A new school year is underway for most families, and with it comes a frenzied search for a smooth routine; one that takes the stress out of early morning drop offs and arguments over lunches, homework and bedtime.

Those days in my house are long over (I say with nary a tear in my eye), but a recent Facebook post from my pal Shelby Slawson (who is also a community columnist for the E-T) reminded me about the importance of, well, just doing you.

I mean you and me, of course, each figuring out what works best for our families, and doing those things without fear of judgment.

Because raising kids, you guys, is hard work.

That goes for you dads out there too, but mothers seem to face a different sort of eyebrow lift when it comes to raising our babes.

There are working moms, stay-at-home moms, moms who sit through every soccer practice, awards ceremony and PTO meeting - and moms who make none of that. 

There are moms who send their kids to school with a Pottery Barn lunchbox stuffed with a perfectly balanced, organic diet, while other moms send their child out the door with a PB&J in a paper sack or $2 in their pocket.

And while there were times during my years of living through the Mommy Wars when I got everything just right, there were more times I remember limping to an extracurricular activity in high heels with newspaper ink smeared across my face, praying that I would make it before it was over. 

And sometimes, during those years of raising my three kids, I felt the harsh sting of judgment, either real or imagined, piercing my heart. 

And that was the premise, I think, of Shelby’s post. 

In the eloquent way she does things, Shelby reminded us about the power that comes with doing what works best for our families and the importance of surrounding ourselves with a non-judgmental Sisterhood. 

So moms, give yourselves a break this school year. You don’t have to be perfect to be terrific. 

Slow down and enjoy these years of crazy motherhood and do what works best for you and yours.   

And if you see a mom limping around in high heels and ink on her cheek, give her a wet napkin and tell her she’s doing great.  

Sara Vanden Berge is the managing editor of the Empire-Tribune and Glen Rose Reporter. She can be reached at 254-968-2379 ext. 240. Follow her on Twitter @ETeditor.