...and I'll also worry about you.
Isn't that how we do?
When our kids tattle on each other, we more or less say, "You worry about you, and let them worry about them." It's our way to stop the whining noise of a do-gooder, telling on their sibling or friend... our way of stopping the repetitive insanity of petty crimes among the playgroup.
But we worry about and rehash everyone else's wrong doings all the time.
On any given day, my life is filled to the brim with things to handle. That's because I'm a wife, a mom, an employee, a boss, a friend, a family member, a cook, a cleaner, a manager... I'm a typical woman. And while I use this blog to broadcast much of my parenting journey and help others along the way, I am acutely aware that at the end of each day, I am ultimately only responsible for what goes on under MY roof.
See, we like to watch how other people are doing things and critique every single move, especially if it's an area where we are not convinced we're doing that great of a job ourselves. Parenting is one of those areas where we judge most! We do it among our friends, our family members, and we CERTAINLY watch how celebrities parent and get on our soap boxes about them!
I am SO TIRED of hearing Kate Gosselin's lack of parenting, I could SCREAM. I don't CARE how many kids Brad and Angelina have birthed/adopted/or stolen. I can't tell you how little I lose sleep over the Kardashian sisters' parenting escapades, nor can I express with words how little I mull over Nicole Ritchie's lack of wisdom.
What we forget while we are casting stones are three basic things.
1. Each PARENT represents a CHILD(ren) who are at the mercy of their parents' decisions, successes, and failures. So while we're paying money to read about Sandra Bullock's child who is now caught in the middle of a shameful divorce, this baby is blissfully ignorant of the long road of single parenting that lies ahead of his mother.
2. We only get the pieces of people that we are privileged (or misfortunate) enough to see. Proverbs says there's two sides to EVERY story. We don't live in anyone's skin but OURS, so we don't know why people do what they do.
3. I recall a very wise man (*Jesus*) saying to hypocrites that "He who is without sin should cast the first stone." My pockets are empty of rocks.
Now, I am certainly opinionated, thus my blog's existence. However, I am very much aware that I am an imperfect woman who is an imperfect parent. I am not the "end-all, be-all" authority, nor am I famous for always handling things the right way. But I can tell you this... I have learned that people have their own reasons for doing what they do. A "bad" parent may be fully aware thay they are failing big time, or they may simply be repeating what was modeled to them throughout their lives, unaware that they are messing their kid up for life.
Either way, my challenge to you is this...
When you look at the way others parent, first look at yourself. Are you doing all you can to make sure that the little ones God entrusted to your care are growing up to know that they are loved and cherished? Example. Remember the "All the Single Ladies" video I blogged about a while back? I ain't gonna lie. I wanted to punch some parents in the face, and quite frankly, every time I think about it, I want to somehow get their phone numbers and give them a nice little phone call. But I then make myself look at WHY it bothers me so badly. The reason is, I am one of the moms who was blessed to be given a daughter to raise, and anything that becomes a threat to HER becomes a threat to ME. If this is where society is headed, I am angry about it. But honestly, all I'm seeing are the pitiful little girls being exploited. I'm not seeing the broken parents behind the stage, who are so desensitized by life, they have no sense of judgment when it comes to their little one.
Should we be concerned about the world around us? Yes.
Should we be angered and stirred to bring action when we see a child being failed? Yes.
Should it be water-cooler conversation? No.
Remember. If the parent fails, so does the child. I want to see them win.