Saturday, September 19, 2009

Motherhood Guilt and Devisiveness...

Ever noticed how there are a million ways to inflict guilt upon yourself as a mother? I was reading Facebook the other day and one of my friends posted about how she didn't understand why some parents will pick up a package of cookies in the grocery store and give it to their children to quiet them without paying for the product until they get to the checkstand, those that do that sort of thing defended, those that don't insisted that it's stealing and a bad example to your kids.

I belong to several mommy webgroups, I have seen contentious discussion between moms on every subject you can imagine. All out virtual wars about carseats, vacinations, breast vs. bottle feeding, down to whether a c-section makes you a non-believer in God (because if God is in control and you have a medical intervention then you are thwarting his plan for you and/or your child to die).

I don't understand the need to fight about everything. I honestly believe that MOST mothers love their children and they really are making the decisions that they believe are best for their children. We all have opinions. I breast feed...I love nursing my little Pumpkin and I have loved it since the begining (that didn't make it any easier when he split my nipple at 3 weeks old, but it did make me stick with it), I think that extended rear facing in the carseat is a good idea (but my kid HATES to be rear facing and does much better forward facing, so we are in the process of turning him at just 14 months, when I really wanted to go to at least 18 months rear facing), we are on a delayed vax schedule because that is what makes me comfortable and I'm his mommy! I have what I believe, I have done the best I can do, but I don't begrudge anyone else their choices either. As long as a parent is doing the best they can and their child is being fed, clothed and loved, I just don't understand why we can't be respectful of choices that are different than our own. The devisiveness in motherhood just makes me sad...I mean if it takes a village shouldn't we all be trying our best to help each other instead of tearing each other down? There is enough guilt in we have to pass it on?

I often think of a Michael McLean song I knew and loved growing up called Gentle (you can hear it here:

Like a gentle wind can blow the clouds from the sky,
Like a gentle touch can ease the pain of goodbye,
Like a gentle smile embraces empty souls in lonely places,
We should be more gentle with ourselves.

Like the friend who gently builds us up when we're down,
Like a gentle kiss can turn our world all around,
We've been hurt by others often,
We've forgiven and forgotten,
We should be more gentle with ourselves.

Life can be hard but we need not be so hard on ourselves,
If we will see

Like the Shepherd leads his flock with gentle commands.
With his gentle voice that only hearts understand.
One thing we can know for certain,
He has borne the awful burdens so we can be more gentle with ourselves.
One thing that I know for certain:
He will bear my every burden,
So I can be gentle with myself.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could just be more gentle with each other and with ourselves? Our Heavenly Father knows that parenting is hard, there are a lot of choices that just don't have a right answer for everyone, when we can learn to respect that we can have differences in parenting and still all be good parents, when we can be more gentle with each other and with ourselves, then maybe we can start to assuage some of the guilt that comes with being Mommy.


The Pullins said...

Thanks for posting this!

the cakes said...

AMEN. Thank you for saying what I have felt for a long time. I just wouldn't have said it as beautifully. : )