It has been a rough day for my psyche, and I feel very acutely today the uncertainty and weight of the path we call parenthood. How do I go about raising my little ones to become good, holy people who will go take the world by storm and change it for the better? My heart is heavy as my search seems to lead me to more indecision and is fueled by the "Mommy Wars" that seem to pervade every nook and cranny of many conversations and the internet. Attachment parenting, sleep training, spanking, time-outs, voice tone, vaccinations, food choices, public education, homeschooling, and blah blah blah. Anyone have a brick wall I can borrow, or better yet a really good pair of earplugs?
I find it frustrating that we spend so much time tearing each other down, and less building up, supporting and truly loving one another and our children. Why do we spend so much time arguing about the best way a good mother should love her child, and do more for those children who have no one to love them at all? I mean no two children are the same, we are all different and have different love languages. Why then are we trying to shove everyone and their children into a single little box?
We sleep train our children when it is age appropriate, especially if a problem exists that is causing a child to lose too much sleep so that it is adversely affecting them and the rest of the family. I am trying so hard to learn not to raise my voice, but that is challenging. We choose not to vaccinate until they are older. I am trying to do more developing virtue, and less discipline. I hope that I can lead through servant leadership and example, not through fear and coercion. This is who we are, and what works for our very own little family. I don't know what works for you and yours, but be who you are and live that which is important to you and helps your family grow and be happy.
At the end of the day, a few things stick out to me. I want my children to know without a doubt that they are greatly loved unconditionally by God and their parents. I want them to know Christ our Lord and Savior, to have a personal relationship with Him, to imitate Him and to practice virtue throughout their life. How will we go about instilling these in them, that I am unsure. I want our home to be one in which they will always feel safe, loved, and free to express themselves just as they are. I can only pray that I am shown guidance through prayer, that I can learn to fail and pick myself back up again, admit my wrongs, and exert mountains of love and patience.
I refuse to take offense when others choose to raise their children differently or make vastly different decisions than we have chosen to make. Nor will I judge or look down on their choices. We all have our own road to holiness, and God calls us to many different challenges and to meet those challenges in different ways. May God bless you on your road and may we all meet at the end in paradise.