I formula feed instead of breastfeed.
I use disposable diapers instead of cloth.
I don't buy organic.
I use jar baby food instead of making my own.
From birth, I train my children to sleep through the night instead of waiting until the recommended 6 months old.
I pierce their ears when they're 4 weeks old, and I do it myself (well, my brother does it for me!) instead of taking them to a "professional".
They eat poptarts and fruit loops for breakfast instead of eggs and bacon, and sometimes I even let them have some of my soda (although not often cuz I can't handle them on caffeine!!).
I let them watch more than the recommended 2 hours of TV each week (is that even the right number???).
I let them stay up late and watch movies and eat popcorn in my bed on the weekends and sometimes even during the week.
We have picnic lunches in mommy's bed or in the living room floor more often than we eat at the table. (Why do we even have one of those???)
All of these things have recently caused me to struggle with feeling that I'm a bad mom. And then, the other day on one of those rare mornings when we're all eating breakfast at the same time, I had this conversation with Elizabeth, my 2 year old:
Elizabeth: "Mommy, Jesus died on the cross."
Me: "Yes He did."
Elizabeth: "He's alive again!"
Me: "Yes He is!!"
Elizabeth: "That makes me sad."
Me: "What makes you sad baby?"
Elizabeth: "Jesus died on the cross."
Me: "That is sad, but He is alive again."
Elizabeth: "That makes me happy! Where is He?"
Me: "He is in Heaven with God."
Elizabeth: "I want to go to Heaven. I hold Him. I want to hug Him. I want to kiss both His cheeks."
My heart melted, and I realized that while I may not be a perfect parent, I may not even be a good parent, I must be doing something right. And suddenly all of those other things didn't seem very important anymore. Sure, I'm doing things "wrong" according to the world, but how can I feel wrong when my child wants to hug her Creator? when she wants to meet the one who died and rose again for her sins? when she wants to be in Heaven just to hold Him who she was created to love?
My heart was slowly finding peace about my parenting style. I started realizing that those other things really don't matter in the long run. On Judgment Day, God isn't gonna ask me if I breastfed instead of using formula. He isn't gonna care if we ate dinner at the kitchen table or not. But He is gonna care whether I led my children to Him, whether I showed them to the foot of the Cross.
I knew at once that He wants me to stop looking at the world's idea of perfect parenting and start filtering everything through the filter of "will this matter in eternity?" I feel such a huge burden lifted.
And now I'm going to get them out of bed and try Jennifer on the potty again . . . because I don't care if the world says 17 months is too young to train. She told me today when she peed in her diaper. :o)