I sometimes wonder if everyone questions themselves as much as I question myself. There are lots of things about me that I find myself wondering if it's just me or if everyone is like that, but questioning myself is a big one. I question everything. Almost every conversation I have will be played out in my head over & over for the next few days. It's a constant ongoing process of wondering if I said the right thing, did the right thing, have planned the right thing, etc. Is this working? Am I happy? Am I doing what is best? Did I just stick my foot in my mouth again? It's unbelievable.
There are pros and cons to this for me. On the one hand, as someone who places my life & faith in Jesus, you would wonder why I would question so much. Is it worry? Am I showing a lack of faith? These questions alone can creep up on a regular basis & keep me constantly investigating the state of my heart & mind.
On the other hand, it's a form of accountability for myself. No decision is taken lightly. Everything has a deeper meaning for me. With my conversations, I'm constantly questioning if I said the right thing & is there anything I should take from this to apply to the next conversation? Were my words the best possible words for that situation & conversation?
Yes, it's absolutely tiring.
As a mom, this has become amplified for me. It also was a source of great distress for me in the beginning. I had thought & investigated my decisions on pregnancy & birth for so long before even becoming pregnant. You can ask my best friend - I had made the decision to try for a medication-free delivery years before I even got pregnant. Then when all of a sudden, everyone had an opinion about it, it sent me into a whirlwind of questions in my own mind. Is this the right decision? Have I not taken something into consideration? Am I not cut out for this? What if I can't do it? What will people say then? Is it okay that I want to do something different than the "norm"?
Then there comes the parenting decisions which are all made with great thought & investigation when possible. And still, you have parents who took the time for thought & investigation & came to a different conclusion. At first, that sent me into a big questioning mode for myself. Am I wrong? Have they seen something I didn't? Am I not making the best choice for us?
A couple of months ago, I decided I was done with that. What I realized was that while everyone may not question themselves quite as much as I do, they all - particularly moms - are taking time to think about & decide what is right for their family. I take such comfort in that. The "big answer" is not the final decision, because that can vary from family to family based on individual needs & beliefs. The "big answer" is in the investigation. When it comes down to it, a mom or dad who will take time to really think about what is best for their child is the successful mom or dad & the successful family. The rest is just details.
As a blogger, I find it incredibly comforting & incredibly challenging to read blogs from such a diverse group of moms (& dads). I find it comforting to read about other moms who are thinking & struggling & really diving into making decisions & figuring out what is right for them. I love seeing how things work out or how they don't because it's great to see lots of perspectives because you never know what will work for you. I've taken tips & advice from all kinds of different moms through blogging. Some have worked & some haven't, but it's been so great to have an endless source of information from experienced people! I also find it challenging because I'm constantly shown different perspectives. This has never been something that scares me. I have embraced information, debate, different sides to different ideas because even if it's different than mine, it's great to hear perspectives you may not have thought of. People have risen arguments (maybe not in the form of arguments, but the same effect) that have caused me to rethink what we are doing & maybe take things a different direction. And that's okay. Because a mom who is not flexible & open to change or the possibility that what they are doing may not be working, is a mom who is going to have a tough time maneuvering the ebb & flow of life with kids.
So I guess I am writing this to say thanks, moms! Thank you for being true to who you are & where you stand. Thank you for presenting opinions that are different than mine. Thank you for presenting both your successes & your failures. I truly believe that these first few months of motherhood for me have been so much greater because of your input. I hope I'm able to offer something useful, if only just one more perspective in the midst of many.