Friday, August 19, 2011
The Mom Pledge
Remember how I'd said boundaries are a good thing? How "good fences make good neighbors" and how it's important for us to respect other people's space as their own? How we never know someone else's whole story?
Yeah well... recently, someone came in my yard and stomped all over my flowers.
I'm not usually the target of weird Judgey McJudgersons. Not to my knowledge anyway. It may be that I'm just oblivious to it. If that's the case, well I thank God for that!
At any rate, it bugs the dickens out of me when people act like there's only ONE "right way" to raise kids. Whether it has to do with their bedtime or what you feed them or where they go to school or how they're dressed or what they do for recreation... it's ridiculous to act like one set of rules is the only "right way" to parent.
Kids are all different. Heck, I only have FOUR and they're all SO different that sometimes, it's a real challenge to remember that what works for one of them, does not work for the other three! So, I think it's more than disrespectful to say that because I make certain choices, that are different than what you'd choose, I must be a crappy Mom.
I am far from perfect. I don't pretend to have all the answers. I make parenting mistakes just like anybody else. I've even written about some rough days and having to correct poor choices on my part here! I talk about that stuff NOT because I've got it all figured out but, because I DON'T have all the answers and I figure that maybe someone else could learn from my mistakes and avoid the consequences that I've had to battle. I know that I really like reading stories from other Moms about how they did things and what worked and what didn't. We learn from each other.
Some of the choices that Dave and I make, as parents, have to do with certain needs each of our children has. Some of the choices have to do with what resources we have both financially and physically (in the part of the country that we live.) Some of the choices are personal preferences or things that we choose to value because of our faith. Some of the choices we make are made due to the knowledge and education we've received, not just in a school setting but, in life as well.
I'd be willing to bet that you make the choices you make for many of the same reasons. I'd be willing to bet that everything that works for our family... our set of 6 people and 6 personalities and all the variables that come with varying combinations of emotions... won't work for your house. My house is not a cookie cutter model for everyone else to follow. You aren't wrong for choosing to do things differently than I do them.
In turn, I'm not wrong for choosing to do things differently than you do or have done.
I believe that we, as Moms, each want the BEST for our kids. I believe that we LOVE our kids. I believe that we ought to support each other because the task of raising kids and caring for our families (however we do that... and whatever combination of people makes up our family) is a tough job and we could all use encouragement rather than judgment.
Casting judgment of other people is wrong. That doesn't mean that we have to agree with all people. Talking ugly about other people (slander) is wrong. We'll be held accountable for our own choices and so, those are the ones we should be focusing on. We're in no position to judge others because we don't know all the reasons behind why they choose the things they do. We can't see what is inside people's hearts.
"Brothers and sisters, do not tell evil lies about each other. If you speak against your fellow believers or judge them, you are judging and speaking against the law they follow. And when you are judging the law, you are no longer a follower of the law. You have become a judge. God is the only Lawmaker and Judge. He is the only One who can save and destroy. So it is not right for you to judge your neighbor." James 4:11-12 NCV
"God does not see the same way people see. People look at the outside of a person, but the LORD looks at the heart." I Samuel 16:7 NCV
I'm taking The Mom Pledge because I think it's important to respect the job that we're doing. It's more important to build a community of Moms who support each other and can share opinions with respect for each other and not crass judgment. We're all different and can learn from those differences. We're all loving our kids and caring for them with what's best for our families in mind.
God is too creative to make just ONE "right way" to raise a family. And we're in no place to cast judgment on each other.