If you came over today and looked in my fridge, you’d probably find non-organic fruit, store-bought meat, and low-cost dairy.
And I’d immediately feel judged.
I’d become embarrassed and make excuses about my limited grocery budget. And it’s possible that you’d be judging me.
But, more importantly, I’m evaluating myself. I compare myself to ladies who write about organic living on their blogs. I’m envious.
If I offer Kraft mac and cheese to my family, I feel like a failure. I am aware that I am not alone.
See also: Bad Habits Moms Need To Break Today
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What Do I Mean?
It all begins in the nursery. The desire to fit in. Is it better to breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby? Is it better to co-sleep or sleep in a crib?
It pervades all aspects of existence. Is it better to be a stay-at-home mom or a working mom? Drive-thru or home-cooked meals? Is it better to shop at a Gap or a Thrift Store?
There’s also Pinterest. Don’t get me started on the envy, comparison, and jealousy that those seemingly harmless little pins cause.
If we don’t obtain nice outside family photographs or have a dirty pantry, we suddenly feel like setbacks.
Why do we place so much pressure on ourselves to live in a box? Why do we feel obligated to conform to society’s standards? Why do we want our kids to look like their friends?
Break The Mold
Make a list of your values
What are the things that are most important to you, your family, and your children? What words or phrases come to mind when you think about your family? Use terms that you hope will describe your family in the future if your family is not what you want it to be right now.
For instance, do you place higher importance on spending time with your family or being busy? Do you want to keep up with the Joneses or live debt-free? Is music or athletics more important? Do you like loudness or peace and quiet? Do you like to exchange laughs, play games, work together, or pray together?
Take a look at your family’s description and values. Which of your everyday duties are appropriate? Which ones can be put on the shelf? What would you add to the list? This might be a difficult choice. It might imply doing something unusual for a short period of time. Or getting rid of anything that causes you to worry.
For instance, do you need to shop at five different food stores or would two suffice? Is it true that allowing your child to drop out of piano lessons will bring harmony to your home? Is helping your child with schoolwork more essential than preparing a hearty, home-cooked meal?
Look At Your Values
It’s fine to add, “In our family…” Keep your priorities and ideals in mind. When someone challenges your choices or inquires about your decisions, firmly respond, “In our family…” You could be chastised or judged, but you will be living a life that is true to your values.
For instance, “Every night, our family has supper together.” Alternatively, “In our family, we only participate in one extracurricular activity every season.” “We exclusively pay with cash in our family,” for example.
Take pride in your individuality
It’s possible that what worked for someone else won’t work for you. You, your family, and your children are all one-of-a-kind individuals. You’re in various situations, have different pressures, and come from diverse backgrounds. These distinctions are what distinguishes your family! Instead than trying to alter them, learn to accept them.
I’m attempting to “break the mould” of having to consume only organic foods. It is critical for me to provide my family with nutritious foods. However, for the time being, this means preparing meals with fewer processed foods and substituting healthier options wherever feasible. I also need to work on accepting this decision.
What “cookie cutters” are you attempting to fit into? What are your plans to break the mould?
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“GENTLE PARENTING IS A LIFESTYLE THAT EMBRACES BOTH YOUR PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL BEHAVIOR, NOT ONLY TOWARDS YOUR CHILDREN, BUT TO YOURSELF TOO“— SARA HOCKWELL-SMITH