Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
Let them skip a nap? Enroll them in preschool? Which school? Play extra-curriculars or don’t? Spank them or time out? Fruits and veggies for lunch or another peanut butter and jelly? Clean the house or play outside for another hour?
Lately the fact that everything about parenting revolves around decision making has gotten my mind spinning in a 1,000 different directions. Really, does parenting boil down to much more than decision making? It the back-bone of what we do day in and day out. It is a tiring quest some days. Most days.
Last week my daughter was cranky and ill. She broke out in a low-grade fever but since she doesn’t have her two year molars and seemed to be leery about her mouth, I assumed that was the culprit. So I sent my son to his schedule friend play-date and just kept the grouchy little lady with me. Later that afternoon I was getting concerned I might have something other than molars on my hand so we went to the doctor. Turns out I was right this time; hand foot and mouth disease. Very contagious , hand food mouth disease, I might add. The next day my son came down with a fever and the day became one major sick fest at our home.
I worried as my decisions the previous day were now going to impact our friends who could potentially get this awful virus. And it began to hit me. All the decisions that are required of me as a mom each and ever day impact someone, everyone around me. From the things they wear, to the places they go, the people they encounter, the words I speak to them, the discipline I impart. Every hour, every minute is rich with decisions. No wonder when my husband asks me where i want to go to dinner I simply can’t come up with an answer! I am simply DONE making decisions that late in the day.
Which begs the question, are you a good decision maker? Do you like to make decisions in life or do you try to skirt past them? Do you think that those that are better or more experienced decision makers are better at this parenting gig? Because I find myself wondering.
I usually consider myself a decent decision maker. In fact, I am a bit of a perfectionist, which may be why this whole parenting decision-making thing has me whirling. In parenting, there is no right decision. What is a great decision for your children today could be the wrong decision for them tomorrow. The rules are ever changing. And I find it hard to keep up.
This whole aspect of looking at parenting as a decision-making process also has me thinking more about how I relate to other moms. How many times do I feel dismissed or as if I have fallen short in this realm? Too many to count. As I see my parenting as more of a process of making decisions I am realizing that those feelings stem from wanting my decisions validated rather than judged. I just want someone, anyone to validate that I am making the right (or best) decisions as a mom.
And so I find myself looking at the world through a different set of lenses this last week. Ones that are free of judgement about the decisions others are making. One that is more inquisitive to find out why other moms made the decisions that they did and the results. One that calls me to reach out and validate the decision of a mother in my path so that she might feel more confident in her own parenting style.
What about you? Have you ever considered your role as the major decision maker in the house? How this impacts you? How this impacts your children? How this impacts how you relate to other moms? I would love for us to start a conversation about how we can be better decision makers and encouragers of each other.