The beginning of fall always feels a bit like a new journey, but that’s especially true this year. When it comes to school, work, and childcare, families has been faced with some really tough decisions. Some of them may be leaving you feeling unsure and insecure as you see others making choices similar or very different from your own. As humans, we are conditioned to compare ourselves to others, and that can often feel amplified by social media.

Well mamas, I’m here to tell you that there is no one size fits all! I’ve found that most women thrive in motherhood when they feel empowered by the choices they make.

I’ve put together my 5 best practices for navigating uncertain times and creating your own lane for yourself and your family. Take what resonates, and leave what doesn’t.

Check-in with your family’s feelings and emotions

Remember, we’re all different and our responses are largely based on our personalities. Many people thrive working from home, while just as many do not. Some of our children are at ages more critical for social interaction. You may be suffering from underlying health issues and need to take extra precautions. What I want to remind you is that we all need to do what’s best for our lives and families. In doing so, we must also carry compassion and empathy to others when they make different choices for their own families. 

Adapt and get creative

Now that you’ve checked in with your family, it’s time to look at your options. Let’s take for example virtual learning. I know that many mamas are at home trying to navigate virtual school and WFH, as such your school may have lined up a routine for your student. This might be working for you or it might not. If it’s not, I encourage you to reach out to your students’ teacher. Advocate for your child, but remember to always come up with a possible solution or workaround, as many of our teachers are overwhelmed navigating this new space as well.

Maybe your child struggles in science and needs more guidance or your physical support during this subject in order to grasp the lesson. However, you work during this hour. Instead of letting them suffer through virtual learning and become discouraged, you could ask the teacher if you can record their lesson. That way your child could take a break and you would have the ability to work with them after your work hours. Basically, you may have to get creative and come up with some workarounds to get through the bumps and hurdles. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to others! Start a text chain with your fellow parents, see what issues are coming up for them, and if they have found any creative ideas to work through the challenges.

Remember: it takes a village, and we’re all in this together.

Find confidence in your choices

Here’s where you take a deep breath. Remember the reasons you’ve made these choices for your family and what your overall goals and needs are. Check-in with your family values and vision. Do you know that little voice in your head called your intuition? Make sure you check in with her too! And once you do that let all your worries and comparisons go. No matter what happens from here you know you made your choices with love, compassion, information, and creative thinking and strategy. 

Don’t be afraid to change your mind

Here’s the thing about making tough choices: sometimes we have to take a little leap. And even when we have done our due diligence sometimes the path chosen just doesn’t work out for a multitude of reasons. Instead of doubling down on something that isn’t working because of your pride, ego, or fear of change, I encourage you to be empowered in changing your mind. The most successful people in the world are people who know how to pivot, change course, and rebound. Give something a try, and if it doesn’t serve you, say goodbye and hello to option #2. 

image via amber fillerup

Find the silver lining

Through this season of transition, I hope you remember to find the silver lining. I’m often reminded of something my late mother said to me time and time again. “We can not always control what happens to us, but we can control how we view it and how we respond to it.” It is possible to extract the good out of something we may perceive as bad or uncomfortable. You may become a better decision-maker. Your family may become better communicators by being forced to spend so much time together. Maybe you finally finish a project that you’ve put off, or you become comfortable making hard choices and stop comparing yourself to others. Either way, I hope you find growth, love, and light through your transition. 

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Comments (20)
  1. 1
    Brielle October 21, 2020 at 10:25 am

    Love this! Such a good read and such helpful advice for navigating these uncertain times. Remembering to find the silver lining!

    • Brandy Smith November 10, 2020 at 12:02 pm

      Hi Brielle, I am so glad this resonated with you!

  2. 2
    Jeannine Kuhn October 21, 2020 at 11:13 am

    Wonderful read!! A great reminder to all mamas to focus on the positive and create the best life for your family ?

    • Brandy Smith November 10, 2020 at 12:06 pm

      Hi Jeannine, thank you for your kind words 🙂 I’m always here to remind mamas and women in general that every motherhood journey looks different!

  3. 3
    Angela Duran October 21, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    So much to relate to in this article. As mothers I think we are often the most critical of ourselves and we scrutinize every decision we make but it’s definitely so important to adapt and change and go with the flow because children are probably the most unpredictable factors in our lives. I get so hung up when things don’t go like I planned but the stress of not letting that go hurts the people around me the most, especially my son, since he’s watching mama so closely now and is learning and picking up my habits. Thanks for making me realize that sometimes I just need to step back and take a deep breath and embrace.

    • Brandy Smith November 10, 2020 at 12:08 pm

      Angela, I am so glad that this felt like a safe space to share those feelings. Thank you for writing to me, I can’t wait to receive your feedback on future articles moving forward!

  4. 4
    Erika Balla October 21, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    This was a great article and reminds us of the wonderful life we have with our beautiful kiddos and to see the “silver lining” in this current world of chaos!

    • Brandy Smith November 10, 2020 at 12:08 pm

      Erika, believe me when I say that these “silver linings” are what’s keeping me going these days!

  5. 5
    Kristina Eala October 21, 2020 at 2:53 pm

    Lots of great reminders and helpful tips as a parent trying to navigate life during such a tumultuous time. Learning to let go of things that don’t go as planned has been a challenge, and with kids, the challenges are never ending. We all want what’s best for our family and it’s refreshing to read that we may not always get it right, and it’s ok to change our minds. So many great points I’ll take with me from this read!

    • Brandy Smith November 10, 2020 at 12:10 pm

      Hey Kristina, I’m so glad to hear that this resonated with you! I look forward to sharing more insightful articles with this community and receiving your notes back.

  6. 6
    Tania October 21, 2020 at 5:44 pm

    I agree! Giving your self permission to change your mind is so important. Sometimes I don’t know what’s right for my family until I’ve tried a couple of options. Being kind, compassionate, and flexible is the new plan.

    • Brandy Smith November 10, 2020 at 12:11 pm

      Tania, kindness, compassion, and flexibility are absolutely key. Being able to try, try, and try again is what motherhood is all about. Remember, there is no one size fits all program when it comes to being a mama!

  7. 7
    Sarah October 22, 2020 at 8:25 am

    Where are the chairs from in the first photo? They’re so good and exactly what I need for my dining room come home office. 😉

  8. 8
    Emily Watson October 26, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    This is a lovely read during the challenging time. Two points hit home with me — finding your village…your mom squad…your tribe. SO important in making you feel less alone on this bumpy road. And finding the silver lining. I’ve ben practicing reframing the really hard things. Asking myself what can I take away from this otherwise yucky or difficult situation that will make me a better person or our family stronger?

    • Brandy Smith November 10, 2020 at 12:14 pm

      Emily, I love your thoughtfulness around these topics. You’re a guiding light for so many mamas on your platform too!

  9. 9
    JK November 2, 2020 at 10:32 am

    I liked this there are so many naysaying in motherhood and what you can do and can’t do. Now I am less confused about this and have my own lane to delve into my family values by keeping it all contained for everyone to have a freedom to be themselves.

    • Brandy Smith November 10, 2020 at 12:14 pm

      That’s what it’s all about JK!

  10. 10
    Kristi November 6, 2020 at 10:23 am

    Oh, how I wish I would have read this article when my sons were young! It can be so overwhelming out there with so much “advice” on what is “right”. I felt such relief when I finally realized there was no one “right way.” Thank you for this reminder – especially right now!

    • Brandy Smith November 10, 2020 at 12:15 pm

      I’m so glad you received this little reminder, even if your boys are older now!