Let's make one thing clear: all moms are tough AF. Being a mom inherently means you get access to the Tough AF Club, because there are some really difficult decisions you won't be able to avoid while earning your membership card. Decisions like how to use your kid's nap time, how to feed your infant, and even whether or not you're going to sleep train. All of these are decisions you'll make as a mom that prove you're tough AF.
I remember agonizing over how to get my daughter on some sort of a schedule, especially when it came to sleeping and eating. I spent way too many hours deep in the belly of the internet, trying to find just the right schedule for her that I thought we could all live with. Thinking back on it, I don't know why it seemed like such a difficult decision, but perhaps that's the mystery of motherhood: every decision seems absolutely enormous when it has to do with the wellbeing and perceived success of your child.
Of course, some of those decisions have more lasting effects. For example, if I had a son, I can't imagine how long I would have tried to decide whether or not to circumcise my baby. However, no matter what kind of baby you have or even what kind of personality you have as a mother, there will inevitably be hard decisions, big and small, that prove you're tough AF. Here's a shortlist of where to start, just in case you're having some doubts about how absolutely badass you are.
How To Use Nap Time
That sweet, precious time where no one's whining for anything and you finally get to rest those muscles that have been holding a tiny human for what seems like hours? Yeah, what in the world are you going to do with it? Take a nap? Catch up on emails? Clean up the goo under the high chair? Look, they're tough decisions, no matter how many years you've been a mom.
How To Combat Toddler Metldowns
Toddlers are tricky and tough but you, mama, are tougher! You've got to make very tough choices in order to win the battle against a strong-willed toddler. However, whether that means feeding your kid Cadbury eggs for dinner (ahem, guilty as charged) in order to keep them sitting while you finish chewing, or enforcing the eat-your-veggies rule, even arguing with a toddler makes you tough AF.
How To Feed Your Baby
Not a day went by that I wasn't thankful this decision was made for me when we adopted our daughter. There wasn't even time for me to start taking hormones, since we had six hours between learning about our daughter and meeting her in the NICU, so breastfeeding wasn't an option. However, bottle-feeding vs breastfeeding is a tough decision if you're not in that very rare position that we were in.
How To Get Your Baby To Sleep
Hopefully you'll be making this decision with your partner, because sleep training (or co-sleeping, or any other sleeping arrangement) can be difficult to choose, let alone follow through on. Every option comes with pros and cons you'll likely weigh them all for weeks at a time before you're ready to put a plan into action.
How (And When) To Stop Breastfeeding
I haven't made this decision as a mom, because we adopted my daughter, but listening to countless stories about the excruciating horror of breastfeeding through mastitis or yeast infections or a whole lot of other icky and painful complications, gives it a spot on this list. Choosing whether to breastfeed through pain or whether to go with another option for feeding your baby is such a tough one. How much pain is too much? What can you really handle? What are you supposed to be able to handle? Tough stuff, ladies, you have my boob respect, for sure!
How (And If) To Go Back To Work
Choosing whether you are going to be a stay-at-home mom, a work-from-home mom, or a work-out-of-the-home mom is one of the biggest decisions you'll make. Sometimes the decision will already be made for you, depending on your family's circumstances, but if you have the luxury of choosing, it's still a tough decision.
What helped me was remembering that my child would likely be healthy and happy no matter what. I know there are many ways to raise a child and staying home isn't the only way, or necessarily the best way, for me and my child.
How To Spend Your "Down Time"
For me, post-baby bedtime is always a tough decision-making time for me. Should I be productive and get work done, or should I lounge on the couch and scroll through Instagram. Somehow, the sleep that I longed for all day doesn't seem as pressing when I don't have a tiny human clinging to my leg, so that better decision is almost never the one I choose.
How To Get On A Schedule
I'm a results-oriented person (screw the process, I always say), so scheduling appealed to my need to see concrete results in my days with a newborn. Little did I know, however, that scheduling also had a downside. My (perceived) failures as a mom were much more visible when I had a schedule to compare my actual day to. The toughest part about deciding whether to schedule or not schedule my days, I think, is that I might not know how much I should plan to conquer in a day. Gosh, tough mom decisions are lurking around every corner, you guys.