Prior to kids, your life is yours. Your decisions, your time, your interests- they’re all yours. Then everything changes…
A precious soul changes your life- your love expands in ways you didn’t know possible. All of a sudden your decisions, time and interests are all relative to a tiny, breathing, wonderful, beautiful human weighing less than 10lbs.
It is shocking.
Some days, you wish your vantage point was “yours” again. You just want to shower because it is morning or close the door when you use the restroom because that is polite. But, you don’t… because no matter how much you want to, you have a new driving force- a selflessness that you miraculously adopted along the parenthood journey.
From the first positive pregnancy test, decisions are no longer made because of you. Will you eat lunch meat and sushi? Will you take a prenatal- which one? Exercise? Medicate for nausea or try to sleep it off (that doesn’t work :))? These seemingly huge decisions, quickly dissipate. After all, who cares about sushi when you have to bring a life into the world…
The major emotional decisions come next: natural birth, epidurals, breast feeding, sleep training, baby food, attachment parenting, discipline?
These decisions are even harder than the first.
Everyone has their thoughts about the “epic” decisions in child rearing. Family members share their thoughts, sometimes with brazen authority. The internet is full of baby boards and endless information. Facebook is probably the worst- opinions without social etiquette.
So many plans-of-action in #momlife are formulated with intense emotion. They are made with very little sleep under the belt and final decisions are only made after hours of worry and contemplation. Even the simplest of thoughts can run rampant on a mom’s psyche.
A friend once described a mom’s brain to me as the running feed on the bottom of a news station. No matter what breaking news is facing you, your focus can never leave the #momlife thoughts scrolling rapidly through your brain.
Is that a cry? How many hours did they sleep? When will they be hungry? Why are their cheeks red? Do they have a fever, or is it just hot in here?
The multitude of decisions easily become too much- completely overwhelming. We’ve all been there. Reached our point of helplessness and wondered if we are really doing the best we can for our kids.
So… after you cry, research, and pray, remember that if you FIRST choose to be selfless and THEN to embrace the overwhelming love that I child brings into your home, YOU WILL make the decision that is right for your baby and your family.
Happy Mom, Happy Baby, Happy Family.
If you choose to breastfeed or if you don’t try at all; if you spank or do time-out; if you give birth in a hospital or in a bathtub- pray about the decisions you face, do what you have peace with and finally, REST in a place of knowing that God equipped YOU to be this precious baby’s Mommy. YOU are this baby’s most precious gift, most needed desire, and you CAN do it. Someday, the decisions that once overwhelmed you, will seem trivial.
When I drop my sweet three-year-old off at Preschool, I don’t know which kids had to cry-it-out, if they were fed formula, if they got Tylenol for fevers or if they ate 2 ounces or 3 ounces of baby food by 7 months old. It has only been three years and already the decisions that kept me up at night, don’t matter. The thing that I do see is how the Mom’s love their kids. The hand-holding through the parking lot, the kisses at the door, and the shouts of “Mommy!” at pick-up… the love of a Mommy is what matters. The love of a Mommy is what prevails.
From womb to adulthood, remember that your love is what matters for your baby. You are equipped with “Mommy-wisdom” to make the decisions that are best for YOUR family. Don’t throw research and good advice out the window, but don’t feel guilty for doing #momlife different than “Aunt Susie” or the social media mom who over-shares her opinions. Outside of unfailing love, chalk child-rearing decisions up to personal preference.
The only thing I know to be 100% true, is that your child needs you. They need your love. Your peace. The comfort of you.
Your baby needs YOU.