Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size
A
A
A

Relax, You're Being a Good Mom

Exhausted from trying to be Supermom? You may need a time out to realize you’re doing just fine.

Ignore the Experts (Most of the Time)

With all the expert parenting information available to us today, you’d think as mothers we’d feel well-informed and prepared to raise a brood. But easy access to expert advice has had the opposite effect on Marybeth Hicks, a mother of four children ranging from 11 to 19.

"I felt the worst about my parenting those times when I was sitting in the pediatrician’s office reading articles about all the wonderful parenting you should do -- never yell or tell your child he was bad but rather that he made a poor choice. Then they get into the whole natural food thing and how you should never serve SpaghettiOs. I think we learn to distrust ourselves sitting in the pediatrician’s office reading magazines while waiting for our appointment."

Arming yourself with information can be useful. But too much expert advice can lead you into the trap of believing that there is one right way to do things and that if you’re not doing it that one way your kids will suffer -- a perfect recipe for mother’s guilt.

In real life, moms get stressed and lose patience. Sometimes, we yell. "But one of the things that those articles never mention -- and I’ve experienced -- " Hicks says, "is that children are very resilient. And they know that when you act in love that you’re acting on their behalf."

Going With Your Gut

Once you’ve talked to your pediatrician, read a few books, and perused some good parenting magazine articles, it’s time to step away from the schooling and start trusting your internal mothering guide. "We joke that kids don’t come with directions, but they do in a sense," Hicks says. "The directions are your values, and they are the basis on which all of your decisions are made."

If you feel strongly about the objectification of women in the media, for example, then a lot of your decisions about what television programs your kids can watch will be made with that in mind. That’s parenting.

"If you make those little decisions along the way, you start to create a path for yourself that looks different from everyone else," Hicks, who is also a columnist and author of Bringing Up Geeks: How to Protect Your Kid's Childhood in a Grow-Up-Too-Fast World, says. "Then you create a pattern of decision making. And the more you do it, the longer you do it, your family has its own unique personality. It just gets easier as you go, and people know what to expect of you."

Silencing the Critic

Still, it can be hard not to let those snide comments get under your skin.

Today on WebMD

family walking on the beach
Slideshow
two boys in a swing
Article
 
mistakes_parents_make_with_toddlers_2.jpg
Article
woman with cleaning products
Slideshow
 
mother and daughter talking
Tool
child brushing his teeth
Slideshow
 
Sipping hot tea
Slideshow
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Video
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Build a Fitter Family Challenge – Get your crew motivated to move.
Feed Your Family Better Challenge - Tips and tricks to healthy up your diet.
Sleep Better Challenge - Snooze clues for the whole family.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
Article
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
 
tissue box
Quiz
Child with adhd
Slideshow