There should be a set of unwritten rules when it comes to motherhood. Things not to say, things to do, things you SHOULD do… but unfortunately the majority of us just rely on common sense that not everyone seems to have. I’ve decided to craft a bit of a silly list to document the “Mom Commandments” or a quick list of things every mother should strive for.
Thou shalt not judge.
Mama’s everywhere, rejoice. This one should be at the top of everyone’s priority list. Just because she does something differently than you, doesn’t mean she’s worse or wrong. She may just be doing what is best for her. Try your VERY BEST not to judge, even when the little voice inside your head is screaming. Let her be.
On that note.
Thou shalt support thy peers.
There’s no sense in kicking a mama while she’s down. If she’s looking for advice, or help or just someone to say she’s doing alright, give her the support she needs. Sometimes that’s all any of us need in order to keep moving forward day to day. If a mom looks like she’s struggling with her toddler in the grocery store parking lot, shoot her a sympathetic smile and take her cart back for her. We’ve all been there.
Thou shalt not mom shame.
Motherhood is a difficult process for EVERYONE, even the ones who seem to make it look so easy. It’s a learning curve, and people are going to mess up. We’re human, it’s engrained in us to make mistakes and to hopefully learn from those mistakes. Mom shaming for choices that others make is terrible, and moms should be more supportive of one another (see commandment number 2).
Thou shalt take care of thyself.
Happy mom, happy home. Make sure you take care of yourself as well as your family. If you’re burned out, you’re not going to be at your best, and the rest will suffer. Take a break from the household chores, from the stress of raising a family, from whatever is making you unhappy and take some time to just breathe and do something for you. It’s okay to ask for help!
Thou shalt pick thy battles.
There is nothing worse than finishing a long work week by trying to get a toddler to eat the carefully crafted meal set in front of her. If she doesn’t eat it, she will be hungry later and may not sleep as well! Cave that one night after a diligent effort and give her some cereal. She will sleep soundly later and you can enjoy your Netflix and wine time in peace.
Thou shalt continue to maintain your relationships.
Keep contact with your supportive friends and family, they will always be true to you if you are true to them. Keeping them as ally’s will benefit you in so many ways. As they say, it takes a village to raise a child! Build your professional relationships, your clientele, whatever you do, do it with positivity and grace. Don’t abandon those who are good for you.
Thou shalt fight for thyself.
Don’t let others bully you or push you around. Stand up for your beliefs. This is YOUR family, your child, your home. You are responsible for what you’ve accomplished and people will sometimes have the most vile motivation to tear you down. Remember, you are amazing. You are important. Your decisions and choices should not be taken lightly, but should be respected. Remind others of that if they overstep.
Remember that experiences and memories trump materials.
The happiest childhoods are filled with memories. Your children want to spend time with YOU. They want to play with you, be with you. Try not to feel guilty over not buying them the hottest new toy or gadget. They are only little once, and they won’t be looking back on the cool toy they missed out on in their childhood. They will be reflecting on memories they made with you.
Thou shalt continue to educate thyself.
Recommendations made by officials, medicine, child development – all these areas are constantly being updated due to new research findings, surveys and more. Keeping yourself informed and up to date with these practices will keep you at ease. You will have the tools and ammo to make the best decisions for you and your family.
And above all others:
Thou shalt do thy best.
Take each day at face value. Do what you can to keep yourself and those who depend on you afloat. There are going to be days that are harder and more stressful than others, but remember that you are doing your very best. Being the best person doesn’t necessary mean being the most accomplished – everyone needs a day to themselves to just bum around. Productivity isn’t the only key to happiness!
I hope some of you out there can take these silly “commandments” and find the grains of truth under the wit. Motherhood is damn hard, and we need the assistance and reassurance that we are doing all right. You are. Even on your darkest days, you are. Remind another mama of that once in a while and remember you are not alone.