I just got back from taking my now 4 year old to the doctor. It was nice to hear that she is healthy and doing well developmentally. And yes, she had her 4 year old vaccinations. I also had a nice chat with the doctor about food and nutrition, exercise and growth charts. I love my daughter. And I want her to grow up healthy.
But I read so many blogs, listen to other homeschool mothers, go to homeschool conferences, listen to podcasts, and I can’t help but think at times that I’m failing my kids. I don’t cook fancy nutritious meals every night. I don’t even know what some of those ingredients are in a “healthy” cook book. I’m not Martha Stewart with a super clean house and making awesome crafts with my children each week. I allow my kids to eat high-fructose corn syrup and sugar. We all drink out of plastic cups. I put my babies in the nursery as soon as I could. (I even did it while still in the hospital!)
I miss the mothering mark every day. I end up yelling at my kids when I tell them they shouldn’t yell at each other. I reward homeschool work with chocolate chips. I end up spending time on the computer when I should be cleaning my house.
I can remember how shocked I was when a friend of mine “whipped it out” to breast feed in a busy mall. I wasn’t really ok with it, but I passed judgement and moved on in life. Isn’t that what we do when we see a mom doing something we don’t approve of? Maybe it’s allowing the kids to watch a certain TV show or play video games. Or perhaps it’s choosing ballet or ballgames over a church activity.
We moms pass judgement on each other for the choices we make.
But what’s the point of focusing on cooking only natural organic meals if I miss feeding my child’s soul? I was only able to breast feed my daughter for 6 months. Does that really matter if my marriage is falling apart?
Something has to give.
Every mom has to choose what she will focus on. We need to stop the Mommy Wars of comparing ourselves to each other.
Some moms choose to put their kids in public school because it’s a better and peaceful alternative than having them at home. Some moms really enjoy their professions. So they choose to put their children in day care.
Why would I want all moms to be like me and choose my way of life? My choices fit my family’s needs. As Christians we should be above all the pettiness of middle-school finger pointing. We should be encouraging each other to grow in the Lord, not talking behind backs about another mom’s lack of discipline.
So I will not feel guilty when I give my kids frozen chicken nuggets. And I applaud my friends who are able to cook mega-healthy meals because I know they are making choices that work in their families.
This world is not my home. When Jesus returns it will not matter if I used Huggies diapers instead of cloth; or raw milk instead of store bought.
What will matter is whether or not Jesus knows my family, friends, and me. What will matter is surrendering to God’s will in service and deeds.
What needs to give so that we are focusing on the gospel? What needs to give so that we are in God’s word daily? What needs to give so that we can show unconditional love to those around us?
I know I need to re-evaluate some things. And I plan on keeping my eyes on Jesus to do it.