Jul 20, 2017

Counselor's Corner: Playing Nice as a Mom

"One kid? Just one kid?" "Your child is going to be lonely." "I think that your son will need a playmate." "Why would you just have one kid that is not good for your kid's social skills." These are comments that I receive often once I admit that our family only desires one child in it. Once I became a mom to a beautiful little adventurer I learned quite quickly that my counseling degree was no barrier for those who felt like they knew what was better for my family.



Have you encountered that as a mom? Do you feel like your family has a way of doing things that work for your unit that may not be on par with someone else's tradition?

You are not alone. I hope to encourage you today. No two families are exactly the same which usually makes them not only unique but amazing. The mental impact of hearing judgment day in and day out as a mom can take a toll on our wellness and self-esteem as parents. I gave one of my examples but let us look at a few other situations that may cause undue stress to parents. Diet is a big topic and we know that food is a gateway to health and the only way to continue to grow and (live) is to be fed. There are many choices as parents but it is easy to get bombarded with convictions of others concerning GMO's, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten free, fast food, slow food, baby led weaning and most of this begins with breast feeding and bottle feeding. That is right...we typically face judgment from others as soon as we plan our baby's first meal. Think about that for a minute.

My counseling corner here at Metro Detroit Mommy is dedicated to bringing a wellness aspect to the publication from a clinician point of view as well as from a practical point of view as a mom. We began our first entry here talking about diversity, inclusion, understanding, and anti-bullying.

Parents, we have to set the stage for our children to be understanding, accepting and caring. In no way am I saying that we should change the beliefs that are dear to us but in the same way we should be careful of pressuring others to adopt our beliefs. The words that we use are valuable. We hear them but more importantly, our kids hear them too. What are they taking in? What are they learning from the way that we tolerate others in our own lives? Let's embrace expectation management.

When it comes to others households as long as they are safe we really don't get to force our own expectations on others. When exploring the concept of the best mom ever...we can lighten the pressure by being the best mom our children could ever have. That might mean the laundry may not always be done on time or that we may feed our kids eggs and toast for dinner every once in a while. Our best is simply our best and this will vary day to day.

Give yourself a break and a bit of compassion and do your very best to show that same empathy to those around you. This is what truly matters and this is what fits well in every family.        

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