As I sat in a room full of women that night, I looked around and saw those with whom I’ve been friends for years, those whom I’ve known for only a short while, and those whom I had just met this very night. All different, yet, very much the same. We’re all in this world, struggling to survive.
I had watched a comical video on Facebook earlier in the day about different mom-types, and how we tend to compete over whose parenting methods are better and whose are just terrible; yet, when it comes to a possible danger being threatened in the life of a child, we will all pitch in to save that one child, no matter whose it is nor what we feel toward that one mother. I guess, this, coupled with my own beliefs, is why I was prepared when the conversation at the table turned toward parenting styles and opinions on how a child should be raised.
It actually was a very good conversation, and, thankfully, at this table, everyone was gracious in their answers to one another, ever how differing they were… There was one mom who had been, and still is, a full time bank employee. There was one stay-at-home mom who plans to completely homeschool when her three children become of age, another who is at home, with her toddler, right now but plans to return to college soon. One was a full time mom of a teen and elementary age boys, one was a young grandmother who works full time, yet, keeps her grandkids as much as she can. Another was a missionary’s wife who hopes to return to the missions field soon with her three year old and baby on the way, and another was a retired grandma who gets to see her grandchildren often but maybe not as much as she’d like. The rest of the 25-member group was just as diverse as this list.
Each one of them had different pregnancy stories, nursing methods and lengths of time, sleeping procedures (to sleep with parents or not), schooling options and stay home or work full-time choices. We all are as different as the day is to night; yet, we all agreed that there’s not a right and wrong method to raise and nurture your children. Those who adhere to The Word of God for their lives, yes, there are some right and wrongs that we must chose; however, when it comes to the other “surface” issues, we each agreed, “You must find what works best for your family! … What works beautifully for my family may bring total havoc to yours! … Always be open to advice, but never place unnecessary expectations upon yourself to live up to someone else’s methods and standards for your family.”
This is so very true! Never allow someone else to dominate your parenting landscape. Never place another family high on a pedestal and believe if you can only follow their formula to a “T,” then, your family will turn out perfect overnight, and you’ll never have worries again. No, life just doesn’t happen that way. Life is life, and people are people. There is no “magic formula” which makes babies stop crying, children to stop fighting and teens to always choose the right answers. No, this is a journey, and we all must travel it. Each of us are very different, made individually unique by the Master of the Universe. He made us each as diverse as the stars that shine above us.
So, follow your dreams. Dream for your family. Seek His ways, gain wisdom from others and learn what works best for your family. Train up those babies, and let them spread their wings and fly. You can do this! You were called to be… YOU!! You are beautifully and wonderfully made!