The Only Time I Will Ever Give Mothering Advice

You know what I NEVER think about? I mean, never.

You know what I NEVER get asked about on forms I have to fill out? 

You know what NEVER gets talked about at anyone's funeral?

Nobody EVER says, "Mrs. So-and-so was a good woman, she had all of her children potty trained at...(insert whatever age you want)".

Nobody says that because nobody cares. 

And you know what?! I NEVER think about how old I was when I was potty trained. Never.

Young moms get so much pressure. From books, magazines, PINTEREST, other moms, grandmas, random people at the grocery store and from themselves. It's ridiculous. 

Everyone has an opinion. But the thing is, God isn't going to mention how long it took my kids to stop having accidents or stop sucking their thumb or walk or sit up on Judgment day. You aren't a delinquent mom if your kid isn't potty trained until they're 4. Because, guess what?! God knows your heart. He knows you love that kid. 

I had one super easy kid to potty train. The rest were older and took a little longer. Two of them were downright tough and I had one who really wasn't potty trained for realz until they were 4. 

I wish moms...I wish I would stop listening to people tell me what my child should be doing. The things I'm most proud of as a mom, I had to buckle down, ignore all the noise and just do what my gut told me was right. The thing is though, I can only name a time or two when I did that. 

Our "babies" sucked their fingers until they were 8. I listened to the stories from other parents who had moved heaven and earth to get their kid to stop sucking their fingers and nothing worked until the kid decided to stop sucking them on their own...when they were around 12 or 13. For real, I don't know how many people have told me they were 12 or 13 when they stopped sucking their fingers. Anyway, I decided pretty early on that I was not going to stress about it. People made their comments and rolled their eyes but I just ignored them. And you know what?! They stopped sucking their fingers with very little effort on anyone else's part. There was absolutely zero stress, no tears and no sneaking behind my back. 

And you know what else? Nobody cares. It NEVER comes up in conversation. Except this one. 

I'm not saying don't take advice. Absolutely seek advice. But listen for the advice that you have to seek out, not the advice that is in abundant supply. Proverbs is filled with warnings about people who enjoy sharing their opinions and about how wise people are more judicious with sharing theirs. Also, peers can give support, but older women who are passed this point in their life will have a more long term vantage point. They will be able to see the effects of things instead of just what might work in the moment. 

Over the last year I have changed a lot as a mother. I have almost entirely stopped yelling. I do have slip ups but they are fewer and farther between all the time. The thing I realized? I was "freaking out" about really stupid things. I felt so much pressure all. the. time. I was getting all bent out of shape over things that ultimately don't even matter. So, I've started asking myself, will this matter in a week? A month? A year? Will I think about this on my death bed? If the answer is no to any of those, it's not worth getting upset over. Even if someone else is pressuring me or getting upset themselves. 

I don't think I've EVER heard an older woman say that they wish they had potty trained their kid younger. You know what I HAVE heard? That they wish they hadn't been so hard on their kid about potty training, or sucking their thumb or any number of things that we put kids on a timer for. 

Okay, I'm going to go back to NEVER mentioning this. :)

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