“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.” Okay, so this may not be a Mrs. Smith original, it’s Eleanor Roosevelt, but Mrs. Smith reminded me of this quote recently. She did however follow it up with “Brilliant, I adore this… I’m not quite sure why… But as a mother that doesn’t quite fit into any one “standard mold”, I find peace in Eleanor’s words.”
Peace. This is a tip on peace. Thank you Mrs. Smith for this simple reminder. There will always be the latest mommy trends pulling you this way and that. Always do this, never do that, or else you will damage your small impressionable children for life! There are obvious (not to mention against the law) things that you should never do to children. There are obvious things that you should always do, such as feed your children. Then there is this whole grey area where you as a parent get to make the decision on what you feel is best for your children. There are so many opinions out there. Many are good and valid and helpful and many are… well… not so good, valid, or helpful.
As a mother, you must learn to trust what you feel in your heart. God made you a mother. Even before you were conceived, you were destined to be a mother, whether it was your desire or not. He has put inside of you what it takes to be the best mother for your children. This doesn’t mean that you don’t learn and glean from other experienced mothers around you, but it does mean that at the end of the day you call the shots. And you better be certain that there will be someone waiting to criticize the mothering decisions that you make. In the face of criticism, you must stand in confidence in who you are as a mom. Just like Mrs. Smith, you may feel like you don’t really fit a “standard mold” of what a mother should be or look like. (Is there really a “standard mold” anyways?) But when you are at peace with who you are and who God made you to be, you can stand in confidence. Confidence doesn’t have to be bold or in-your-face. Confidence is a quiet strength that says I know who I am as a mother and I have a peace in my heart about the decisions that I have made for my children. A peace in YOUR heart, not the lady down the street’s heart or the lady on that online forum’s heart. (Can’t online forums be the worst sometimes?) What matters is that you have a peace in your heart.
I am the first to admit that this is not always easy to maintain that peace. I feel pulled in so many ways on almost a daily basis to be this kind of mom or that kind of mom. How do I deal? After a bout of sometimes freaking out a tad bit… I get smart and I pray. I pray that I would come into agreement with God and his will for my family, and I involve my husband. I trust my husband and his daddy decision making capabilities. On bigger stuff, we come to a decision together. When there is agreement within a family, there is incredible peace.