Saturday, January 23, 2010

Why do parents say the things they do?!

...or give looks the way they do?

I'm sure I've been guilty of this a hundred times, so forgive my rant.  Maybe it's a pet peeve  Maybe it's just an ongoing observation?

Why are we so judgmental of other parenting styles/decisions/choices/you know what I mean?  Co-sleep or crib.  Breast feed or formula.  Pacifier or finger.  Schedule or no.  Home school or private school or public school.  Spank or time out or give breaks.  Cloth or disposable.  Stay at home or working mom.  SUV or minivan.  Epidural or "natural".   I know I have my opinions and I know what's worked best for us so far.  But, we are still new to parenting.  It's often overwhelming!

There are SO many decisions we have to make in our heavily blessed choice saturated nation.  Contrast this to so much of the rest of the world where children are lucky to make it to adulthood, have a place to call home, eat enough food to thrive, and the time to go to school.

I am just amazed.  It is my desire to encourage parents to figure out what's best for their child and their family at any particular time.  Each child is a unique gift from God born to a unique set of parents and a unique family dynamic.  As we all know, they don't come with instruction manuals!  So, I implore mankind (or Bay Area parentkind I suppose), please stop trying to force your "right" way of parenting on everyone else!  Please stop the subtle disapproving looks when someone is doing something a little different than you.  Come on, at the park, you've seen it right? Maybe even done it?  Why can't we (me too) consider that this mom or that dad might actually have a good reason for whatever they're doing!

In fact, I've found the more time I spend listening and considering each perspective, each story, each view point, the more I realize that often right and wrong is so elusive when it comes to parenting.  Most parents sincerely want whats best and they're trying to survive some very difficult years.  If we need help or we feel out of control, hopefully we get wise Biblical counsel.  May we seek God's wisdom and may His Spirit lead us.  And let's stop judging what others are doing!

God willing, our children will all grow up one day.  Whether or not they had boob or bottle, eventually they start eating food.  Whether or not they slept in our bed or their own, eventually they grow up and leave the house.  And hopefully, no matter what kind of school they go to, they seek to pursue God always and glorify Him with all they do.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this Meg! I went through a lot of struggle, especially as a working mom feeling judged and wondering if I was doing 'right' by my children and the choices I made. Only in the past few months have I truly found peace & confidence in my way of parenting (though I still get so annoyed at the things parents will say to my kids) I strive to do what's best for my family and understand that's what every mother is doing for their own, no matter what path takes them there. We're all in the same boat and should be more supportive! Perhaps some insecurity in our motherhood leads us to judge?!