Mama, Sometimes You Just Need To CHILL!

Agonizing. That’s the best word I can think of to describe my parental decision-making process the majority of the time. Sometimes it feels like I treat every single decision as though W’s entire future hangs in the balance on what I determine to do. Here’s a short and incomplete list of decisions that have kept me up at night:

-Should I circumcise? (Thankfully, W was born a girl, so I got a free pass on this one).

-Should W sleep with us? (We decided yes…but see below for the rest of the story).

-Cloth diapers can be tricky at night. What’s the best combination? (I solved this one).

-I want to donate milk to a milk bank, but will that affect my health? Will it affect W’s? (Turns out yes for me [have to eat more…darn…], no for her).

-Should we give a Hep B shot at birth, or wait a few weeks? (We waited).

Here’s a short and incomplete list of decisions that are STILL keeping me up at night:

-I haven’t slept more than 2 hours in a stretch in 8 months. Should W still sleep with us? Should we night-wean?

-W has wants now, not just needs. Sometimes her wants don’t coincide with my wants (or needs). When should I start setting limits? At what point IS it possible to spoil a child?

-I have a torn labrum in my shoulder that affects my quality of life. When should I get it repaired, and how will my surgery affect W?

-When we get to toddlerhood, are time-outs effective, gentle discipline, or do they teach a child that her anger isn’t acceptable and gets her ostracized?

I don’t think I’m on my own here; I see a lot of moms agonizing. They do it alone, in groups, in person, and on the Internet. Here’s what I think (and I need to remind myself of this…maybe daily): we’re all doing our best, me included. Children are really, really resilient. There are as many parenting styles as there are stars in the sky (I think…I’m not an astronomer), and for the most part, parenting decisions notwithstanding, children turn out just fine. Will I make bad parenting calls? YES; probably many of them. There, that’s sorted. Now I can stop worrying about it. Will I make good parenting calls? Yes; probably most of them. Does my constant worrying help matters? No. But it does show that I care about being a good mom, and that (more than any actual decision I make) is the best indication that my baby will turn out just fine.

Give yourself a big hug, ladies (give yourself a big hug, SquintMom!); you’re a great mom.

 

What do you worry about as a mom?

 

 

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