I’m a mom of one. But, before I became a mom, I was probably a judgy person without kids.
I would look at parents and think, “Why are you doing that? Oh, When I’m a parent I most definitely will NOT be doing what they are doing!” And then quite possibly I would offer them some of my sound parenting advice (not really, I’m not that bold).
These people want to give you their advice on breastfeeding, potty training, appropriate sleeping arrangements, food choices, you name it- they’ve got some words of advice to give you. Now, there will always be judgy people offering their advice on your parenting choices, but that topic is for another day and for a few more pages of writing. What I am specifically speaking on is that person ‘without’ kids.
I’ve had some people passive-aggressively hinting at my parenting choices… “Oh, you’re still breastfeeding?” “How long are you going to breastfeed? Don’t you think she’s too old?” And now, insert them trying to give parenting advice on the topic matter. Breastfeeding is only one topic, but there are so many more, and if you’re a parent, chances are you get it too.Now, I don’t mind advice from someone, anyone really, as long as you don’t come at me with a passive-aggressive, condescending, know -it -all tone.If my dad has taught me anything at all, the one thing that sticks out, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it”. Tone and body language can say a lot!
If you have never had kids living with you, have first hang experience in raising kids, and the complexity that is parenthood, then please. Save your commentary for your diary. Most of us parents are doing the best we can with the hand we were dealt with. No one understands more of what you’re going through than you!That temper tantruming child in the store, the parent letting their child have peanut butter and potato chips for dinner, cuz they won’t eat anything else (guilty), mom and dad, I salute you! You are doing the best you can with the situation you are given.
Before I became a mom I was so naive of the realities of parenthood.The tough, nitty-grittiness of it all, and my child is still only a toddler! I have several years and phases to go through. But, in this journey I have learned to give more grace to other parents now that I’ve walked a mile in their shoes. I should also be extending that grace to those judegy people without kids, who freely offer their snide, passive-aggressive, remarks on my parenting choices.
But, it’s hard.
So very hard, hard to want to offer what Jesus offers so freely to me.
Sweet, sweet, grace.
Do you struggle with offering grace too?