As some of you may know, I am on my fourth kid and a lot of things change in between your first and fourth child. You became less clingy, more laid back. "Oh the house is on fire? Ok. Well, go tell Dad and make sure you grab your sisters, the Bibles, the diapers and the Xbox. I'll be home in a few." type of laid back. So laid back I sometimes forget their names.
Having interacted with another parent several days ago, they saw my child fall to the ground. Jordyn bit it good. And if you know Jordyn, you know she is one tough cookie. This parent noticed that my reaction was less than worried-- nonchalant if you will. My verbal reaction to my child falling was, "Down she goes!" Because in my 13 years of parenting, I have learned that if you keep babying your kids when they fall, they won't learn to walk independently. They will depend on you to correct their mistakes, when they disobeyed your warnings in the first place. So she fell. So she cried and so I kind of laughed. Don't judge. When your child takes a killer wipe out and you know they are unharmed, you can't help but laugh at his or her clumsiness and then punish yourself for not having your camera ready to film it. This was your typical toddler tumble, you know when the top half of them is moving forward, but the feet didn't get the memo? Get's me every time.
Anyways, as I blew off this little fall, this other parent chose to use some words that kind of frustrated me at that moment. They looked at me with a judging eyes and said something less than encouraging and quite rude. I was in shock. And with my quick wit, I could have replied with something less than appropriate as well. The words were in my mouth, but not in my heart. They obviously didn't understand how things roll when you are a mother of a large bunch. If I sit there and overly attend a situation for one child then that would allow at least two other of my children to start a situation of their own, and I ain't got time do deal with a bunch of situations. I have things to do. People to see. Naps to take.Letting my children fall and feel pain, doesn't make me a bad mom. If anything, it makes me a great mom. How else are they going to learn. My job is to pick them up, dust them off, hug them, then point them in the right direction and move them along. Do I still have compassion in the mist of their hurt? Of course. What mother doesn’t? But I'm not going to allow them to sit and dwell on it. That's when they get all Telanova dramatic on me. "Ay Dios Mio , Help me! I'm dying."
My parenting techniques are no worse than that other parent, and their parenting skills are no better than mine. Most of the time we're all just winging it. You can read all the Dr. Spock books you want and all the "What to Expect" books you can handle, but none of that is going to change your parenting or improve it. Each child needs to be parented differently and each child is going to react differently when doing it.
I choose to turn to God. "Lord, What in the world am I doing? Help me approach this the way you would have me. Also, give me the strength to put down this Nerf gun." I believe He gives me the notion when my child really needs that extra attention and the notion when they are just fine. He calms my nerves and gives me the words that my children need to hear during their affliction. Some call it mother’s intuition. God knows the needs of my children more so than I, and He'll use me accordingly.
I'm not mad at this person who somewhat publicly scolded and humiliated me, but I was saddened that they felt I lacked compassion towards my child. That they could have done better. After all, I'm a veteran at this profession. I know the difference between the tears of frustration, the tears of pain and the tears of disappointment. We all have different personalities, different ways of parenting, different ways of doing things; and we should never raise ourselves above others in thinking that our ways are the right ways and their way are the wrong ways. It’s hard for me to understand how some people think they are better than others when I try to see everyone as equal. Growing up I was always taught that I'm no better than the person next me. That age, race, gender, ability or disability should never cloud my ability to see people for who they are.
If people would let down their walls of insecurity and judgment, we would learn to see them differently. We could see the person behind the curtain and be willing to hear the logic behind their ways of living; and exchange ideas, thoughts and encouragement. By accepting one another rather than demeaning one another, we create great opportunities to build friendships and open doors to sharing the gospel together. I challenge you to replace a negative criticism you may be thinking towards some with a positive attribute of that person. Change your attitude towards the way you see, speak and what you think towards another person. Change your heart.
Be of the same mind one toward another, Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in you own conceits.- Romans 12:16