We moms like to be part of “the” group: SAHM, WAHM, working mom; anti-spanking, positive parenting, Christian mom; child-led weaning, breastfeeding, bottle feeding.
In which categories do you fit?
No matter which categories I choose to be a part of, there are those who choose differently.
The Summer I was pregnant with the twins did not hold my best mom moments. Dealing with the first trimester of a twin pregnancy was tougher than I thought it would be.
I have been pregnant now 4 times. I figured I was up for the challenge of this one.
My ‘I feel like I could throw up at any moment yuck’ feeling hit hard around week 8, just as my oldest ended his preschool year. Summer vacation while completely ill with pregnancy was a challenge.
We did not go to the zoo like I wanted, we did not try out new playgrounds each week. A weekly playdate that I wanted to organize turned into once a month because I just could not make the plan.
The summer was full of regrets. (Good mom or bad mom?)
What did my children do most of the summer?
Watch tv and movies. (Sigh)
I could get up with them, make breakfast, start my household tasks or work on an activity with the kids, and get to lunch. For the rest of the afternoon I was out of energy and full of feeling sick. I had to rest.
My children have quiet time after lunch when they watch a movie. Unfortunately this quiet time lasted from about 12pm to 4pm. (Good mom or bad mom?)
I have a list of choices that I made while parenting that some groups may feel were bad and others may feel good:
-I switched one of my children from breastmilk to formula when they were 5 ½ months old.
-I breastfed 3 of my children for an entire year, each.
-I have raised my voice to my children on “those days“.
-I always tell my children why they are being punished or why I am frustrated with them, and I do not get to that point without a reason.
-I have spanked.
-I praise and encourage.
-I have never made my kids a bento box meal, or cut out sandwiches into cute shapes.
-Most of the fruits and veggies my children eat are raw or rarely seasoned.
-We do not eat completely organic food.
-I try my best to be sure my children are eating a balanced diet every (most) days.
Good mom or bad mom?
Depending on who we listen to as mothers, we will either feel good or bad about our choices raising our children. I like hearing diverse opinions, and I can learn from them. I just have to remember who I allow to affect my confidence.
Questioning why we do something is good, but giving up on ourselves because of the opinions of others is not.
Sometimes when I am parenting at my best, I do not feel good about it.
When I am holding a boundary and not letting my kids push me over that line, I do not feel good because it is not easy, but it is necessary.
I did not feel good about my children watching more tv than I like them to watch in a day, but it felt necessary to get the rest I needed while pregnant. Balance-for that season-was achieved for the most part, just not every day.
I was blessed to get rest most of the time that I needed it. I did not have to leave my kids with people I did not know, or push my body farther than it wanted to go. I could adjust speed as needed.
I was forced to focus on the needs and not the extras-just getting meals on the table, (or ordering a meal to get on the table), cutting out organizing a playgroup, focusing on “nesting” with my children. I taught my children a little bit more about balancing needs and wants.
Balance is what we really need to teach these days.
When we are forced to be flexible for a worthwhile reason, when we make choices to protect and care for our child and ourselves, when we attend to needs that leave us with no time for the wants, then we are focusing on the good, the right, the true.
Some may call me a bad mom for a few of these choices, some may say I have not always been on top of my game or doing it all well, but that is life. I listen to their opinions, but I am working to be what my children and husband need me to be.
Connecting with other mothers and sharing the stories of our good moments and our bad are great opportunities to learn, be humble and re-balance.
This post is featured in A Complete Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms:When You Need Encouragement & Resources for Pregnancy and Feeding and Caring for Baby
Enjoy your time at home!