Faith · Family

Let’s Stop Waiting for Permission

Last week was Lucia’s 6 month check up. We look forward to seeing how she is growing each visit, especially since she was only 5.7 lbs. at birth! Kyle was able to go with me for this visit, and good thing he was since she was so active ripping up the sanitary paper on the patient seat and squirming on our laps constantly. She’s at the stage now of putting EVERYTHING in her mouth. Not fun to deal with alone at a doctors office.

I go into most of our appointments with a list of things I just want to run by our pediatrician and see what he thinks I should do. I trust his judgment and while that makes perfect sense regarding medical questions, I think I rely on him a little too much. Who knows how many times I’ve asked his something and he says “there’s no right way – whatever you’re doing is good”. I think I’m waiting for his approval for the things I’ve tried and permission on how to proceed.

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I’m not as anxious as I thought I would be as a new mom, but I still question most everything I’m doing. There is an opinion for and against every little thing you could think of.

You should breastfeed. You should do formula.

You should never co-sleep. There are so many benefits to co-sleeping.

You should make your own baby food, the store stuff is bad. Store-bought is great, get that!

This bottle is best for your baby, you have to have it!

If you have kids or have been pregnant for 5 seconds, you know this list could go on for DAYS!

I find this in other areas of my life too. I let my ideas bounce around too many places and find conflicting opinions, which leaves me unsure about what my initial gut feeling was in the first place.

I remember telling my counselor “I just wish there was a map – a well-laid plan on how to decide because I don’t know which way is the right way here”.

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She shared with me a story about how when she was trying to decide which college to go to she was overwhelmed with the pressure of making the right choice. Debating the pros and cons of the two colleges over and over again worried she would make the wrong decision. When she talked to her dad about it he said this – “what if they’re both right?”. What he meant was – what if regardless of which school you choose, both could turn into something good.

What if there really isn’t a right way all the time? 

What if it actually is up to us?

What if we get to choose the life we live and how we live it?

On one hand, that’s freeing, but I found it to be kind of scary at first. Especially being raised in church sometimes there was such an emphasis on calling and purpose that the pressure to do what you were meant to do was overwhelming.

Then I thought, what would happen if we took the pressure off of ourselves to do everything “the right way” and could admit to ourselves that there is no perfect formula?

Rather than being disheartened by the ambiguity, the uncertainty of life, what if we accepted it and relaxed into it? What if we said, “Yes, this is the way it is; this is what it means to be human,” and decided to sit down and enjoy the ride? 

– Pema Chödrön

Think of it like this. When you’re driving somewhere and you put in the address to get the directions, often times there are 3 maybe 4 different routes you could take. All will get you to the same place, but no matter which one you choose, they all have potential bumps up ahead that you can’t see.

Sometimes one way may seem the most direct, but that doesn’t always mean you have to go that way.

It’s ok to be uncertain. We’re each here doing the best we can with what we have and it’ll be ok.

Let’s trust our guts a little more and give ourselves some grace to enjoy the ride.

 

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