A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path."
-- Agatha Christie
As children we are taught to respect our elders. As parents, we teach this same lesson to our own children. In the 35 years I have been someone's child, I have always believed in this theory. However, now I have also come to realize, we must only respect those who respect us in return. Why must we be respectful of someone who blatantly disrespects us? I'm not talking about going around running your mouth and saying horrible things to this person. I'm not saying disrespect them in a way that will hurt them. What I mean is, if someone wants to be respected, shouldn't they in turn behave in a respectable way?
I have learned a lot in the 13 years of being a mom. Some of the most important lessons I've learned are, parents make mistakes and aren't always right, and in turn I've learned, I am a great mom. I used to think I needed someone else to tell me that. That, without someone else's approval of my parenting style, I must be doing something horribly wrong. Guess what? In the, as-before-mentioned 13 years of being a mom, I have taught all 4 of my children; manners, respect(to give and act respectfully), compassion,love,humor,humility,thanks and integrity. I have always been complimented on my children by perfect strangers, by teachers, even by family. I am proud of my kids. I love knowing without a shadow of a doubt, my kids are exactly who they are supposed to be, and each of my boys are turning into beautiful,honorable men, both inside and out, and my daughter, is turning into quite the young, passionate and always opinionated(aren't we all?) young lady. I know it hasn't been all me, Warren has had his hand in it as well, I just feel a great deal was on my shoulders to show and live in a way befitting of the kind of people I wanted my babies to grow up to emulate. They aren't too proud to admit when they're wrong, they aren't too stubborn to keep an open mind and heart about things they are passionate about. They are passionate about things.
I know who my kids are, and I know the kind of life they have. No, I'm not saying it's been perfect or easy. I have made a lot of mistakes being mom, but in turn, I've learned a lot from my mistakes, every last one of them.
I've also been able to reflect on my own childhood and mistakes my parents made. I don't think any parent is perfect. I don't think any child is perfect. I think if we're not careful we forget that. God didn't make us perfect. Sure we're all made in God's image, but we can never profess perfection. I believe in my heart that before you can point fingers at someone else, you should put yourself in front of a mirror and point at your reflection and ask yourself "what have I done wrong" Instead of always pointing at others and telling them what THEY do wrong.
Where is all of this coming from?
I am going through a very personal hard time. Someone I always felt was on my side and one of my very best friends, has turned her back on me because she feels what I'm doing as a parent is "not good enough" I'm being accused of favoring one child over another and in turn, this gives her the go-ahead to treat the child I supposedly favor, like less than worthy. I've had a lot of time to think about this and I've concluded that I just am not going to fight it. I refuse to stand my position and explain why she's wrong and why she is not seeing the whole picture. I will not back down from where I stand, not because I want to out stubborn her, but because I know I am a great mom and I have done nothing wrong. I feel like I'm under some sort of microscope and I don't deserve it. If you met my children, you'd understand why I feel that way. I was very angry at her for awhile, then I was very hurt. Now, I just feel badly for her because she's missing out on watching my children grow and succeed. She's missing out on seeing them smile and laugh and watch as they become who they are supposed to become.
I will always be someone's child, but most importantly, I am now someone's mom. I will never let someone tell me how they think I should raise my children. Again, if you met my children, you'd see why I don't feel I need any help in that. They are four very well adjusted, happy, compassionate, blessed and hysterically funny kids. They each have a passion for something, and are each talented and gifted in their own "thing" I could not be more proud of them, I could not be more proud of who they are becoming with every day that passes.
Remember this... as a parent we all make mistakes. It is always easier to point out someone else's mistakes and downfalls, than it is to look at yourself in the mirror and see where you went wrong. Before you point a finger, reflect on your 'self', better yet, don't point fingers. Didn't your parent's teach you that pointing isn't polite?