Being a young mom can be overwhelming.
We are faced with so many decisions, little and big, that we have to make for our children. Suddenly there is pressure. No longer will a decision affect only me, or even my spouse, it will affect a child.
For life. For eternity.
Photo by niXerKG
That thought alone is enough to keep us awake at night. When we add to it the opinions of others coming at us from all directions, our stress level reaches a peak.
One mom feels strongly about homeschooling. Another feels strongly against homeschooling.
One mom feels strongly about eating 100% organic. Another feels strongly that doing that is a misuse of her family’s resources.
One mom feels strongly about using all natural remedies. Another mom feels strongly about using doctors and medicine.
One mom feels strongly about involving her kids in organized sports. Another feels strongly about only allowing free play.
One mom feels strongly about a certain discipline method. Another mom feels strongly against that same method.
What we must remember is that behind the doors (or computer screen) of each home there are many things we don’t know.
- We don’t know what couple is still working through its own family values and the marital stress it is incurring. Adding an outsider’s very strong opinion to the equation is detrimental.
- We don’t know what kind of financial stress a family is really under. The issue may not even be eating organic vs. non-organic; the issue might be eating.
- We don’t know what each family holds as valuable and important. Each home will look different.
- We don’t know what issues each family is working through from their past. What to keep. What to do differently. What family pressures are on them.
- We don’t know what physical, emotional, or spiritual struggles each family is under.
Having a strong opinion is not a bad thing. In fact, it is good when a family knows its values and makes decisions for its family based on those values. Feeling strongly about that isn’t wrong. But aside from a couple of foundational truths, there are many, many variables. Those foundational truths can be summed up in the two greatest commandments:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:37,39)
So let’s share. Let’s discuss. Let’s disagree. We have so much to learn from each other. But while we’re sharing, discussing, and disagreeing, let’s not forget the second of those great commandments, “to love our neighbor as ourselves.”
Let’s extend to each other the gift of grace.
This can, of course, be applied to all realms and stages of life, but I am currently in a community where I have seen first-hand the particular pressures that young moms experience.