Doing the whole mom thing the best I can

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I am a mom.

I opted to become a mom and was fortunate to be blessed with two amazing daughters. My daughters challenge me, they make me grow, they make me laugh, they enrich my life. It was my choice to have children.

Recently, I’ve had people say things like, “I’m so glad I chose not to have children! They’re messier than my dogs!” or the even more offensive implication from another non-mom that her reasoning for not having children is that her hips weren’t wide enough. Admittedly, these statements have stuck with me far longer than they should have. I should be able to brush them off and realize the spirit with which these statements were intended – they weren’t intended to be hurtful. They were probably meant to be amusing.

(Btw? My hips aren’t that wide. I had two kids.
I can also name a slew of tiny actresses and real life people I’ve met in person who somehow managed to have children despite not having “child bearing hips.”
Have children or don’t for whatever reasons – but don’t blame your hips.)

But so goes the world of motherhood (or even parenthood – dads, I don’t mean to exclude y’all). It’s fraught with judgment from other people about damn near everything – from whether or not to have children at all to bottle feeding versus breast feeding to how much (if any) screen time you let your kiddos have to public schools versus private schools versus home schools versus charter schools to… to… to…

It’s really never ending.
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From the moment you decide to have children through whatever course you choose (natural, adoption, fertility, stepparenting) there are a great deal of things to consider. You could read 101 different articles and come up with a laundry list of a ton of things the “experts” say you could or should do or your children will be irreversibly damaged in some way.

It could make you crazy if you let it.

There are few right answers. There are few “musts.”

And generally, we’re all just doing the best we can.

That’s the philosophy I try to keep with me when I find that Judgey McJudgerson side of me sneak up – and it does. Usually, it crops up at times when I’m flipping through channels and I land on “Toddlers and Tiaras” and I see these women giving their six year olds spray tans and fake teeth and painting them up with enough make up to keep Sephora in business.

The instinct to judge comes up because I’m not that kind of mom.

That’s not how I choose to raise my children.

And then I step back and remind myself (sometimes ineffectively):

The way someone else parents their children, the choices they make don’t affect me.

Her kid’s spray tan on my television set has no impact on my life here in my living room.


Case closed. Flip the channel, Sarah. Move on.


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I’ve worked from home. I’ve worked in an office.

I feed my kids healthy food. I allow sugar in moderation (hell, I encourage it – I don’t believe in deprivation).

I breast fed my children. And then I bottle fed when it stopped being the right choice for each daughter and myself.

I swore I’d limit screen time to thirty minutes a day and then my oldest watched so much Nick Jr. that I had chunks of whole episodes of Dora memorized and I mourned when she moved on from The Backyardigans because I thought the music was so fun.

I swore I’d never take my kids to McDonalds, and now I do sometimes.

I know I don’t have the patience to home school so I rely on our public school system for their education.

My children now have to go back and forth between our house and their dad’s.


We make the choices we have to make out of the situations and circumstances we live in. Our focus is on what we value, and what we know. Sometimes it’s a bit of our culture or family experience.

We have musts – my musts are safety and concern for health and well being and that my kids are loved and that they know they are loved.

When it all comes down to it, all the other stuff is just extra.

It’s tough not to judge. We do it sometimes to help us feel more secure in the choices we’re making – if something that other mom is doing makes us think, “At least I’m not doing that. I must be doing okay,” it allows us somehow to feel better about what we’re doing.

Parenting is a terribly insecure endeavor at times. With no performance reviews or evaluations, sometimes we weigh how we’re doing against how others are doing.

Not gonna say I’ve never done it.

Not gonna say I’ll never do it again.

But I will try not to.

It’s not for me to tear down someone else’s parenting to lift myself up. I vow to use my children as a gauge for my parental successes, rather than comparing myself to other parents. Are my kids happy? Yes? Then… that’s all I need to know.

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About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.

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