Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Some very stern thoughts on mothering and mothers

If I've learned anything in the 25 years I've been a woman, it's this... Women are vicious. They have a natural ability and unfortunate knack to tear each other to shreds with words, actions and even looks.

And, if there's anything I ou've learned in the 5 years I've been a mother (I consider mothering my covenant daughter while courting Caleb part of this), it's that Mommies have an increase drive and knack to tear each other to shreds.
It's so unfortunate but unfortunately true.  My my circles are often characterized by common belief systems regarding parenting or an obvious tug-o'-war of said beliefs.  Heck, it starts even before we give birth.  The battle over which childbirthing method is THE best and THE right one stresses so many women out that often times our carefully planned birthing method has to be chucked out the window and we enter into motherhood with an already defeated mindset and a sense of failure.  We spend the rest of our mothering days trying to catch up and make up for the failure of an unplanned C-Section or "drugged" birth.

Then comes the hard stuff. Nursing or Formula?  Can I nurse? Is giving my baby formula shortcoming him/her?  Vaccines, no vaccines? Organic or non-organic food?  Can I afford organic?  To stay home or not to stay home? Homeschool, Private Education, Public Education? Montessori, Traditional?  Firm or gentle discipline? A mixture of both?  How do I do that?  Am I doing it wrong?  And on and on and on it goes with a group of very passionate women along the way telling you exactly THE way to do it.

And well, this is what I think.

I think I try to do the very best for my baby.  I wanted to deliver my firstborn naturally because that's what I felt was best for me and my daughter, but it turns out I simply couldn't due to a breech position.  So, I delivered via C-section.  I wanted to nurse my firstborn, but couldn't so we gave her organic formula as a substitute.  We wanted her to eat an all-organic diet because we felt that's what was best, but didn't have the resources available to do so.  She still ate healthy and was well-fed, but didn't eat the all-organic diet we had in mind. I nursed my son for as long as I could before his need outgrew my body's ability to create milk.  I tried everything and simply couldn't and have since, also given him organic formula. We decided not to vaccinate and their schooling is still up in the air.  We try to find a happy medium with discipline, though tend to fair in the firm side.  We spank and tolerate zero disrespect or blatant disobedience.  I choose to stay home so that I can devote every second to molding my children lives for the Kingdom of Heaven.  In that endeavor, we have willingly given up certain luxuries so that I have the privilege to do that.

And you know what?  I have felt judged every single step of the way.  I can't say I've felt 100% confident in most of the decisions.  That's probably 100% my fault, because I really need to get my act together and realize that my affirmation comes from Jesus and not anyone else I come in contact with.  Nevertheless, it's time we stop judging one another on our parenting choices and start demonstrating love, encouragement and respect towards one another.  Search out God's will for your family and believe others' are doing the same.  Realize we are serving a big God who is as creative as each individual sunset and as majestic as 1000 oceans and every star.  His purposes for your family will not look the same as mine, and that is perfectly okay.

Let's seriously stop calling ourselves activists when we're really demanding everyone make the same decisions we are. Let's love and encourage one another and believe the very best in each other.  Believe that we are all doing the very best we can.  Let's share information with one another without expectation that it will change anyone. Let's press on to know Christ together as homemakers, wives, mothers and submit ourselves to the clear teaching of Scripture, understanding that Jesus is our creative God who can demonstrate His work in whatever way He choose.

Come on ladies.  Let's just *love* one another.


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