I'm a better mother than you.
Wait, wait, that didn't come out right.
Wait, yeah it did.
That's exactly what my mind goes to whenever I see a mother doing something differently than me.
I have to be doing it better. Look how my daughter behaves (at this moment). Look at my four year old respectfully using her manners (just so happens). Look at the glisten in my eye as I gracefully discipline my children (I'm such a prideful person).
Just being honest here, guys.
I hate that I think these thoughts. I hate that that would ever cross my mind. I hate that I would ever be that arrogant to think these horrible, no good ideas.
But, I do. I hate to admit that to you. I do.
But... here's the thing.
You know your child. I don't.
You know how they will react to your discipline in a public place. I don't.
You know your child's temperament and demeanor better than anyone else in the entire world. I don't.
You are the best mother for your child. I am not.
You are the closest thing that that child will ever know of love and kindness and acceptance. Not me.
Here's what else I know: this is the trench that you and I have stumbled upon. By God's grace only, we were given these precious beings under our care, and I know that you and I will mess up. A lot.
But by God's grace only, you and I will survive this.
We will come out on top, we will conquer the realities and difficulties of motherhood. We won't do it by thinking ill of each other or the way we raise our children.
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We will only, can only, survive this by showing each other some grace. Turn our thinking away from any bitterness, any resentment, any frustration towards each other's parenting styles or techniques. Transform those thoughts by seeing each other through God's eyes. For, of course, what He sees is beauty beyond measure.
I want to see that in you. I want to see that in how you mother. I want to see that in your child. I want to trudge this trench with you and hold each other along the way... as opposed to bitterly whispering beyond earshot.
I want to know that you are seeing me through gentle eyes as well. Take me for what my soul is, not for how I snap at my child. Forgive me for my ignorant parenting methods and see me on the inside.
I'm right here, asking for forgiveness for my pessimistic speculation. Will you forgive me?
I vow to you to see you --- to really see you for who you are. To see the gentle and loving and incredible woman that you are. To remember that you are beautifully and wonderfully made. To remember that you are a dedicated mother who is doing the very best for her child. To remember that this is a road travelled by friends, not enemies. To remember that we will mess up enough along the way, and we need one another to help us get up.