Monday, November 30, 2015

Under Pressure

 
Everyone has stress and would probably say they stress about something.  I feel like I'm not a stressed out type of person and I try to manage everything to avoid feeling unnecessarily stressed.

However, I feel this intense mom pressure.

I've only been a Mom for a short time and I find myself feeling pressure from family, friends and complete strangers to do more, do less, sign up for, get involved in and to avoid certain things.  Pressure to research baby purchases on-line for hours before buying, pressure to use certain brands and avoid others, pressure about organics, eco friendly and evening pressure about what items should be in your nursery.  Pressures about baby food, feeding techniques, pacifiers, Basically, you name it and someone has a very strong opinion about it all in the name of "What's best for baby".

It's slightly comical because what's best for your baby is not what's best for every baby.  Babies are so different and every mom has to decide what is best for HER BABY and HER FAMILY.  I'm always hesitant to give advice, but am happy to give suggestions about what worked best for me.  It is standard protocol to start talking shop when you are with other moms.  Talking about the latest products, favorite foods, milestones, etc all happen when you get moms together.

I always try to be the mom that's positive, points out the best and tries to be encouraging.  I'd like to think that I do that in my personal life as well as my mom life.  I enjoy making new mom friends and it's easy to relate to others who are at similar stages of life.  It's also much more encouraging to talk to other moms who are in the trenches with you when everyone shares what works for them without judging.

It seems as though people are eager to give moms advice of all kinds.  Some of it is sweet and some can be rude.  I see it happening all over social media.  People will post a cute picture of their child and then random people will make comments about medical conditions, toy hazards and make a whole slew of comments that are pretty judgmental.  I end up feeling bad for the person who just posted an innocent picture and got bombarded with judgement.

I feel like my mind is always busily thinking of things related to Olive.

Am I spending enough time reading to Olive?
What's the perfect amount of PBS watching?
Is she eating enough veggies?
Why does she seem to avoid meat or certain foods?
Have I toddler proofed things enough?
Could I be doing more with her or for her?
Is this really the safest car seat?
Are her language skills up to par?
Is she interacting with other kids? 
Is she on the wait list for a preschool?
Have we made decisions about her schooling?
Are we reading enough? 
Is she throwing too many fits?
Is this just normal toddlerhood?
Best age for swim lessons?
And all things relate to potty training, pacis and balanced diets.

I think doubt and questioning are a normal part of life, especially when you are just starting out or entering new territory/age.  I imagine with baby #2 that I'll find myself feeling more comfortable in my own skin and questioning less.  I am already noticing that to be true after 2.5 years of parenting most days.  I'm becoming more confident in our decisions and ready to stand up for what is best for our family.  I'm hoping that I can always say that's the case as I become a more experienced parent.

I thought this was an interesting article on Moms and opinions

8 comments:

  1. I think most moms feel this pressure-I know I do. Also, a lot of it I put on myself. I know MY child better than anyone but when someone points out something I automatically start thinking whether or not I'm doing my best for him. Example, a mother at daycare said braggingly that their child was potty trained. I automatically started feeling guilty that Jack isn't. I try to just not worry about what other's say or the guilt I put on myself. Parenting is hard enough without added pressure. The younger kids are the more pressure you get from other mothers and family members.

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  2. Oh I feel under pressure... and with social media, just seeing what everyone else does... it kills me sometimes, but I just have to be ok that I'm doing the best I can for my boys!

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  3. Amen sister! Do what feels right for you and your family and that's the best you can do! (this is all easier said than done of course, we all experience the mom guilt and doubts!!) If you and your family are happy and healthy then I say you're doing GREAT!

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  4. I think this is great advice! & unfortunately worries as a mama never really goes away (I have a 3 and 5 yr old), you just learn how to better go with the flow on things, and what to listen to and what not to listen to. I completely understand where you are coming from, though. It's good to hear advice from others on what works best for their baby, but just as you said what works for others might not always be best for your baby's needs.

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  5. Don't overthink it Whitney. Just do what you feel is right for you and your family and you will do fine...no one does every thing just right and who always knows what is just right for your family....And above all don't listen to the media because since when do they know our values or what is right for us...Just hang in there and all will be o.k...Just look how you turned out...Love Gram

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  6. This is kind of why I miss the pre-social media days. It is a good and a very bad thing, you know. I so often just have to let go and trust God believing we're doing the best we can.

    Hugs to you mama. Thanks for opening up and being real.

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  7. I completely agree! Everyone has an opinion. I try to only offer what worked for us when solicited, and follow it back up with "annnnddd I'm sure it wont work on the next one." ;) because each baby is different!

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  8. I'm starting to feel this way too with my son as he is entering toddler stage. It is so easy to question yourself and wonder if you are handling everything the "right" way. I'm realizing more and more that I need to ask God for wisdom and then just do my best and not worry. Although that is easier said than done! :)

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Smiles, Whitney