I have a secret for you.
You might not have been told this before, but it's about you. And it's true.
Are you ready?
You're doing it right.
All of it.
Every hard day when you lose your cool, every day when you've got it all dialed in. Every. Single. Day.
You're doing it right.
Life, parenting, everything.
Even when it's imperfect.
Even when it's hard.
Even when you feel like a failure.
I know. Somebody told you otherwise. And you might have even believed them.
But they were wrong.
This journey is meant to be flawed. In fact, I think that's the point somehow.
And truly, my journey is as imperfect as yours.
I hadn't heard the concept of "mommy wars" until recently. And I didn't even know what that could possibly mean. Because we're all on this journey together. And yet we're all different.
Our goals are different. Our needs are different. Our kids are different.
Our lives are different.
So how could our parenting possibly be the same?
Am I the only one who finds the entire premise of "mommy wars" absurd? I doubt it.
Because motherhood isn't a competition. It's just another chance to help hold one another up.
And everyone has advice to help you change the way you're doing it to be more right.
But you can't.
Because you're doing it right already.
So what do you say we stop telling each other how to do it our way, and instead start listening to each other's truths and struggles, heartaches and fears?
Because often we need an ear more than another voice.
Doesn't that sound better?
But before we do, let me share one last thought. Perhaps the only advice that anyone needs.
It's simultaneously tiny and immeasurable.
And – I believe – helpful. To all of us.
That advice is:
Listen to your inner voice.
Because you hold the key.
Does it feel bad?
Don't do it.
Or don't do it again. Or do your best to stop doing it.
Try. And try. And try.
Does it resonate with your soul?
Do that. No matter what the "experts" say.
Remember it. Believe it.
Hold it close and do it again and again.
Because you know the way. You have the map. It's there. In your heart.
And in motherhood your choice to co-sleep or not won't determine how fabulous your little one's childhood will be. And breast or bottle, your baby can be fed with love.
And firm rules or utter freedom, your child will find a way to let their soul sing.
There is no expert on your family but you.
Trust that truth.
Honor it. Embrace it.
And allow others to embark on their own path.
So that's it.
All the parenting advice you'll ever need: does it feel right to you?
Then there is your answer.
And it's the only one you need.
Listen to your heart.
Because you, my friend, are the expert.
And you're doing it right already.
Want more? You might also enjoy the post "There is No Label for What You Do."
Originally published in 2003.