As moms, we often beat ourselves up about big decisions we have to make for our kids. We weigh the options, we discuss them with friends, we make spreadsheets, we lay awake at night worrying. School selections, sleep training, pre-teen conversations, extra-curricular activities, after-school care, educational challenges, emotional struggles — all of these major topics that come up again and again amongst groups of my close mom friends. We discuss with our husbands, we vent, we pray, we worry some more.
We take in options, assess the potential outcomes, and make the best decisions that we can for our children and our families. Interestingly, the pressure to be right in these decisions is what seems so burdensome. Even more so than the decision itself at times. It’s as if we can’t ever change our minds or go a different route once we have traveled down the road a bit. Or we are embarrassed to say that we want to change our minds about what we have chosen.
One friend mentioned to me last week that we all need to give ourselves the space and the grace to Change Our Minds sometimes. It was like a lightbulb went off! “You’re right!” I exclaimed, “I can change my mind!” It’s like it hadn’t dawned on me before that it was OK to sleep train differently this time given a different work situation and schedule. It’s OK if the school you select now isn’t the perfect one for your little one. If you figure that out later, you make a change. It’s alright to sign up for piano or dance or soccer and then figure out later it wasn’t the best idea. (Brief aside: my husband doesn’t seem to care about this at all. He just says: “Oh, I changed my mind about that.” The end. He moves right along.)
Mom pressure and mom guilt are so real. We all want to do the best we can for our kids. We wear their successes like a badge of honor and misplace our own feelings of mothering excellence, or lack of, by the daily-weekly-monthly decisions we make for our kids. Sometimes we just take it all too seriously. We can learn from our choices, take our experiences for what they are, and make the next best decision for our kids. Most things are not set in stone and can be adjusted if push comes to shove. Often, we just need a strong reminder of that.
What are some areas where you could give yourself a little more grace in decision-making and the ability and space to just change your mind if you need to?