My Parenting Foundation
People like to judge parents.
Not just people who ARE parents, but the human race in general seems to find great joy in evaluating the parenting skills of their fellow humans. I get the feeling that some even feel it is their duty as a good citizen to make their assessments and render final judgment.
My dad is the one who pointed out to me that I would have to block out and not concern myself with the opinions of others. This is how I was raised, so it was not a new concept for me, but I was a little amazed at the new world of judgment I entered when our first baby was born!
I soon learned the foundation of parenting: motive is key…my motive to be exact. Every choice I made about my child had to come from the right place in my heart. This principal actually has three parts that I learned over time.
First of all, parenting is not about me and my reputation. This is my daughter’s childhood, not my mommyhood. The goal of “best mom ever” is fine if my motive is the best interest of my little one, not the adoration of the people. (No worries there, I was not even nominated for that award!)
The second concept was more difficult for the over-achiever in me to accept. I had to truly believe and accept that teaching my daughter (everything from tying shoes to minding her mother) was the most important thing on my to-do list. . . more important than laundry, bills, shopping, being on-time to church (or anywhere else)…even more important than a clean house! (gasp)
Once I had basically grasped these concepts and mostly put them into practice, I thought I had arrived at the good parent club…but then came part three.
Not only was parenting not about me and the most important thing on my list, but I had no control over the outcome! I was used to working hard, following the rules, and achieving my goal…success. But with parenting I was simply successful if I did my part of the job to the best of my ability (more on that at another time)… God and my daughter would determine the outcome. That was a big pill to swallow, and I still struggle with it, but I am so grateful to God that He showed me this truth early on in my parenting career. I still get frustrated with some choices my girls make, but it is such a relief to be able to put them back into the hands of God and know that He loves them even more than I do!