Back to Basics: Making Tough Decisions Easy for Mamas


By Patricia Gonzalez

Decisions, decisions. We make them every day, from the moment we wake up (and decide to get out of bed or hit the snooze button again) up until the moment our heads rest on our pillows. Decaf, latte? Heels or flats? Spend or splurge? Overtime at work or a girls night out? When we start families however, we find that our daily decisions become a little more complicated, because the choices we make no longer just affect ourselves, but also those who we hold most dear–our husbands and our children.

As it is with anything in life, the decisions we make as moms should be guided by our principles–the non-negotiable values that we refuse to compromise. We’re sure you’re familiar with them. They are those nagging voices in our heads that make themselves heard when we find ourselves at difficult crossroads. These are beliefs usually formed by factors such as our upbringing, faith, and life experiences, which are strengthened and developed through time and maturity. They are meant to guide our relationships, our work, our habits, and even the general direction we design our lives to take.

For example, a woman who was raised in frugal circumstances and encouraged to live within one’s means is not likely to splurge on an excessively expensive stroller…even if she can afford it. A decision that may carry a heavier weight would be the choice of a woman between a career she loves and staying at home to be with her children during their most formative years. Her choice will largely be influenced by the example her own mother set as she was growing up, the decisions of her most trusted circle of peers, and the goals she has set for herself and for her family.

When women become mothers, the general direction of the decisions we make appears to be simple. Always choose whatever is best for your baby, this is what we are told by our elders. This advice is noble, and golden, and good, but as the months and years fly by, many young moms realize that what is best for baby is not always so clear. Because we’re human beings, we are also fickle, and impressionable, and care a lot about what others think.

“Yes, I believe that my stroller of choice is a practical purchase…but will my friends think that I cannot afford a better buy?” she might ask herself, as she lines up at the counter while sneaking glances at the fancy stroller parked on aisle three. “Does it matter?”
“I want to stay home and be there for all the milestones of my children. I want them to have the security that I am always around and ready to take care of them,” she may dream. But the reality of the situation is that her family simply cannot afford to live on one income.

And what about all of those women who spent years of their lives preparing for time-consuming work, such as medicine or law? What if their careers are important to them too? Do they become bad mothers for wanting to heal the sick, and defend the downtrodden? We don’t think so. And we also don’t believe there is one answer.

So what’s a woman to do, when the obvious does not provide direction? The first step is to give the decision the time it needs to be properly discerned. Sleep on it. Pray about it. Reflect. Do not rush into something when you’re particularly emotional or vulnerable. And when all is calm and quiet, go back to your values.

If those aren’t clear yet, we suggest you take the time think about them (read our suggested guide on how to pinpoint your values here), but an alternative is to think about the women you admire or respect and ask yourself, what would she do? And why?

When it comes to motherhood, you will find that for the most part, there are no right or wrong answers. Every woman, every child, and every family is different, and the important thing is that we make decisions that our best for our own circumstances, and our own life goals as women, and for our families. When those things become clear to use, making decisions becomes simpler, more peaceful, and a lot less complicated.


Patricia Gonzalez is MOMCENTER’s Editor. She has two adorable daughters–ages 1 and 2, and is married to a man who inspires her to be a better woman everyday.

Beyond her work as a writer, she also an entrepreneur and manages the PR, marketing, and social media of two of her own local clothing brands, @coralswimwearph and @pearlclothingph.

She is a woman on a mission, and believes that motherhood is not limiting, but empowering. Join her on her journey by following her on instagram at @patriciaogonzalez.


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