When You Know Better, You Do Better (Except For When You Don’t)

My forward facing 2-year-olds who haven't maxed out the weight or height on their seats for rear facing but we switched because it was the best thing for us even though "I know better."

My forward facing 2-year-olds who haven’t maxed out the weight or height on their seats for rear facing but we switched because it was the best thing for us even though “I know better.”

Over 5 years ago, I became a mom for the first time. I knew what I was doing, sort of. I was a good mom, sort of. My kid turned out pretty fantastic, really. When I became a mom for the second time to two more little bundles, I knew what I was doing even more. I was a good mom even more. And my kids? Still pretty fantastic. Part of why I think I’m so great (you know, not tooting my own horn or anything) is because I have the ability to adapt and grow. I constantly research parenting trends, hot topics, new studies and more. I know A LOT about parenting. This doesn’t mean I apply every aspect to my own approach but it does mean that I am willing to change my own parenting plan if I find out maybe I was doing something wrong.

Along the way, I often find things I did totally and completely wrong with my oldest daughter. I didn’t do said things the same way with daughters two and three because when you know better, you do better. That’s my “mommy wars” mantra.


But what if you know better and you have all the best intentions but life, convenience, money, chaos, whatever gets in the way. Sometimes, even though you do know better, you actually can’t do better. This is what I’m here to tell you. It’s okay. It is. I promise. I know this because that is what I am faced with right now. The irrational side of me is convinced that the decision will ultimately lead to the death of my daughter. Extreme right? That’s the kind of pressure that my mommyhood perfectionism has placed on my common sense and reasoning abilities.


Often times (because of the beauty of social media) we see other parents posting examples of their parenting abilities. The saying goes that a picture is worth 1000 words but instead of trying to think of what the story may be behind the picture, we immediately assume the parent needs our help or is clueless or just sucks as a parent overall. What if they don’t? What if they are just like ME and they DO know better but had to make an extremely difficult decision weighing all the options and ultimately made the decision to do something less than perfect in the eyes of “the perfect mom?’ What if this was really the case? Does anyone even take a second to think that this may be the case?

I’ve revised my mantra because I have now been in those shoes. Sometimes, you do know better and sometimes you can’t do better. And in the end, you are doing the best job that you can as a parent.


3 responses »

  1. I can really relate to this post. Sometimes you just want a easy quiet life. My battle at the moment with my inner demand is screen time. But i do need to keep my stress levels and anxiety at bay to. Knowing my son is safe yet in front the screen while tend to the washing or pee is peace of mind for me.

    • This was specifically about car seat decisions (even though I kept it vague) but now that you mention it, screen time is another one I have an internal battle with too. And discipline. And yelling. Geeze, now I’m thinking of a whole list. Lol.

  2. I love this. Sometimes you have to be practical. Sometimes all the factors in your method are not immediately apparent to onlookers. I am all for stopping to consider the possibilities for jumping to conclusions. Now that is one thing I’ll hang the know better/do better mantra on – wherever possible, of course!

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