September is kind of a crazy month for us Hoelsemas. We have a couple of birthdays, a week-long summer vacation, and I usually start school with the kiddos at some point in the month. This year I happened to realize something that got my mind spinning in many directions.
Back in 2007 (well, technically very end of 2006), my husband and I found out we were pregnant with our first child. We were delighted as we really didn’t know if it would happen for us. (I’ve shared parts of my story here, as well as on Facebook. I’ve even written a book on infertility because we faced that disease head on. You can find it HERE!)
Unfortunately, however, that child wasn’t meant to be. God called that angel home in February 2007. My due date was in September 2007, though. Another reason September is just a tad *crazier* around here.
So this is what I realized this year. If my husband and I had never miscarried that child, we would have a 10 year old!! That makes my jaw drop, people! I mean, it’s already hard enough that my oldest is going to be seven in November, and my baby is already four, but a 10 year old!!?!?!? I’m not that old, am I? It’s just really hard to believe.
Time really does fly the older you get. I feel like every time I blink my children are just that much older. So then I got to thinking about parenting. I pray almost every day that my children will grow up making wise choices, having the right people surrounding them, and turning out to be successful, smart, hard-working, honest, loving, et cetera.
I believe heavily that Proverbs 22:6 holds true. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Thus, I try to train my boys in the way of the Lord. I don’t always do what’s right, but I hope I’m doing good enough. I hope I’m a good mom.
Then I came across something that spoke volumes to me. The following post is from 21st Century SAHM on Facebook. You can see their page HERE!
Girlfriends, I got to get something off my chest.
My house is never clean. Like ever. I have friends (with kids) whose houses are spotless. Are they better moth…ers than me? Nope. Am I a better mother than them? Nope.
I work out every day. I have mom friends who don’t exercise. (I mean other than running around like crazy people after their kids). Does that make either of us a better mom? Nope.
I have a friend who gave birth in a pool in her living room. I pushed mine out in a hospital bed after receiving a gift from the epidural fairy. Both of us are good moms.
I drink a beer or glass of wine (sometimes in front of my kids!) on occasion. I’m a good mom. My neighbor and good friend doesn’t drink. Also a good mom.
I’m a yeller. I have a good friend who is quiet and extremely patient. I envy her. But we are both good moms.
I have friends who are super organic, chemical free, and dye free. My kids sometimes eat popsicles for breakfast. The cheap kind that are 50 for $2.00. Are either of us better than the other? Nope.
I swear, but not in front of my kids. Are you a bad mom if you do? Hell no.
I’m involved with my kids’ school but I don’t volunteer and live there every day. Are the moms who volunteer daily any better than those who never do? No. Am I incredibly grateful for the moms who volunteer every day and help the teachers? YES.
Are stay-at-home moms better than working moms? NO.
Are working moms better than stay-at-home moms? NO.
Are married moms better than single moms? NO.
Are you a better mom if you take your kids on exotic vacations? NO.
Can you be a good mom if you the closest thing you get to a vacation is the park? YES.
Can you be a good mom and have a super scheduled summer with lots of planned activities? Yep.
What about if your summer is lazy with no plans? Yep.
Do good moms let their kids watch TV? Yes.
Play video games? Yes.
What about if you say no? Also fine. Your choice. You’re the mom. And a good one.
I’m a Christian. My friend and neighbor is Muslim. Another friend practices no religion at all. WE ARE ALL GOOD MOTHERS.
My other friend is gay. Her kids have TWO mothers. They are both good moms.
I breastfed. My kids barely had any formula. Am I better than moms who give their kids formula? NO.
So how about this? Can we all climb down off judgmental mountain for a second? And just support one another? And just say, Hey, motherhood is hard. You’re doing a good job. Raising kids can knock the wind out of a person. You got this.
How awesome would that be? Just a thought.
There is a lot of judgment going around, and I know at times it seems easy to think we’re doing better than or worse than other parents just based on situations, appearances, provisions, et cetera. But really I think we’re all just doing the best we can.
So in a day and age where there are a lot of paths to take (vaccines, schooling, foods, technology, chemicals, and the list goes on), the best we can do is research and decide what’s best for our family and/or just choose what fits our budget, morals, conscience, lifestyle, et cetera.
And then pray. Pray it all goes well. Pray our children grow up right. Just pray. Let God take care of the rest.
And, finally, don’t worry about what others think (yes, easier said then done). Just rest in the knowledge that you’re doing the best you can do, and that no one will love your kids better than you do.
So this September, I will take all these words to heart, and continue to be the best mom I can to these two precious boys (and one angel in heaven).