I’m simply not the mom who does things by the books.

I’m definitely not against the books, but I just don’t follow them. I think it’s great other people do and that it works for them!

When I first saw this picture, it made me smile. Not because it’s a particularly pretty picture, but because it captures the beautiful mess I live in.

I also wanted to hide this picture so no one saw it.

Sleeping with my kids has been something I’ve learned to hide because it’s not what I’m supposed to do.

So I decided to do the opposite and post it because I know there is some mom out there feeling like a failure because her kids aren’t doing what they are “supposed” to do. Sleeping-wise or something else.

And I want you to hear me loud and clear fellow mama:

You aren’t doing it wrong.

God made each child different and He picked different parents to be with those kids.

You aren’t doing it wrong, just because you do some things differently.

It’s OK not to do the status quo if it’s not what works best for your family. Your kids may not fit into status quo.

I think it’s more important that you listen to your mama-gut.

Because you don’t want to look back someday and think, “I wish I would have listened to my instincts. I wish I didn’t parent based on other people’s opinions.”

No matter how you raise those kids, the same thing is going to happen to every single one of them . . . 

They are going to grow up.

They are going to turn into their own independent people.

Our job? It’s to love them the best we can.

RELATED: God Doesn’t Ask Me To Be a Perfect Mom; He Asks Me To Point My Kids to a Perfect Savior

That love is going to look different for everyone.

And that’s OK. It’s totally OK.

Mama, be true to what your heart is telling you. Ask God for guidance. Ask the opinion of those you trust, but also know . . . the choice is yours.

And if you choose to do things differently, know that it doesn’t mean you are doing them wrong.

This post originally appeared on The Unraveling by Kelli Bachara

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Kelli Bachara

Kelli Bachara is a wife and mom to two sweet kiddos. She is a mental health therapist, writer, and podcaster. Kelli loves her Goldendoodle, coffee, and this beautiful thing called life. You can find her at www.kellibachara.com.