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You’re Not A Bad Mother If…

I love parenting blogs and websites. Love them. I love following other moms on Twitter and Facebook. I love networking with other moms and talking about our kids and sharing advice. What I don’t love is my propensity for second guessing myself when I hear about a mom doing something different than how I do it. I have a bad habit of looking at someone who’s successfully doing something I don’t do and wondering if I’d be a better mom if I added that to the way we do business around here.

There’s probably an official psychological term for comparing yourself unfavorably to the mom sitting next to you, but I just think of it as the latest manifestation of the scared middle-school girl I was 25 years ago when I wondered if I’d be cooler if I watched The Facts Of Life even though I didn’t really like that show. Now, I worry that I’d be a better mother if I made different food choices for my kids or was better about getting my baby on a nap schedule. Which is silly, really. My kids are awesome and happy and thriving. Why on earth should I feel bad about what I’m doing when all the evidence in front me says things are great?

Let’s make a deal, shall we? If any of us ever have those kind of thoughts about being a worse mother than someone else, we should take a breath and think of three good things about how we’re raising our kids. Just flip it around and focus on the good. To start, here is a list of 10 things you shouldn’t feel bad about doing.

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  • You’re Not A Bad Mother If… 1 of 11
    You're Not A Bad Mother If...
    Do you do things then feel guilty about them? Click through to find out why you shouldn't!
  • Take A Shower 2 of 11
    Take A Shower
    There's nothing wrong with leaving a clean, dry, well-fed baby in a safe place for 15 minutes so you can take a shower. It's ok even if the baby cries for part of the time. Showers are not unreasonable things for moms to do and the 15 minutes to wash you hair can be a real refresher. Don't feel guilty about it.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Formula Feed 3 of 11
    Formula Feed
    Breastfeeding is only the best choice if it works for you and your baby. If there is a reason - physical, emotional, or logistical - that makes breastfeeding infeasible, you don't have to do it. Feed your baby formula.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Breastfeed Beyond Infancy 4 of 11
    Breastfeed Beyond Infancy
    There's no reason on earth to wean before you want to. Do what works for you and your child. It's no one else's business.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Co-Sleep 5 of 11
    Co-Sleep
    Whether you room share or bed-share, if you're doing it all safely, it's fine. Do what you need to do to get the sleep every human needs to function well.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Put Baby In A Crib 6 of 11
    Put Baby In A Crib
    Like co-sleeping, a crib in a room apart from parents is fine as long as it's safe. Again, if it helps everyone in the family get healthy sleep, it's the right choice.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Sleep Train 7 of 11
    Sleep Train
    Some babies need to learn how to fall asleep on their own. There are a lot of ways to teach a baby that skill. Check with your pediatrician about what they recommend if you're unsure. But don't feel bad about it because sleep is critical.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Use Disposable Diapers 8 of 11
    Use Disposable Diapers
    Listen, you can only do as much as you can do. If you can't do what it takes to use cloth diapers, don't worry about it. Reduce your carbon footprint in other ways.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Turn on the TV 9 of 11
    Turn on the TV
    If you need to hear an adult voice and turn on Ellen or your bigger kid wants to watch come cartoons while the baby is in the room, don't sweat it. And don't google "babies and tv". It'll just make you feel bad.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Go To Work 10 of 11
    Go To Work
    No choice is as fraught as the one about going to work outside the home after kids. It's ok. Find a good caregiver for your working hours then go give your job your all. It doesn't matter why you work. All reasons are valid.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Stay At Home 11 of 11
    Stay At Home
    You're not being a bad role model for girls or knuckling under to the patriarchy if you choose to stay home full time. It's a personal choice and if it works for you, it works for you.
    Photo Credit: photo stock

Read more from Rebekah at Mom-in-a-Million The Broad Side. Follow Rebekah on Facebook and Twitter too!

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