I've always said "Parenting is NOT a one-size fits all." Actually, I'm sure I heard/read it somewhere and it just stuck--that's too great to have come from my little pea brain.
But we try to make ourselves fit in to a certain stereotype--even if it's the stereotype of being a rebel who doesn't have a stereotype. And when we don't measure up, we look around and criticize others who aren't measuring up in areas that we feel like we have handled.
It's a vicious cycle. I've read several posts this week that were amazing. And it gave me hope for us. The first was written in rebuttal to another (which I won't post because I don't want it to get any more clicks than it already has--if you haven't seen it and want to find it, you will): http://ww.growinginashrinkingculture.wordpress.com/. Another was a great post for moms of daughters--not beating each other up, but encouraging us to stand up for our girls: http://wearethatfamily.com/2013/03/raising-daughters-in-a-world-that-devalues-them-7-things-we-must-tell-them/
But this was my favorite: http://www.cheetosforbreakfast.com/2013/03/a-letter-to-young-mothers.html. Such great wisdom in this little post and something I WISH an older, wiser mom had told me when my girls were little and I stuggled (esp. the time that my oldest threw a fit so loud at church that I thought it was CPS knocking on my front door later that afternoon to put me in jail and take my kids for being such an awful parent).
These women said things much better than I ever could so I won't add anything totheir eloquence.
What I will say, is that as I was praying this morning (btw--I was praying selfishly for a house for me--nothing for anyone else at that point), I heard this song and it moved me. And reminded me that I will never measure up. And there was a relief in that--not guilt, because He will take my ashes and turn them into beauty. Take a listen (better yet, watch--esp. the last minute and a half--you will see what the foot of the cross looks like):
I pray that I support the moms around me and that every time I start to judge (it's a lot more often than I'd like to admit), I would go to the foot of the cross on their--and my--behalf.
And remember that He wants to win our hearts and take our ashes.