These days, it seems that no matter what choices you make as a mother, you're doing something wrong. You're breastfeeding wrong, you're using the wrong diapers, you forgot the coconut oil and that crib you bought is actually a death trap. It's no wonder moms are so hard on themselves.
Luckily, the only ones who really matter when it comes to your maternal choices is your immediate family- your husband and children. They don't care about all those things you're worrying about as you're losing sleep trying to be just like that mom on Instagram. Here are eight things you as a mom need to stop worrying about:
My sweet mother can't help but criticize her various hairstyles throughout the years whenever we look back at family photos. But looking back at my childhood, I never cared about her hair. I remember playing with her hair and loving it no matter what.
Your child won't care if you come into the kitchen in the morning with a messy bun and baby hairs all over your face. They have too many things on their mind to notice, anyway.
2. That stain on your shirt
Chances are, your kids don't even care about the stain on their own shirt. You might be a little self-conscious after realizing you were running errands for several hours and chatting with the neighbors with a big jelly stain on your shirt, but take that stain (and every other stain moms sustain through the years) with pride- it meant you remembered to make your kid's favorite PB&J this morning.
3. You made dino nuggets for dinner... again
I know you have that recipe for a great Quinoa salad sitting on your counter, and I know you've been staring at it for a week now, but that prep time just never seems worth it. Especially when that 3-minute prep time on those nuggets is so taunting.
Chicken nuggets aren't going to kill your kids. Your kids love them, your husband loves them and you can save that fancy recipe for a time you have guests who actually care about their calorie intake.
4. The sink is full of dishes
Yes, everyone wants a tidy house. But while you're busy stressing about an immaculate home, you're missing out on valuable quality time with your children. Your kids don't care that there are some dirty dishes in the kitchen, they just care that you take time to play with them. The dishes can wait.
5. You cheated on your diet
OK, so maybe you snuck and ate a couple of those dino nuggets. Maybe you licked your fingers while making cookies for your kid's class. But all that work you've done to lose your baby weight isn't completely ruined from one little lick of frosting. And your kids don't care about how soft you are in the middle, they care that you give the best hugs when they need some love.
I actually remember being upset when my parents made their bed because it meant I couldn't use their big blankets to build a fort.
Your kids aren't going to judge your quality of parenthood by how presentable your bed looks. They see your bed as a playpen anyway, don't they? Cherish those silly memories of tickle monsters and pillow fights on your bed rather than worrying about how tight your sheets are.
7. Your sugar isn't organic
There's this big push nowadays that everything should be organic and GMO-free, but do people have any idea how difficult grocery shopping becomes once you have children? Sometimes you just run into the store and grab whatever is closest. You can't expect yourself to always have the time (and money) to pick the best possible brand for everything.
Your little girl doesn't care that the cookies you made for her class weren't made with organic sugar- and neither will anyone else in her class.
You probably just had your car washed a week ago, but that cinnamon apple smell the cleaners sprayed all over is long gone, replaced with the smell of some french fries probably stuck behind a car seat somewhere.
And yeah, gross. But who cares? Your kids definitely don't. If they manage to squeeze their little fingers between the cushions to get that old fry, they probably think they hit the jackpot. They don't care how your car smells. They just care about getting to Grandma's house.
Your kids love their mommy regardless, and at the end of the day, does anything else even matter? When your baby boy tightly grasps your finger with his little hand, everything else melts away. Someone with less important things to think about can worry about that Quinoa salad.
Emily Brady is a member of the FamilyShare content team. She studied Communication with an emphasis in journalism. She loves photography and finding a good book to read in her hammock on a sunny, breezy day.