Hey Mom: It’s Okay, You Don’t HAVE To

mothering choices

As a mom with a tight budget, my own personal mothering style, and kids who differ greatly from one another—feeling badly about the way we have to do things as a family or feeling ashamed of the way we like to do things is never a good idea.

When I see other moms signing their kids up for all kinds of summer activities and camps, I have to look the other way. That is not for me in this season.

mothering choices

When I start to question why another family would choose to educate their children the way they do, I have to remember grace and that I am not the ultimate judge. My way of living and educational choices for my kids might not be available to or what’s best for their family. I will remember that each mother labors intensely over this decision and then still second guesses herself at times. Godly education looks many different ways in many different settings.

When another mom spends a lot of time on her makeup, hair, and what she wears and it starts to make me feel less than or ugly, I will remember to appreciate it rather than push against it. Even when I start to feel anger or resentment toward her, I will step back and remember we all love taking in beautiful things and creating lovely works of art. Maybe for us it’s painting, building furniture, or taking pictures out in nature. Maybe for her, her skin, hair, and body are her palette.

When her sweet tone with her kids out in public makes me want to roll my eyes and assume she doesn’t experience hardship with her kids or other relationships. Remember this: Even the kindest of souls experience the harshest of worlds.

When she shows up for everything on time with her duckling-children all in a row and looks like she’s never eaten a cupcake (or three), may I always remember that outer perfection is sometimes an indicator of deep inner unrest. Kindness—she needs my kindness not my insecurity.

Just because she mothers and lives according to her tastes and distastes, doesn’t mean I have to do it her preferred way or even like her wayIt’s okay. I mother according to my tastes and distastes too.

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May our words and thoughts to and about each other be gracious, not self-deprecating, and always lifting. Because of the way He is always lifting us.

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This article originally appeared at The Masterpiece Mom.


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Amanda Bacon
Amanda is the mother of eight kids through birth and adoption and has been married for seventeen years to the most helpful man on the planet. She is an encouraging voice for moms everywhere through the written and spoken word. Amanda is co-creator of The Masterpiece Mom blog and podcast available on iTunes.