Did your stomach churn when you saw the title of this post? Yep – mine did too.
We’ve all circled the same posts on the internet. The ones that bash the non-vaccinators, The ones that tear apart the pro-c-sectioners. The ones that demean the formula feeders. The message is different, but the result is the same. Scroll to the bottom of those hair-raising, pot-stirring posts, you will always find one thing: Fiery comment after comment lashing back at the writer, while valiantly defending the position of the mother on trial.
Why? What stirs us to respond so passionately to the should-be meaningless words of a complete stranger? The truth is, underneath all of that anger lies the heart of tender, beautiful woman in pain, who is exhausted from being called to the stand to defend her parenting choices.
But they’re right. Those daring, abrasive writers sitting behind their laptops with a Starbucks in hand while tearing down the very core of your parenting beliefs.
You have failed.
However, you haven’t failed for a single moment in what they’ve accused you of. You haven’t failed to provide your child with nourishment and protection from disease. You haven’t failed to give your child the confidence and boldness to try things on their own. You haven’t failed to protect your child from the ways of this broken world without stunting their growth. Not at all.
The only thing you have failed in is seeing the greatness inside of you. My dear friend, if I could sit in your kitchen as you shed your tender tears over the guilt or condemnation that’s been placed on you, I would hold you hand, look you in the eyes, and speak truth to your weary heart. I would tell you that knowing who you are as a mother and seeing the greatness that was placed inside of you by your creator, is the greatest weapon we have against the opposition and negativity we are constantly bombarded with.
Do you know how much you are adored by those little hands and feet placed in your tender care? Do you know how much more you are loved by the one that placed them there? Do you know that you were given exactly what your children need from their parent, and that NO ONE else in the entire world is a more perfect fit than you?
So you bottle fed them instead of nursed them? Well done, sweet mamma. They were nourished, cuddled, loved, and never went to bed hungry. So you had a c-section? Well done, brave mamma. You daringly aborted your birth plan to ensure they had a greater chance at life no matter what the recovery would be like for you. You let your kids climb in bed with you at night? Well done again, friend. You’ve chosen to embrace the moments of tiny hands, tiny feet, and sweet cuddles while they last.
You see, there will always be controversial topics in motherhood. There will always be a “right” and “wrong” way to do it. There will always be the ones who attack and criticize. And there will also always be a struggle within ourselves to let go of the guilt and condemnation we carry.
We know our hearts weren’t created to carry that load. So isn’t it about time to let it go?
So bottle feeding mama, this one is for you. Don’t spend another minute letting someone else tell you that you’ve ruined your child for life because of your decision. Let God be your parenting radar. If you feel like something is telling you to make a change, then do so. But remember, a nudge from God should never feel like condemnation and guilt. That’s just not the way he rolls.
What do you do to battle criticism?