February 22, 2013

Ashlee writes the blog Where My Heart Resides which is by far one of my most favorite internet spaces.  She has such an honest, kind heart and it is always so refreshing to read her perspective on motherhood, marriage and faith.  This piece on acceptance hits home as a new mom learning as I go. Also, Ashlee's latest post on her blog, My Journey from an Extrovert to an Introvert is so, so good. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since reading it last night. Thank you, Ashlee!

photo of Ashlee and baby Everett

I’ve been a mom for nine months now, and when I think about all the lessons I’ve learned during this journey so far, one sticks out above all the rest.

There is no “right” way to parent.

I will be the first to admit, I was judgy miss judgerson prior to having Everett. I had all sorts of thoughts and opinions about every topic under the sun: epidurals, pacifiers, breastfeeding, cosleeping, baby food, sleep training, how far apart to have kids, scheduling, toys, TV, discipline… name it, I had an opinion on it.

And while I still have some opinions on some matters, I’m slowly learning that motherhood isn’t all black and white. You don’t have to choose this or that, this method or that method. You don’t have to pick a side, or a single philosophy, or one set of rules to follow. You’re allowed to make it up as you go along, to blend ideas, to change your mind. Just because we love being on a schedule doesn’t mean you have to. Just because you think it’s a good idea to have kids close together doesn’t mean I have to.

We’re all different mothers, raising different babies, using different beliefs to guide our decisions.

At the end of the day, I’m going to do what is best for my family, and you are going to do what’s best for your family. One does not equal the other. It doesn’t mean one of us is right and one of us is wrong; we are both doing what we believe is best. It’s okay for us to both be right.

I’m learning that my friendships with other mothers are stronger, better, more vulnerable and more powerful when we both embrace acceptance.

When we accept each other, we validate each other, and therefore, encourage each other.

And if there is one thing we could all use a little more of as new moms, it’s encouragement.


  1. Ashlee is one of the most amazing writers. This piece is another testiment to that. Beautifully written.

  2. So very true! There's no one right way to do it. Each family is a different family. What works for you won't necessarily work for me!

  3. Lovely post from Ashlee!
    I also love your blog as well dear

  4. This is lovely, Ashlee. Very well stated.

    Just this week I was chatting with other parents in the lunch room and laughing about different things our kids do and how we handle them. And one of the parents was just giving the stink-eye to us the whole time over what we knew was right and good and okay for our kids, and it was disheartening. Parenting (step-parenting in my case) is hard enough.

  5. Beautiful words! I know I will need all the encouragement I can get when my baby comes along

  6. I was a lot more sure of everything before I became a parent as well.

    Whatever works for each family is my new motto.

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