Confident Decision-Making in the Daze of Mothering
by Jean Blackmer
I stood in the produce section of the grocery store looking at the variety of peppers. I picked up a green one, examined it for brown spots and gave it a gentle squeeze to make sure it wasn’t mushy. It felt solid, so I put it in my cart and imagined how I might actually get my kids to eat something green other than a gummy worm.
Then I noticed the red, yellow and even orange peppers. Maybe I should buy one of each? As I scanned the produce section I noticed another area where more peppers were displayed like colorful crayons — the organic section. For the millionth time I wondered if I should buy organic.
Could buying a pepper really become such a time-consuming, mind-boggling decision? In our world today? Yes.
We live with a paradox: We are fortunate to have so many choices, but this often causes difficulty in decision-making and may lead to regret with decisions. In the book, Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less, author Barry Schwartz builds a convincing case of how our culture of abundance robs us of satisfaction. “As the number of choices we face increases, freedom of choice eventually becomes a tyranny of choice. Routine decisions take so much time and attention that it becomes difficult to get through the day.”
A mom’s day is already difficult enough, dealing with meltdowns, school issues, food choices, sibling squabbling and (fill in the blank) ____________.
How can a mama be confident in her decision making on these issues and so much more, and not get bogged down in the process?
Here are some ideas:
Decide what really matters. For example, if how to get your child to do chores matters more to you than what type of yogurt to purchase, then you’ll spend more time and energy on the chore solutions.
Limit your choices. Look at three different stores or ask only three different people you respect for advice. Or visit only three online reputable sites for ideas on the decision you’re dealing with.
Don’t compare your decisions to others. Each mom is as unique as her own fingerprint. What you decide may be different than your mother, sister or friend and that’s OK. Trust you’ve made the right decision for your unique situation.
Choose to move on. Once you make a decision, don’t second-guess yourself. We all make mistakes and can learn from them.
As moms, we make practically as many decisions in a day as we take breaths — not only for ourselves, but also for our children. Becoming confident in our decisions will help the whole family because confidence is contagious.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly believingly, without a second thought. – James 1:5-6 (The Message)
Jean Blackmer is Publishing Manager for MOPS International. She’s the author of Boy-sterous Living! Celebrating Your Loud and Rowdy Life with Sons. She and her husband, Zane, live in Boulder, Colorado with their three sons.