Tough choices comes with the job description of mom. And it starts right at the beginning.
Should I continue breastfeeding even though I’m so exhausted I can barely function? Or should I switch to formula?
Should I go back to work? When?
When should I start feeding my baby solid foods? And what kind?
Should I feed my family organic foods even though we can barely afford our grocery budget as it is? How do I make it happen?
What about bedtime? I want to co-sleep, but people say I shouldn’t. Or “sleep training?”
How do I “discipline” my child? Wait, I thought I figured it out. He’s doing something different now?!
What should we do for school? Should we consider homeschooling? Our school district really isn’t the best. But what about socialization? Or that I don’t think I’m cut out to be a teacher…
My child wants a Facebook account because all his friends have one, but I feel he’s too young. What do I do?
What do I do when my child is falling behind at school? How do I advocate for him without becoming the annoying mom? Or should I just be the annoying mom because my child is at stake here?
I just found out that a child is calling my son names at school. I’m not sure if I should interfere. Yet.
If you have a special needs child or one with health issues, the choices get even more complicated.
Not for the Faint of Heart
The questions above? I’ve asked many of them myself.
It’s hard being a parent. Yes, it’s one of the most rewarding incredible journeys you’ll ever embark on in life and oh-so-worth it, but motherhood is not for the faint of heart.
I’ve often said that just when I think I’ve figured my kids out, they change. Multiply that times four and that’s my life as a mom. I usually feel a couple steps behind (sometimes miles.)
One thing has become very clear to me through the twelve years I’ve been a mom. We shouldn’t ever have to go through motherhood alone. I’m not talking about husbands or partners.
We need girlfriends to help us through. Other fellow moms who can relate. Who can help hold you up and cheer you on during the tough times and who can share your joy during the good times.
It’s the sisterhood of motherhood. And it’s what all moms need.
Try telling your husband about your day spent potty training your toddler. Your spouse will probably try to “fix” the situation. “Well do this!” (Sound familiar?) Then try telling your best friend who’s also a mom. She’ll laugh and cry with you and maybe, just maybe, she’ll have a lifesaving tip she discovered when going through the same thing.
We need our girls.
And if you don’t have many friends (or even one), I have something to tell you.
Out of The Comfort Zone
Life might be okay now, but it will be great with good friends to share it with. Mom friends who can relate when you’re ready to melt down with your two year old over their tantrum that Jake and the Netherland Pirates won’t play on Netflix.
Step out of your comfort zone and reach out to someone. It may not be easy, especially if you’re an introvert, but it will be so worth it when you do.
I know it’s hard. And I know how easy it is to think that mom sitting on the park bench chatting with two friends probably has enough friends and doesn’t need you. But did you ever think that that woman could be your new best friend? She may not, but you don’t know until you try.
Girlfriend, I live in New Hampshire. Let me say that when I speak from experience, I’m not joking. We New Englanders are known for being cold. Not just the weather (yes that’s true too – it’s almost April and it’s 30 degrees and we still have 6″ of snow on the ground) but our temperaments too. We give off an air of “leave me alone-ness” and “don’t-talk-to-me-or-I-may-bite-you” attitude.
It’s true. Well not the biting part, but seriously some of these people look like they might!
But do you know what I’ve discovered as I’ve gradually fought to overcome my naturally-shy-combined-with-New-England-attitude shell (by the way, I’m originally from Ohio, but it’s so easy to get caught up in the ‘leave-me-alone-ness’ around here)?
Many of these moms that I thought seemed unapproachable are craving friendship just as much as me.
My best friend (sorry, girl, I gotta say it) is super shy and if it wasn’t for our exuberant husbands practically pushing us together, “we” wouldn’t exist. I thank God every day for my girl because seriously she is my other half. (My other girlfriend half that is!)
Girlfriend, join the Sisterhood of Motherhood with me. This movement has been reaching millions because us moms know: motherhood is hard and we don’t need to do it alone! And something as simple as support makes such a huge difference.