Being confident in mothering

I've said it before and I'll say it again, we are all our worst critics.  I think as moms we naturally put all of this pressure on ourselves.  We want to be the best we can be and we worry if we're doing enough or doing it right.  It's a hard job.  And a thankless one at that.  We can't see how our choices will affect our kids in the long run, but they will.  When you really think about it, how we choose to parent our children will dictate the adults that they will become and how they will parent their own children.  I mean, aren't we all just trying to do it a little better than our parents?  Sorry mom and dad, I'm just keeping it real. 

Then you add in social media and the mom guilt multiplies.  I see other moms online and I compare compare compare.  It's important to remember that you're not getting the whole picture.  No one's life is perfect.  We are all at different stages in our lives, going our own pace, and that is okay.  Each season has its own blessings and things to be thankful for.  You don't want to go through life always pining for the future without enjoying the here and now.  This is something that I am soo guilty of and working on.

Then on top of all of this, we have judgment from others.  As a young mother, this has honestly been what's made it hardest for me.  I've had so many people judge me for being a young parent or tell me what I can't do.  I've always found this funny when I end up doing better than them or their kids. What? I'm just saying... If you ask me, nothing can ruin relationships with friends and family like getting pregnant at a young age because people's responses can be very hurtful.  When someone tells you that you will be a failure or tells you that you should get an abortion, it's kinda hard to look at them the same.  (There is nothing wrong with getting an abortion, but I think there is something very wrong with giving someone this kind of advice unsolicited.  It is something the mother will have to live with for the rest of her life, so let her and the father make the decision) Then there are those who, because we are young, think that they can tell us how to be a mom.  

I get that some of them probably mean well. So let me say this: motherhood is a blessing but also very challenging at any age but especially when you are young.  If you really care about someone and want to help, being negative is not helpful.  What may be overwhelming for you may not be so overwhelming for someone else.  We each have our own cup.  And unless we are asking for advice or asking something of you, remember that this is their life.  In order for young mothers to be successful, we need people who will encourage us and support us.  While we're on the topic of comparing, remember that it goes both ways.  Just as we may compare ourselves to others and feel less than, we also judge others for not doing things the way we would.  It's natural do to this, after all it makes us feel better about ourselves.  But remember how that feels on the receiving end.  Let's lift each other up as women and be there for one another.   

Along this journey, I have found that the negative opinions never really end.  You can't please everyone.  So how does one remain confident in their ability as a mother amidst all of this negativity?  Trust yourself, and if you're religious, trust in God.  Know that everything has happened for a reason and the way that it was supposed to.  This is your journey and no one else's.  You were chosen to be your child's mother and you're the best person for the job.  No one knows your children better than you, and what works for others and their children may not be what's best for your family.  It's okay to be insecure about your parenting, it means that you care.  When you have a bad day, remember that you can always start fresh tomorrow.  We all make mistakes, what's important is not that we made them but that we learn from them.  When it comes to others' opinions, be humble and recognize when their critiques have merit but also learn when to take it with a grain of salt.  Stay positive and focus on your life instead of others' opinions.  Surround yourself with people who love and support you.  Don't ever let the negativity make you forget that you have lots of people rooting for you. I have found that I am the best mother to my girls when I have confidence in my ability to do so.