As a parent, we’re faced with prioritizing every moment of every day. Sometimes, choices are clear-cut, such as choosing to spend time on the floor with your four-year old putting together a puzzle instead of catching up on blog-reading is a great bonding moment, and something we can easily reconcile as needed.
Sometimes, you’ll find yourself caught between your child’s best interests, your own, and the affects that your family will feel, and it’s hard to choose. That’s natural – no one’s expecting you to have all of the answers, all of the time. But how do you leave that spot you’re rooted to with indecision?
Consult friends, peers and professionals
No matter the decision you’re facing, whether it’s about your child’s education, childcare, or a list of other this-or-that’s, asking around for other opinions can help you see the situation – both pitfalls and positives – in a new light. Friends and other moms might have dealt with a similar situation, and professionals will have research to back up or dispel claims you’ve read or concerns you might have.
Meditate on it
This doesn’t have to mean sitting in lotus position and chanting ohm. Think about the choices, the pros and cons of all avenues, what your gut tells you is the right thing and what your concerns about each road’s end are. Some people find journaling or blogging to be a great platform for this, others make a pros and cons list, while others sit and introspectively focus on potential solutions.
Read, talk, listen
This might seem an extension of consulting friends and professionals, and it is, but it’s so much more. I’ve found that reading a book opened my eyes as to what I didn’t know, I didn’t know. You know? For instance, until I started reading about homeschooling, I’d never heard of unschooling and therefore, it wasn’t even an option.
Don’t avoid making the harder choice, just because it’s harder
The hardest things in life, it sometimes seems, are the best. The easy road doesn’t lead to anywhere. There’s a million clichés about taking the uncleared path through the woods instead of the cement for a reason.
Ask yourself what the long-term picture will be
Often, imagining what your child at eighteen will be like if you choose door number one can be the easiest way to make a decision. I’ve heard this one before, time and again: as parents, we’re not just responsible for our children at three years old – we’re accountable for the adults they’ll grow up to be as well.
Remember that this too shall pass
Just like the terrible twos, Dora the Explorer and crawling, this tough time while you grapple with life’s potentials will end. The stress of decision-making will dissolve and in the future, you’ll be able to look back at today, without breaking a sweat.