Feeling the pressure of “Should Be”

Moms, from the day you found out you were pregnant, there’s been a number of people sharing their advice with you. So much so, that by the time your baby is a toddler you’ve probably heard a million things your child “should be” doing at some point or another during their development. The question marks and self-doubt never seems to end as a parent.

Recently this topic was brought to my attention when a family friend asked about what age my son start using the bathroom on his own.  The conversation started because she was feeling pressure from her own mother about her daughter’s development. The toddler had just turned three and mom was being told by grandma that she should be potty trained by now. Moms, how many of you can relate to being told that your child should be doing certain things by now? Hearing it from a friend, family member, social media, doctor, and even strangers. It seems like from the moment that everyone knew that you were about to raise another human being, they all had something to say on how it should be done.  

 

How much of that advice did you really listen too? Or did you ignore it and follow your own instinct as a mom? A lot of times, the advice came without asking which created thoughts like, maybe the way we’re raising our children isn’t right? Or even made you think that your not a good mom or even good enough period. This mom was feeling the pressure from what she was being told her toddler should be doing. She was second guessing herself, her child and her ability as MOM.

It really disturbed me that this was coming from her own mother, who is also the toddlers caretaker during the day while mom was at work. Grandma should’ve been helping with potty training the toddler; however, she was still putting the little girl in diapers. This had to be part of the problem, right? And yes, the pressure of potty training still fell on Mom’ shoulders. Mom felt as if something was wrong with her three-year-old daughter or she was not doing enough as a mother to have the toddler potty trained.  

My automatic response was to tell her not to let anyone make her feel bad about how she is raising her daughter, not even your own mother. As a mother, you are your daughters best judgment right now and you are doing the best job that you can. Mom, you know her better than you know yourself, don’t let the words of others come in between that connection. There’s nothing wrong with you or your daughter. We as humans all develop at different rates. Mom, there will be weeks when you have to change her sheets more than once every night and you’ll clean up tons of accidents but you will get through it together. So as her mom, you just need to trust yourself to be aware of when your daughter is ready. I promise you will know, and not to worry about someone else’s unpopular opinion.

Being a mom is hard enough we don’t need any added pressure on top of our own self-judgment. So Moms if you are feeling pressured, living on life’s edge, I encourage you to let go of the should be(s) that are placed on us. Instead let’s begin by listening, connecting, trusting ourselves and seeing each other for the STRONG, KNOWLEDGEABLE and AMAZING moms that we are!

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