To all of the Mom's in our family and to all of my Mom friends; thank you for your love and sacrifices. Thank you for the long hours, the tireless support, patience and guidance. Thank you for all that you do to make this world a better place by raising well loved little people. To all of the amazing Mom's that I know...regardless of your parenting style:) I wish you a very HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!
When I think about the many amazing moms that I know I notice rather quickly that we all have different preferences, tastes and parenting styles. Some things we have in common of course but, ultimately we are all individuals and that uniqueness translates into our parenting.
I remember when I was a brand new mom it didn't take long for me to feel a bit of the "Mom peer pressure" to do things a certain way or to fit a certain mold. Whatever that mold is exactly no one knows but, most of us can agree that we have felt the burden of societal expectations or someone's extra strong advice from time to time.
I'm still a rather new mom in the sense that I've only been doing this Mom thing for four years now but, I marvel at how much four years have taught me and how much I've grown thanks to my little girl. I'm sure in ten more years I will look back and marvel even more:)....Motherhood is quite the journey wouldn't you agree. "While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about." Angela Shwindt. Amen.
Here are my two cents on Motherhood:
These things don't matter:
if you like epidurals or if you prefer to go without them during delivery
if you breast feed or use bottles
if you make your own organic baby food or if you buy the cheapest jar stuff on the shelf
if you get your daughter's ear's pierced at birth or wait many years
if you use cloth diapers or regular
if you dress your child in vintage everything or prefer Gap prep
if you believe in spanking or prefer only time outs
if you let your kids stay up late or get them to bed early
if you choose to home school or go the public or private school route
if you let your kid have sweets before they turn one or wait until they are ten
if you only let your kids drink water or if they drink juice and soda
if you celebrate their birthdays in a modest fashion or throw a raging bash
if you believe in Cry it out or choose to stay up all hours of the night for years with your child
if you co-sleep or have your kid sleeping on their own on day one
if your kid knows how to read by the age of three or if they learn at 6
if you are a full time outside the home working mom or a full time stay at home mom
if your kids watch TV or if they don't
if you are a meat eater or a vegetarian
if your kid rides the bus of if you prefer carpool
if you are on your iphone at the park or if you watch your child's every move
If you are a fan of pacifiers for babies or hate them
if you keep your child close for the first few years or love the freedom of getting away often
if you sing your child lullabies each night or if they put themselves to bed
The list can go on and on as you all know. These are the things that many Moms have such strong opinions about and often judge each other for doing one way or another but, at the end of the day and at the end of a person's life, none of this stuff really matters, right? You can parent any number of ways and still be a great Mom!
There is so much freedom to be embraced in letting all of these things go. Letting go of what other mom's may think or what we might even hear them whisper behind us. Letting go of what we think our culture expects. Let it all go and embrace the strength and confidence that comes when all that nonsense doesn't matter anymore. There is no shame in doing any one of these things one way or another. The more that we let go the less room we will have inside our hearts for anger and shame and instead we will have more room for love and grace for ourselves and for others. Acceptance is a beautiful thing.
I'm a work in progress and I still have many seasons to walk through where I will have opportunities to practice all of this. I have been sensitive to people's strong opinions and the evil eyes that some mom's give on occasion but, many wise mommas before me have impressed this wisdom upon my heart and I have seen how refreshing it is to walk in it. Let it go....(and I'm sorry that I have now gotten the Frozen them song stuck in your head...eck!)
In spite of the vast differences that many of us Mom's have in our parenting styles there is one thing that most all of us have in common and that is a powerful love for our children. It is a love like no other wouldn't you agree? It is a love that goes to great lengths to provide, protect, guide and support our sons and our daughters all the days of their lives. It's nice to know that we all have something in common isn't it:). Today I celebrate the love that we Mommas all share for our children!!
Happy Mother's Day to all Mommas who love your kiddos to pieces!!
What kind of legacy do you hope to leave with your kiddos when you are gone?
When my daughter (and future kid/s) are much older and perhaps even when I am gone and they are left to navigate their lives without me the most important thing that I hope to have instilled in their hearts is the priceless value of being dependent on Jesus above all else. I have and will make many parenting mistakes but, I hope that I can teach my kids the value of a repentant and humble heart as I reach out to Christ for forgiveness. I hope that they will see me pray and rely on God for my strength and for direction in this life. They will see me fall from time to time but, in Christ's power I hope that they will see me rise again. Ultimately I hope that they will come to understand just how great His love is for them and that He will always be there for them even when I can't be.