oh parenting...

while at costco recently, i noticed a big box of chocolate cheerios.  i picked up the box out of curiousity and as i did so, a mother with two children happend to stop next to me.  she must have seen me looking at the box of cheerios and decided to indirectly comment on my breakfast choices (even though i had no intention of buying the box).  she very loudly said this to one of her children, "chocolate cheerios??  i'm sure that's full of sugar.  you know that we don't buy that kind of junk in our house." whoa.
i thought it was a bit on the rude side -don't you?  that's never happend to me before...but it does somehow encapsulate some of the weird things that happen upon becoming a mother and/or parent.  before having asher, i had NO idea how passionate people were about their parenting styles.  from diapering to discipline,  it can be a touchy subject.  when i was pregnant with asher, we were first introduced to all of this by way of friends who were passionate about scheduling sleep and eating habits and those who were passionate about not scheduling feeding and sleep habits for their babies.  i was amazed at the amount of passion that could erupt in a room over babies sleeping, eating and what they poop in.  of course, this was before we had asher and before we had expereinced the so-tired-you-feel-like-crying (and sometimes do) and felt we would do almost anything to sleep and survive.  we had to have a plan and stick to it, just like everyone else.  it makes sense that people are passionate about their children and how they care for them.  outside of a desperate need for sleep, people love their families and want the best for them and that is a really, really good thing. 
but the frustrating thing that i have felt as i've experienced the differences in parenting-styles is when parents begin to believe that doing anything other than what they do is practically a sin. whether they say so directly or not; it is felt.  and it doesn't feel good.
it's all too easy to become arrogant and proud when we find something that "works" in our parenting.  this has been a true temptation in my own experience.  but, i have a hunch that being proud and arrogant in our parenting style is probably not a good idea.  oh God, help me not to be this way, not only in action and words, but in thought and heart.  i think it's safe to say that proud and arrogant parenting is more harmful than chocolate cheerios and choosing the "wrong" sleep-method for our kids.
when the mother at costco indirectly commented on the chocolate cheerios, she put an immediate wall between us.  i wonder how many times i have done that without knowing.  it really made me think.
i know some of these style decisions take a lot of work and i don't want to simplify any of that.  for the most part, parents do the things they do for good reasons.  but even so, if walls are created because of it, something isn't right.  there's a lot in the bible about very different people coming together. and there's a whole lot about humility. jesus chose disciples that were all very different.  he sure had a lot to say about being one as a church, too.  he said it was how the world would know he was who he says he is.  doesn't that go for our children and the next generation, too?  that's a pretty big deal.  and while it's normal to gravitate towards those you have things in common with - God usually likes to throw us together with those we don't have as much (at least on the surface) in common with.  in the last 2 years, i've found that i've suprisingly learned a lot from parents who do things very differently than i do. and most of this learning has had less to do with better methods and results and more to do with growing in being less controlling, less know-it-all and softer in heart.

i guess i do feel passionately about something as far as parenting is concerned. 

for all my parent-friends, someday-to-be-parents-friends, and myself,  i pray that we would choose humility and love and not let our choices of style create walls and separate us from other people and parents.  parenting is hard.  we all need jesus to do anything right and we need each other.  we were never meant to walk this road alone.