Parenting, An Unconditional Love For All
Parenting can be one the most vulnerable experiences of our lives. We give birth to a sweet innocent baby who learns our habits, strengths and our weaknesses. We find out everyone has an opinion about how we should parent and what is right and wrong in parenting.
But really is there a "wrong way"? In my opinion unless you are completely neglecting your children or causing them harm on purpose you are probably doing the very best you can and I want to congratulate you on your efforts.
Zach and I have lived across the country throughout our marriage. It has been a roller coaster of navigating new areas with new people and new cultures. In every single area we have been in, I have seen first hand how every family has struggles, and every family deals with heartache, pain and disappointment even amongst so much goodness as well. In one area we lived in, a family lost a little girl at 6 months old who had spent that entire time in the hospital and she had 2 other siblings at home. Two other ladies I knew had lost children as well and I learned a lot from their heartache and loss.
Another area where we lived a woman gave birth while her husband was on a military deployment. Several other women we knew spent months at a time dealing with the burden of having their husbands deployed while they dealt with everything at home.
We've seen families with financial struggles, with hard marriages who have ended in divorce, addictions that cause so much pain, children with mega food allergies, children who decide to take a different path from what their parents taught, and on and on and on. From my experience, what I can tell you is this, we all struggle, we all want to feel like we belong and that we matter.
If you find yourself judging another family maybe take a second and think about the struggles you go through and how it would feel if someone nitpicked your struggles apart and judged you without understanding the entire situation. Maybe take a second to think about how you would want your own kids to feel loved and valued and treat others with that same respect and kindness. Parenting is a hard gig with lots of unknowns, vulnerabilities and uncertainty. We can all choose to be more kind and compassionate. If you see a mother who you think is doing a good job let her know. She needs that validation, but mostly she just needs to know that she isn't alone and someone else cares or understands.
Odds are you probably parent different than your peers and that's a good thing. How boring would it be if we all had the same parent strategies? Choose to see the good in someone else's parenting and then also choose to parent the way you feel is best, without judgment and without hypocrisy. If you are feeling like you need to do something in your parenting just because someone else said that's the best way to do it, take a step back and think about what outcome you want and then go forward with whatever path you feel is best!
Jody Moore has some great content on Parenting if you are looking for a good start. Here is a link to her podcast.
Christy and the family