There is a meme circulating around Facebook these days about how much easier motherhood must have been back in the 1970s & 80s when “all moms had to worry about was remembering to roll the car window down so their kids didn’t breathe in too much cigarette smoke” (or something to that effect). The author of the post goes on to say how she has spent 45 mins researching what kind of vitamins to buy her kids & how they are going to cost her an arm & a leg but she feels like she has to have the “perfect” ones or she’s somehow going to damage her kids for life.
I get it, ladies, I really do. Moming is hard work these days. Everywhere we turn there’s some new post or ad telling us “you need this” or “your kid will get cancer or die if they have this.” But the truth is motherhood has always been hard. And frankly we are making things so much harder on ourselves because we buy in to the hysteria about having to be perfect about every little thing. Do you think the average dad is anguishing over whether his kids are eating all organic non-GMO food or using phthalate free body wash or taking the perfect blend of vitamins? Um, no. Ladies, why are we doing this to ourselves? Being a mom is hard enough as it is. I for one refuse to obsess over every tiny little thing, thereby making my life even more difficult- & far less enjoyable- than it already is!
Here’s the thing, y’all: we are all going to die someday. As a nurse I have lost count of the number of times I have seen people die. It’s just part of life. Am I saying we should give our kids sodas & McDonald’s on a regular basis? Hell no! I believe it’s very important to feed our kids a healthy diet to help prevent early-onset diabetes & all the other myriad health problems that come with obesity. But obsessing over everything being organic, non-GMO, etc, etc- give me a break! I for one don’t have the time or energy (or money) for all that.
At the end of the day, this is what I know: my child is loved & cared for. We read books to her on a daily basis, usually multiple times a day. We take her on walks around the neighborhood so she can enjoy some fresh air & get some good old fashioned Vitamin D. We feed her a reasonably healthy diet (probably very healthy compared to most kids but by no means perfect). We take her to the doctor for her regular check-ups & make sure she’s meeting all of her developmental milestones. She has a loving sitter who cares for her on the three days a week that I work. While she’s there she gets to play with other girls around her age which is teaching her a great deal about socialization. She sees her grandparents on a regular basis & has built a loving relationship with them. At the end of the day, these are the things that matter. These are the things she will look back on some day & be grateful for. What more could we want?
If nursing has taught me anything, it’s that life is way too short to be unhappy. And I for one cannot be happy if I am obsessing over every little ingredient in every product I buy or torturing myself over what kind of multivitamins I give my child. I don’t have the time or energy for that. As someone who has struggled with anxiety for years, I find it very ironic that people frequently tell me I’m such a “chill” mom. But I am (most of the time- trust me, I have my freak out moments like anyone else) because I know life is way too short to obsess over things that aren’t going to matter in the course of a lifetime.
Moms, if I have one piece of advice for you, it’s this: just chill out. Hug your kids, give them a kiss, & stop worrying so damn much.