Making decisions for children: Shoulda, coulda, woulda

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While I was getting our youngest ready for bed reently, I reached for a "night time diaper" (aka extra-absorbent), and a thought popped into my head: “Maybe we should be using cloth diapers?”

This is our third baby in five years, and we’re done having children. Also, he’s pushing 18 months old, so we’re within about a year’s time of being diaper-free, forever! So why would I think about switching to cloth diapers now?

For whatever reason, I have allowed myself to believe that the cloth-diapering moms of the world are better than I am, and I should be more like them. As a parent, you’re forced to make tough decisions straight out of the gate. Formula or breast feeding? Immunizations? Co-sleeping? There’s a lot of information, and opinions, that come with child-rearing and second guessing yourself is all too easy.

The self-doubt of motherhood is sneaky. At first, it's easy to miss, but, if you're not careful, you'll be looking around H-E-B thinking every other mom has made all the "right" decisions, and you've made all the "wrong" ones. And by you, I mean me.

I am terribly guilty of doing this. A friend of mine chose to nurse her daughter until she was a year old, but I wasn't able to nurse any of my three kids for one day, let alone a year. Therefore, she is a better mother than I am.

Wait... what?

Actually, that doesn't make much sense at all. Comparing someone else's decision to yours isn't a fair thing to do to yourself. Being a parent is difficult, and I'm doing myself a total disservice by thinking that I should be anyone else other than who I am, but sometimes I just can't help myself, like with the cloth diapers.

I know that disposable diapers are a strain on the environment, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for the parents out there making cloth diapering work everywhere from at home to the zoo, but I may need to cut myself a little slack.

Yes, I use disposable diapers, but I also do a lot of other great things like rescue dogs, volunteer at our church and read to my kids.

The fact is that I've never met another mom who loved their children more than I love mine. As much as I joke about the stresses of "toddler life," I couldn't adore my little crew more. They make me who I am ... for better, or for worse, and I bet that's something all of us moms can agree on.

Jordan Schupbach is a mother of three living in the Houston area. She blogs at www.lattesandliving.com - sharing the good, the bad and the frenzied.

 

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