I had the most refreshing lunch today with my cousin who was visiting from D.C. She has two boys that are 7 and 9 – she is in the next phase of motherhood, while I am still in the tantrum and drooling stages. She left me with some helpful wisdom that I wanted to share with others. She reminded me to just try to do what is best for YOUR kids. And try not to look left and look right at what other people are doing. The best thing isn’t necessarily the most expensive thing or having your children in five activities. The best thing may not be to breast feed for a year or at all. The best thing may be private school or it may be public school or it may be charter school. We have to remind ourselves to do what is best for us and our family and each of our children individually, rather than trying to clock what everyone else is doing.
There are so many things today as a mom to get “right”. With all the outside voices – from social media, milestone apps about where your children “should” be, and even friends and family – we all feel like there’s probably something we should be doing better. Something else our child should be doing to be the best them. It reminded me of conversations I had with two separate friends over the past week. One was saying that there was just too much pressure, especially living in a big metro city, around going to the “right” preschool. Another was saying that she felt pressure for her one year old to make sure he was speaking well enough. It reminded me of something my cousin said – Don’t stress if your child isn’t reading by the first grade, they will catch up. We are juggling so many things and trying to keep all the balls in the air and its not easy. I think someone forgot to tell us (or maybe just me) how tough being a mom really is. We are doing the best we can do and as long as we love our children, we are preparing them the best way we can.