As a parent you will receive a tremendous amount of advice, much of it useful, some of it useless, and the rest might simply be maddening! It can be very frustrating to figure out if you’re doing everything “right” for your children. This last year as we started a nationwide dialogue on childhood vaccinations, this was never more evident. Our hearts as moms shout out, “Just tell me the RIGHT thing to do, and I will do it!” It seems as though there are valid points on each side of the vaccine debate, and it’s so hard to figure out what to do, especially when well-meaning friends share their opinions vocally. Here are a few pointers that have helped me over the years:
1. Your friends don’t have to answer for how your kids turn out- but you do.
2. Somethings that seem so life-shattering in the moment won’t matter at all in a year, five years, or ten years. Ask yourself, “in five years will it really matter if I let my baby cry it out in their crib or went to pick her up?” Even though I’m a strong proponent of breast-feeding, I myself am the result of bottle-fed formula, and somehow I turned out okay! Don’t kill yourself over the details- love and enjoy your children as much as you can; life is short.
3. In ten years you might not even have those high-pressure friends, so who cares what they say! I look back on all of those opinionated moms from the kindergarten class with their big ideas, and you know what? I’m not friends with any of them any more, but my kids are still with me and they turned out amazing, even with their vaccines and their high gluten diets and their lack of preschool training.
4. Sometimes there just isn’t a clear answer and you just do the best with what you have at that moment. Go with the natural instinct you have as a mama bear to care for her cubs, and you will probably be doing the “right” thing!