Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Choices, Priorities, and the Mommy Wars

Today I visited with a friend of mine for a few minutes about homeschooling.  She has a daughter Tertius' age and we've had many of these discussions over the past couple years.

My friend is trying to gather all the info she can and different perspectives so she can figure out what to do about her daughter's schooling.  Neighborhood public school?  Open enrollment/parent participation public school?  Montessori?  Spanish dual-immersion school?  Homeschool?

There are just so many choices and it can be very overwhelming and discouraging when making such a big decision.  What if I pick the wrong path?  What if the path I pick is fine, but I could have given my child something better? 

After she left I found myself thinking, "Wow!  She is really putting a lot of work and thought into this decision.  Good for her!  She must really care about her daughter.  If only more parents put this much thought into deciding the educational path that is best for their children..."

But then I immediately knew I had crossed the line into being judgemental and arrogant.  How dare I presume to know what is in other parents' heads and hearts?

And besides that, every family has their own priorities.  My priority is giving my children my idea of a certain schooling experience.  Another mother's priority might be feeding her family in a super healthy way-all natural/fresh/local/organic/not processed/etc.

This hypothetical mother could very easily look at my family with our Goldfish crackers and Kool-aid and say, "She must not really care about her children.  If only her and more parents put more thought into deciding what their family put into their bodies..."

I only have so much time and energy for worrying about everything I could possibly be worrying about.  If I tried to do it all "perfectly" by everyone else's definition, I would be a ragged, exhausted mess.

So the point is, every parent is responsible for making their own choices for their family.  We all have different priorities, personalities, and perspectives.  We (I) shouldn't ever presume to know what is best for another family. 

So I guess this is my contribution to the ever-present discussion of the "Mommy-Wars."  I'll take care of my family.  You take care of yours.  That should be all there needs to be said.


  1. That was really insightful - esp paragraph 6 & 7 that another mom could have a different priority that her life experiences has carved out. It's like i have to be totally ok with people thinking i'm weird and vice versa. Remember the "do you really think 'everyone has to make their own decision' or do you just say that and actually think your way is best" question? I think about that a lot - I'd like to think I am open minded and non-judgmental,but I still catch myself thinking I know best. It reminds me of The Screwtape Letters... so many ways for the devil to sneak pride in.
    Anyway, thank you for talking to me. I needed a friend today, i asked God for help, and He sent me to your house. Our visit cheered my heart. :)

  2. I am so glad you came by today! And thank you for being my friend!