them had completely different parenting methods and many that differed from mine, which left me completely confused. Even more, none of those other parenting methods worked for me and my family.
I had to eventually learn what worked best for me. Some parents spank their kids, some don’t. Some parents let their kids get away with murder, while others are beyond strict. Some parents give their kids privacy, some don’t. My point is none of their methods worked for my family. What worked was taking what they said and learning from it. Applying some of this and some of that until it was a good fit for my family.
I’ve also learned to stay away from those mommy message boards when they get too intense. I’ve learned not to take every piece of “advice” and criticism to heart. I’ve learned to brush off the comments from those “perfect mothers” who have to look down on us imperfect mothers from their pedestals. There will be people that no matter how hard you try, you’ll never please them. Finding the place where you’re okay with not caring what everyone else thinks is vital.
The most important thing to keep in mind is as a mom, you need to do what’s best for your family. When it comes to debates like vaccinations, circumcision, discipline, etc. there will always be judgment, there will always be opinions. There will always be strong feelings one way or the other. As a woman, and a mother, you have to block out the naysayers and decide what works best for your family…no matter who the naysayers are. Sometimes that includes our families too.
While our families may love us, they may not always know how to support us. When I decided to homeschool my kids, not everyone in my family was on board with that decision. My children, however, have flourished and are incredibly bright, and well advanced. The family members who were not on board, in the beginning, are now on board with that decision. They have been able to see the fruits of our labor. Had I let the opposition change my mind, my kids would not be at the point they are. So this works for us as a family.
Learning to be confident in our own skin, and be confident in the choices we make for our family will help us in the long run from feeling like a yo-yo in trying to please others. Someone once told me when it came to messages, sermons, advice, etc. “Chew the meat, spit out the bones”. In other words, take what works for you and your family/situation, and discard the rest. There are no perfect mothers, no perfect parents, and no perfect kids. We do the best we can with what we know, and we strive to improve ourselves always.
What are some lessons you’ve had to learn to become that confident mother?