Before I had kids I said never a lot. My kid would never__________ (insert action). Even in the early days of parenting I would look at other parents and criticize their lack of parenting skills. The more my kids I have added to our family and the more they grow, the more I realize it is not my job to control my kids. It is my job to train them. But, even good training has to be implemented by the person being trained. There are very few things we actually have control over with our kids. No more can we control the genes that they are made up of or their eye color than can we control their personalities. Anyone with a child has surely learned quickly that you can’t control when your child eats, sleeps, and potties. That’s just the beginning of it.
I believe that parenting is God’s way of making us grow up. We learn to think selflessly. We also learn that never is a bad word. I can’t tell you how many times I have been humbled by something I swore I would never let happen in my house and under my supervision. I wish I could tell all those other moms that I have judged I am sorry. For I know the feeling of the stares by moms who don’t approve of my parenting. I hear the whispers of appall. I know what they feel and sound like only because they have come out of me in the past.
Just as we can’t control our children, we also can’t control our circumstances. No one can plan for what life will throw at us. Honestly, some days we just try to survive and keep our heads above water. Situations that leave us feeling overwhelmed, lend for plenty of opportunities to mess up. So give your fellow moms a break.
Jesus told us to “take the plank out of our own eye before trying to remove a speck of sawdust from your brother’s (or sister’s) eye” (Matthew 7:5). Only when I have my house in order and all my “ducks” in a row, do I have the freedom to criticize another mother. And since that never happens, you get the idea. So, if I have stared at you with disapproval, I am truly sorry. I have no idea how I would react in your situation until I am placed there. And next time you are tempted to criticize me, reconsider please.
When I am tempted to think that I can take credit for all the good things my kids do, I remember that if I do, I also have to credit for all the bad they do. If God, who is the THE perfect parent, has kids who misbehave and mess up, then how much more can I expect my kids to?!