It’s Time to Stop Judging and Start Loving

Posted by on Jan 12, 2014 in Faith, Family, Mommying | 1 comment

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It’s time to sit down and talk about how we are treating people. I have a lot of things in mind, from the Facebook comments on how someone should kill themselves for being fat, to the anonymous rudeness to a call center representative. It’s time to give peace a chance. (And no, I’m not a hippie.)

This time I am specifically talking about attacking other people’s parenting styles. Blog after blog, post after post, mom after mom after bleary eyed mom likes to tell other parents that they’re doing it wrong. The worst comment in the history of Facebook: “I would NEVER…”

It starts with Dr. Sears: Don’t spank your children. Let your children sleep with you until your next child comes and then gently scoot them into their own bed to welcome the new addition. It goes on to Dr. Ferber: Let your child self sooth and learn to sleep on their own. To Dr. EveryoneElseWhoProbablyHasANanny saying to feed your kids organic this and clothe them in organic that. Safety gadgets, baby gadgets, feeding tools and gadgets all in an effort to provide the most pioneer type diet with the best chances of stimulation and Mozart created IQs.

STOP! God gave your child to you. He gave your other children to your child. He gave your house, your food accessibility, your income and your loathing for Mozart to you, your child, and your child’s siblings. Guess what? That’s how it was meant to be.

Make the best decisions you can in the moment. That moment could be well rested and fed, post shower and shave when you tell your preppy 1.5 kids co-worker that you co-sleep, attachment parent and grind your own baby food. That moment could be in the middle of a REM cycle when you hear that aching whimper from the one for whom you’d die for, but would pay $1 million dollars (if you had it, of course) to sleep for 8, no 7, even 6 at this point, hours. At night time. Preferably from the time “I” fall sleep to the time you wake up.

It’s hard but sometimes the kids are going nuts and those golden arches call you. Do I want to feed my kids McDonalds? Nope. Did I? Yep. Because we had another hour to go before I’d get home and be able to pull the fresh carrots from my victory garden out back, wash them, peel them, steam them and get them into my food mill. Do I hand someone an iPad at 6am? I do. Often. Why? Because the night before, I put the sweethearts to bed, sat down for less than 5 minutes with my husband before he fell asleep at which point I put the dishes into the dishwasher and loaded yet another load of wash into the washer, took the dogs out to potty (because what weekend wouldn’t be complete without a dog with diarrhea…) and then looked at my messy house, unfolded clothes, unanswered emails and empty fridge. What did I decide to do? Get on Facebook. I did. Because I have not had 7 minutes of uninterrupted time since this time last night when I chose to spend it with my husband. (Not a bad use of 7 minutes, I must say.)

So what’s my point? Stop judging. Start loving. That woman berating her child in the grocery store? She doesn’t know what the heck to do with her 2 year old. She doesn’t! Do you? Great! Well, get over here and do it! Give her a hand, not a dirty look. When a mom says she let her baby cry it out, sympathize with her about how hard that must have been. Make her a cup of coffee with the fancy creamer and give her a hug.

My sister says that parenting is all about survival. While that’s thankfully not true 100% of the time, (there are times when kids are giggly, fun and you’re introducing the beautiful world to them) there are times when we make decisions both in the heat of the bleary eyed newborn moment and in our overall philosophy on child rearing. We need to be encouraging of each other’s successful survival!! The judgmental blog posts about letting your kids watch too much TV, which is more than 30 minutes a day on the weekends only, letting them eat sugar for breakfast, or swaddling them in non-organic cotton is just making parents feel like they weren’t being the parent that God handed this child to.

One night when my son was exactly six weeks old, it was either him or me. Either he sleep or I throw myself out the window. It had come to that. We don’t like to talk about that part, do we? But it’s just as important to consider the sanity and well being of the rest of the family. (My husband saw that look in my eye and ran to both my and our son’s rescue.)

The one and only thing we all should be doing is offering loving advice on what worked for us in this situation and offering support: unwavering support and love for each other in this really tough stage in life. Parenting is not for wimps and God does not give us more than we can handle. Maybe that’s because there is more than one way to handle this particular cross.

Stop lambasting the rest of the world for not doing it your way. Stop reading the books. Stop reading the blogs. Learn to skim. Learn to listen to your instincts. Trust your gut. Seek advice and support (there’s that word again) when you need it and let the judgement roll off your back. Better yet, GIVE advice and GIVE support. Sit back and help in anyway you can. Sure, listen to the seasoned moms and dads who tried this or that and do what you feel is best. Pray about it! Pray for these parents. We are all in this together and we are called to love.

 

One Comment

  1. Loved every single word !!!

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