This brief report was recently posted in our local paper:
Two women started slapping each other during a fight over which of them has the better parenting skills, police said.
Police cited both women after the incident Thursday evening.”
The CDT online community is shocked that parents would actually stoop so low.
Shoot, I wasn’t shocked at all!
In fact, I could just imagine my own mother-bear-face sharing the blame of similar infractions in my heart. After all, parenting is personal stuff and we all just want to do the best job we can.
Don’t ya think it’s difficult not to rise up against anybody who criticizes or doubts our belabored decisions?
Sometimes it can feel as if we’re just trying to survive the war-zone of contradicting parenting theories, best guesses, and history books of parenting choices that produce no reliable pattern. Not to mention, we’re trying to operate sanely with a heart-wrecking love for the adorable little people under our care. We just want to do the best we can. So, if someone threatens us mommas, we tend to lash out.
On a bad day, criticize my instructions to Vivienne on the playground – after I’ve wrestled through a furious inner dialogue, read 15 books on the topic, and hesitatingly ruled against my best instinct, and you might be faced with a pretty fierce defense. And then if she doesn’t listen to me after all of that… I might feel so feeble, I’d call the police for you.
On days like that, the only thing that keeps this mother bear in line is remembering that I don’t need to defend my imperfect parenting skills; I don’t need to attack yours in order to make mine feel more secure. Undoubtedly, my personal theories will fail; my charts and chants and treats will fail; but the Word of the Lord endures.
God’s Word about parenting is perfect.
I put down my dukes when I recall that if I am aligning my heart with His, speaking words that resemble His own, and treating others like He does, I am doing the right and best thing for our children. I can rest in that.
And I can rest in the truth that our Father is their perfect parent who doesn’t require a feisty defense.
So, may I relish my developing parenting skills and encourage you in yours… Even if I turn around to introduce you to my daughters and find them hanging upside-down from the monkey bars with their underwear showing.
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