"Minding Our Own Business"

Each Thursday, I will do my best to answer your questions. I don't pretend to be an expert, but I know it's not easy being a wife and mother. It can be frustrating and discouraging, yet very rewarding. I'd be glad to listen to you, pray for you, and share some of my thoughts with you.

Dear Vonnie,

There seems to be tension in mommy settings about these issues: bottle vs breast/work from home vs stay at home/families with one or two children versus larger families. Why do we do this to each other and how can we encourage each other in group settings when these conversations take place?


Dear Peacemaker,

Everybody has opinions about everything. You can buy books and talk to doctors and neighbors and aunts. They will all tell you something different. If you were in a foreign culture, you will find they raise their children even more differently. If a child has food, clothing, a place to sleep, and love; he will grow and develop and prosper. What we may consider a necessity, isn't always needed or the best.

There may be research that says one way of feeding a baby is better than another, but maybe not for your baby and situation. It may even differ from one child to another in the same family. Every parent has to deal with their own child in the way that is best for them. Mothering is hard. We should seek to lift each other up and encourage each other instead of tearing each other down.

Whether someone lays their child on their belly or side, or whether they use cloth diapers or a pacifier or a bottle, or whether they have one child or ten - it's not our business. Yes, we may have an opinion, but unless the mother wants it, we should keep it to ourselves and just be a friend. Yes, there may be a time when you see a mother unwittingly doing something that might be dangerous. It would be wrong to be quiet, but speak kindly and gently.

I am entering the mother-in-law and grandmother stage of my life. My hope and prayer is that I can be helpful without being bossy and critical. I want to be able to close my mouth when my children are raising their children differently than I did. I want my daughters-in-law to feel comfortable around me. I want to encourage them when they are discouraged and not be critical when things are hard. I want to give advice only when it is asked for or critical...and then done in love.


Andrea said...

I understand this persons frustration,b/c I share it. When it happens in groups I am in..I say, "Each of us must pray and make our decisions based on GOD's lead. It is between me and God or you and God and is NO ONE else's business." This is quite blunt, but true and I am sticking with it! We do not know what it is like unless we have walked a mile in the other person's shoes. Let GOD handle it...HE is fully capable.

Blessings, andrea

Love Abounds At Home said...

I remember the days when I had questions like these. Oh how I wished someone would have explained it as well as you did. I love the title of your blog post. If only we would do it :)

vjc said...

Wise words. I, perhaps, learned discretion because each of my children had very different personalities and needs so they were all "raised" differently. Breast/bottle, side/back - they change the rules so often now it's hard to keep up anyways!

What never changed is the love and consistency we have done our best to demonstrate to our children. It just might look a little different with each one.

What a delight to discover your blog, Yvonne!


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