Tag Archives: speaking plainly

No more one size fits all

In some ways it’s what I want, what I crave.  Just tell me what to do.  Give me a fool proof plan, some kind of formula; a 10 step program.  Because this being mom thing… it can be a little scary, it can leave me feeling weak and unprepared.  There’s a lot at stake, many ways to go wrong, so much unknown.  Surely there is a “best way” to parent, and all I need to to is find it and follow it to the letter.

But the longer I walk this path of parenting the more I am convinced that there are no “one size fits all” methods to raising children.  And chasing that idea is a waste of my precious time.  In fact I might even go so far as to say that there are as many good ways to raise children as there are good moms.  I believe that God equipped each of us with unique personalities, a functioning brain, intuition, and His Holy Spirit to accomplish this important work we are doing.  What’s best for my family is going to look different than what is best for your family, and that’s okay.

Please don’t mistake my meaning, I’m not anti-structure.  I don’t believe that parenting books, schools of thought, or formulated methods are evil or useless.  I’m a practical, rubber-meets-the-road kind of gal.  I understand the necessity of having a game plan.  From the minute you bring that tiny human home from the hospital you have to start making decisions and choices.  Nurse or bottle feed?  Scheduled or unscheduled?  Let them cry themselves to sleep?  Sooth and rock them?  And the decision making never stops, in fact it only becomes more complicated.  To spank or not to spank?  Home-school?  Private school? Public school?  How much TV is too much TV?  It’s not wrong to seek advise or to have opinions.  Choices must be made.   

Here’s where I start to see trouble.  When choices and decisions cease to become practical necessities, and are allowed to become divisive tools of the Enemy.  When our passion and excitement for our own chosen methods are twisted into superiority.  I’ve been there, I’ve done that.  I like my methods and it’s easy for me to loudly proclaim their virtues, while at the same time undermining those that don’t fall in line with my personal preferences.   It becomes this dangerous undercurrent that can erode the love and support I should be giving to the women in my life.  Being mom is important.  We make the Devil’s job easy when we tear ourselves apart from the inside out.  When we stand toe-to-toe, glaring at each other over lines dawn in the sand, instead of standing shoulder to shoulder facing the real danger.  Is my personal preferences really worth the damage I might be doing?  We must not loose sight of the big picture.  We must see each other for what we are, sisters who are all in this together.  Each of us with our own strength and weaknesses.  Be careful of how quickly we are to criticize another woman.  We should be united, but unity should not be confused with complete and utter conformity.  

So here it is in a nutshell.  We should be passionate, excited, and yes, even confident about our own parenting styles and choices, but that should always be balanced with an equal amount of graciousness for those who have chosen a different way.  To trust the Holy Spirit at work in the lives of other women.  To not see her as a rival, or a superior, or an inferior to yourself, but as your fellow companion on this journey to love and protect. 

Thoughts on being Momma

There were other choices I could have made.  Other paths to walk down.  I won’t flatter myself, being a neurosurgeon was never in the cards, but motherhood was not a default mode for me.  Did I fully understand the domino affect that would take place when I allowed those tiny humans into my heart and home?  How they would consume my every thought, and change the way I viewed the world around me?  No.  Certainly not.  Are there moments when I stand on the frayed edge of sanity?  Yes… many.  But I love it. I love being with them!  Sitting around the table, playing memory while we eat popcorn is my idea of the perfect night.  I love it in ways that words will not do justice.  I am passionate and enthusiastic about this dream I am living!  I love being their guide through life.  Even when I feel ill equipped for the task, it is always my goal, through the Lord’s strength,  to grow in wisdom and grace… to be better than I was before.  I make mistakes.  I am making them right now.  I say the wrong things, my temper can be quick, and my words clumsy.  My prayer is always that the Lord will allow them to see past my foolish ways and see my heart… a heart that loved them so much it hurt.

Our daily lives can be full of the mundane, the tedious, all the obligatory tasks… don’t loose sight of the goal.  Don’t loose that passion and joy!  This thing we call motherhood is a beautiful journey, treasure it. Don’t let tiredness make your decisions.  Never underestimate the impact you are making, and walk worthy of the calling you have been given.