It happened again, it always happens. I guess I can't blame people. I guess I should be use to it. But, I'm not. Sometimes I can laugh about it, actually most of the time. I can handle the stares, and smile back in response. But, the comments...well I am not as graceful about those.
I have a big family, (8 children, 2 parents, sum total=10). When we all go out in public together it is quite a sight. It is no wonder people stare. Some of the bolder population will even ask me, "Are they all yours?"
I can handle those questions with grace, because I realize we are a bit of a spectacle and that big families are not that common these days. Recently, however, I was at a restaurant with 5 of my children, 1 teen and my 4 little ones. Immediately upon being seated, I felt the stares and saw the pointing finger whispering. I smiled, passed out sippie cups and french fries and went about my own business. My precious, "I don't like restaurants, high chairs, or sitting" 20 month old began to tap the table with his cup. It truly wasn't loud and I decided that it wasn't worth the battle and continued eating. Unfortunately the whispering diner just down from our table, the one who needed to work on her whispering skills, yeah, well she thought it was a big deal. She smiled at her family, nodded at her sleeping infant in the carseat next to her and stated in a fake whisper, "I'm glad my kids aren't like that."
The hair stood up on the back of my neck and my eye began to twitch. I thought to myself two things. 1- I'm glad your kid isn't like this because clearly you wouldn't have the patience to deal with it and 2- Your kid isn't like this YET....but just you wait.
Now neither of those responses are very Godly. Neither would display the command of Jesus from Matthew 5:43, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." But I justified my thoughts by saying to myself, "Well I am not as bad as her. At least I didn't say out loud what I was thinking." I was still steaming about this lady's comments as I drove home from our outing. I was discussing it with my teen, when I realized that my thoughts and attitudes toward this woman who had "judged" me, were every bit as mean and ugly as her words. I began to think about all the Scriptures in the New Testament where it was recorded that, "Jesus knew their thoughts."
Geesh! Next thing you know, I was convicted. I realized that I am responsible for my attitudes and actions, not the whispering diner's. I realized that it has to start somewhere...the no more judging, no more comparing, no more criticizing. It has to stop!
Well God has a funny way of working and the next thing you know I get an email in my inbox from Hearts at Home's founder, Jill Savage. Want to guess what it was about? Well, it was all about this very thing. It was an invitation to take the Knock It Off Commitment. This commitment included the following pledges:
- Giving myself grace when I make mistakes.
- Extending grace to other moms when they make mistakes.
- Offering other moms the benefit of the doubt instead of jumping to judgmental conclusions.
- Recognizing that I cannot be and will never be a perfect mom.
- Refusing the temptation to judge when other moms make different choices than I make.
- Embracing differences instead of criticizing them.
- Resisting the urge to compare my
insidesto other women’s outsides.
- Making strides in honesty with other moms and living an authentic life.
- Doing my part to stop the mommy wars, one “Knock It Off” decision at a time.
Questions or thoughts? You know I love to hear them!