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The Mom’s Guide to Making Good Choices

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My sister and I joke that we second-guess just about every choice we make—especially when it comes to parenting! It’s a nearly constant game of woulda, coulda, shoulda, rolled into big regrets and little ones. Would it have been better for my daughter if she had gone to another school? Could I have said ‘yes’ to my son instead of ‘no’ when he wanted to stay up later tonight? And, I should’ve started giving my children chores when they were younger.

At some point, reliving my parenting choices got to be too much. I needed to cut myself some slack for the not-so-good decisions I’d made and give myself credit for doing my best and basing my parenting on loving my children well.  So to get out of the regret cycle, I came up with The Mother’s Guide to Making Good Choices. Here are 4 steps for living with less regret in your parenting.

1. Seek guidance.

Every choice is a better choice when you’ve asked for and received guidance from a good source. For me, it’s asking God to guide me and asking for advice from my wise and trusted friends—and, of course, my sister, too. Asking God for help reminds me of the big picture and my goals in my parenting. Running my options by my inner circle helps me refine my course and benefit from their experience and wisdom.

I also look to experts I trust (authors Susan Merrill at iMOM, Dr. Scott Turansky, and Dr. Meg Meeker are all go-to sources for me) and add their perspective to the mix.

2. Consider your options.

Sometimes even the of best friends can steer us wrong, not intentionally, but maybe they’re not really able to put themselves in our shoes. We have to be comfortable on a moral level and a mom level with our parenting decisions. {Tweet This} Maybe everyone else is letting their kids do X, Y or Z, but, even though it’s the norm, it doesn’t jibe with who your family is.

Other times, you’ll have a gut feeling that a choice is right in spite of the advice you’re getting. Or, a choice might seem great on the surface, but something about it keeps nagging at you. If that’s where you are in your choice making process, pray again, and see what other considerations should come into play.

3. Move forward.

Once you’ve gathered input, make the best decision you can based on the information you have and take action. And, to get to the point where you actually do make a choice, push through the fear of failure. What if I volunteer at my son’s school and the teacher doesn’t like me? Or the fear of embarrassment. What if I sign up my daughter for club soccer and she doesn’t make the A team? She’ll be crushed and I’ll be embarrassed to face the other moms at practice.

Remember, perfect is the enemy of the good when it comes to taking action, especially when it comes to big decisions. Our desire to make just the right decision can be paralyzing, hindering your ability to make a choice in the first place.

4. Live and learn.

You learn from your good parenting choices and your bad choices. It’s more fun to learn from the good ones but those bad ones can teach us a lot too. {Tweet This} When a choice does turn out badly, go back and see what you could’ve done differently. Did you really listen to your friend’s input or had you already made up your mind? Did you make the safer choice out of fear of failure and embarrassment and it turned out to be a mistake?

Don’t examine your choices with the intent of beating yourself up over bad choices (moms have enough to feel guilty about!), but do see what you can learn and move on. Leave those choices behind and get ready to make some more because, goodness knows, when you’re a mom you’ll have plenty more opportunities to get it right!

So tell us, how do you make the best choices you can?


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