Making Hard Parenting Decisions
As parents, we make decisions all day long. Our CEO, Morgan Eddy, shares what helps her when it comes to making tough parenting decisions.
Have you ever thought about the sheer volume of decisions that we, as parents, have to make every single day?
From the minute we open our eyes in the morning, we are making decisions. There are small decisions, like what everyone is having for breakfast. There are tough decisions, like what school your kids will attend. And there are decisions of every size and type in between. The term and studies around “decision fatigue” must have been born from observations of parents!
In fact, the one thing that I can confidently say every single parent will experience is having to make tough decisions on behalf of their children.
And what I’m learning, almost 6 years in, is that many of these parenting decisions aren’t clear or even practical.
How do we manage all of these decisions? How do we know that we are making the right decisions when the stakes are high?
Olivia, my friend and teammate here at Moms on Call, challenged me to write this blog post after walking with me through a recent tough parenting decision that my husband and I had to make. I say that she challenged me because I’m in my comfort zone when things are clear and practical, not when there’s a lot of gray area and ambiguity.
This is so evident that a friend recently said to me “you’re the most level-headed person I know”. Being level-headed is great when there are lists, numbers and facts to help you! But that goes out the window when your kids and emotions come into play.
So, for all of you trying to navigate which day care to send your child to, how to approach a medical issue, whether you should move to a new town, when to let your child fail at something so that they can learn…we see you.
And I want to encourage you to have confidence in your innate ability as a parent to make the best decisions for your family. No one knows your kids, your family or yourself better than you do. Therefore, no one is better equipped than you to make these decisions.
Having confidence as a parent is so important that, at Moms on Call, it’s one of our missions. Our resources and practical guidance are designed to equip parents to navigate their child’s first four years with confidence, clarity and better sleep. Back in 2018, long before I was part of the Moms on Call team, I sent an email to our Co-Founder, Laura Hunter, that explains how this confidence was a game changer for my family. “Moms on Call gives parents not only the tools, but the confidence, to simplify and reduce the stress associated with the ‘basics’ (eating, sleeping, and routines) so that they can focus on the things that matter. Their confidence becomes contagious and helps them move from just surviving each day to thriving.”
When you’re confident (and not sleep-deprived!) decision-making becomes less stressful and more clear.
To prepare to write this blog, I looked back at some of the tough parenting decisions that I have made. And I realized that my initial gut instinct ended up being my eventual decision. Regardless of the amount of research I did or people I asked…my gut, that innate parenting superpower, prevailed.
Now, I wholeheartedly believe that it takes a village to raise a child. And thanks to technology, the ability to have a very large village is just a few taps away. This is fantastic when you need a recommendation for a birthday party venue or tips on how to get a permanent marker out of a couch. I’ve also seen beautiful, genuine showings of support and encouragement between people who have never even met in real life and only know each other virtually.
However, while well-intentioned, someone’s advice is always skewed by their own experiences and beliefs. Which are just that, their experiences and beliefs, not yours. Every opinion adds to the noise surrounding the decision you have to make. And suddenly, you’re not just making your initial decision, you’re making several! Who do I ask for advice? Whose advice do I take? Do I have more questions than I had to begin with? Too many opinions end up complicating things and can make you doubt your gut.
What has helped me to reduce the noise and bring clarity is having a few key people with similar belief systems that support me through these challenging decisions. They know me and my family and have a vested interest in our wellbeing. They aren’t afraid to ask me the hard questions and sometimes just help me get out of my own brain!
In short, here is what I hope you take away from this post:
- Trust your gut.
- YOU are the best decision-maker for your family.
- Lean on your village and remember, quality over quantity.
- You are doing a GREAT job and your little ones are lucky to have you!