Since becoming a mom I have experienced a whole new type of judgement. This topic has been brewing in my mind a lot lately. And if we’re honest with one another, every mom feels that judgement, no matter how much we say we don’t care. And if we are really honest with ourselves, we use that judgement when we watch other parents parent their child. As I write this, I am fully aware that I am just as judgmental as the next person. Not that I am okay with that. I guess I am trying to figure out where this judgement comes from and how to break it.
We know what parental judgement is right: breastfeeding for ___ amount of time (how could you possibly do that), formula feeding (you’re doing WHAT?), putting the baby on a schedule (how DARE you), attachment parenting, co-sleeping (your baby sleeps WHERE?), bedtimes, food choices, work decisions (good moms stay at home, good moms go to work, good moms work part time…), choosing not to discipline your child, spanking vs. not-spanking, “giving in” to our children’s demands…and the list could continue.
We’ve all experienced it right? The sly remark of “oh you work outside the home?”. Or the point blank comment of “you actually feed him formula?”. It’s rude. It’s judgement. And it’s something we all do. Why do we do it? Because we think what we do with our little precious babe is the only way, the right way to raise a child.
What really is the right way to raise a child? With Godly, undeniable love and attention for the precious little being God gave us to nurture and cherish. The right way is to “train up a child in the way he should go”. To do what is best for your family and do it confidently. If that means working outside the house, than that is what is right. Or if it means putting your baby on a feeding/sleeping schedule because that better suits your families needs, than great. Just don’t place your standard of what is right for your family on other families.
I don’t think this dismisses us from disciplining our children. It doesn’t mean that we should allow our children to disobey us. It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t discipline our child when they hurt another person or put themselves in danger. We discipline because we love them and we want them to learn what is best for them. Just as God disciplines our disobedience, we should be doing the same with our children (thankfully Chris and I are not to that point yet). I often cringe when I see parents failing to do this.
All in all friends, let’s not place our standard of what is right onto other parents. What is right for our family may not be what is right for yours. Please don’t judge me that I give my child formula, that I work outside the house, that August goes to bed at 7:30 and that he is on a schedule. And I won’t judge you for breastfeeding for 18 months, staying at home and not having your baby on a set schedule. Let’s just all agree what every child needs, is a parent who loves their child enough to discipline them while leading them to know and love the Lord.
Because in the end what’s going to matter most? Their personal relationship with Jesus Christ that spurs them on to love other people and further His Kingdom.
*and now I step off my soapbox*