I never truly doubted myself or my abilities as a person until I
became a parent. Motherhood filled with me doubts, anxiety and
worry. Every single decision seemed to be monumental and life
impacting, and I became a mom before mommy blogs really exploded! I
just know that if I was a first-time mom today . . . it would not
be pretty! So many ways and places where moms can feel like they
are falling short, not doing the right thing, wearing the right
clothes, looking the right way or parenting the right way. Lean in
and let me tell you a secret:
There is no right way.
Really there isn't, and there never has been.
You have heard "Every child is different," and you've probably
nodded along, but it's more than that. Every mom is different,
every situation is different, every moment is different. Even the
same situation can be different the second time you experience it,
if for no reason other than that it's the second time you
A mom friend called to ask my advice/opinion on something. She
was stressing and fretting over a decision and lamenting what she
had and hadn't done in the past and wondering what she will do in
the future. I told her my mantra: "You are being the best mom you
can be today, at this moment, in these circumstances."
You (we) are making the best decision for this given moment. It
may not be someone else's best decision, heck it may not be the
same best decision we make in a different moment, but it's the best
for THIS moment.
Today a mom at a playdate said:
"Don't tell me 5 ways to be a better mom. You don't know that
I'm not an awesome mom. Besides do you ever see them saying 5 ways
to be a better dad? It's always look at this awesome moment between
a dad and a kid. I don't need more ways to be told I'm not doing
I think in general, the Internet and all of this information
available to us has made parenting much more exhausting. Much more
of something objective that can be checked and graded like a test,
and it's not.
It's a lifelong subjective process that is constantly changing.
As soon as you figure one thing out, there is something new to
So just be happy in this moment. Be confident in whatever
decision you make today, even if you make a different one tomorrow.
Not that you need to justify it to anyone, but if you need to
justify it to yourself remember this: Tomorrow is different and
this is the best decision right now, so own it.
A friend posted on Facebook yesterday:
I think women need to start celebrating small victories the way
that men do. I got an email, a text and a phone call today from
Gabe, announcing he had successfully signed the rest of the family
up for swimming at the park district. He was all BAM! I DID THAT
SHIT! BOOYAH! REGISTRATION COMPLETE! WOOT WOOT!
I think that is a perfect way to get out of the funk, worry and
anxiety about everything we do as parents. Instead of fretting
about, celebrate it.
"You bet I'm making macaroni and cheese for dinner, and it's not
organic or homemade. It's from a blue box and it tastes
Try it. You'll see it feels a lot better than wondering if your
kids will grow a third eye simply because you never made your own
baby food (they won't -- promise).
Melissa is mom to 4 kids and 2 angels | writer | creator | localist with LittleLakeCounty.com. She once lived in heels and dreamed of traveling the world, now she lives in her minivan and dreams of a clean kitchen
See more of Melissa's stories here.
Let us plan your weekend with the best family events and activities in Chicagoland.
Start the week right with deals, prizes, parent life hacks and more delivered straight to your inbox.
Need last-minute ideas for a weekend of family fun? No worries. We've got you.
Get the inside scoop on the people, places and things we are loving right now.
Resources, tips, inspiration and more for parents of children with special needs.
Score exclusive offers from our fabulous advertisers.