There are so many mom blogs out there and there are so many schools of thought on parenting. Each mom tries, hopefully, to do her best for her kids. She takes the advice of her own mother, books, friends, her pediatrician, and melds them together with her own instincts. Ever since I found out I was pregnant with sweet Madeleine on October 7th, 2008, I have been trying to make my own way. For a while I became overwhelmed by all the different possibilities and paths that motherhood provided. My starting point and ending point would be the goal of getting my child ready for heaven, but I had no idea what would be on that path.
Finding your own way to mother your children is a lot like finding your spirituality. There are so many options, so much wealth from those who have gone before you and done it successfully, and sometimes I felt like I could lose myself along the way if I listened to others to much and didn't trust myself.
There are the essentials in both. Mass, Adoration, Confession, Prayer, Mary, Scripture and Tradition in finding your path to Christ. In Motherhood, love, discipline, food, education. And then there are the things you can do to enhance your spiritual life or your life as a mother. There are rosaries, Liturgy of the Hours, Divine Mercy Chaplets, devotion to certain saints, litanies and other such kinds of prayer. In motherhood there is cosleeping, baby wearing, cloth diapering, homeschooling, play groups, dance lessons, sports teams, etc. And then there is the "type" you fall into. Traditional or Charismatic? Crunchy Granola or Urban Mom on the Go?
So what I end up wondering is at the end of the day, why do we let ourselves be defined and even divided by the non essentials? I am a mom. It's who I am, what I do, what I love. My kids are healthy, happy and thriving. And usually so is my spiritual life. So how come I am judged for what I do or don't do with them? For saying I don't do natural child birth or I plan to home school. For saying that I love praise and worship as well as receiving communion at the altar rail. People seem to take those little differences to dismiss me and other moms. But the thing is, what we can all agree on, is that God is first in our lives. So are our kids. Why can't we be united on that and encourage each other on our separate paths. After all, we may be on different paths but we are hopefully trying to get to the same place; heaven.
I'm not a fan of mom blogs that tell you how to do things, at least tell your how you SHOULD do things, because I believe that God created us each as individuals. I could not be the same mother as you, just as I could not have the same spirituality as you or be married to your husband. One of the glorious things about God is that for as many different souls as He creates, he creates that many paths to Him. On my path to him are my husband and children. I will love them in my own unique way because that is the way he created me to love them. I love advice, I love tips, because we should all want to do our best, but I don't want you to tell me that your way is the only way. For you, maybe. For me, no.
My prayers are with all of my fellow mommies. This job we have is challenging enough on it's own and moms every day can be brought down by the pressures they put on themselves. Let's be a support to each other and not another cross.
Lord, thank you for my precious daughters and for creating me to be their mommy. I will always try to love them with your love and to reflect your mother in all I do.