Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Parenting


Parenting: Biological AND Stepparenting
A few years ago actor, Alec Baldwin came under fire after a recording of him chewing out his daughter was released to the media. Everyone was upset and wondered how this all happend. Now we have tapes of Mel Gibson being released with him ranting and raving. Of course, these are all ploys by ex-wives/girlfriends, etc . . . to discredit these people as a good parent. Now Sandra Bullock is under fire for having shared with her stepdaughter's teacher that she thought the child's mother was better off in prison so she couldn't ruin the little girls life.
Now while I do not think it's great that these incidents occurred, I also think that dragging someone through the mud is great either. How do I come to this conclusion? Good question . . . the answer, because I am a stepparent and I too have made mistakes as a parent and as a step-parent. Let's be honest, we all have flaws. And while I have not approved of many things that happened to Sarah when she lived with her mom, I also realize now, that sometimes it's better to hold your tongue. I didn't come to this decision or idea easily either. It took five years of watching Sarah pay a price that children shouldn't have to pay, they pay for the sins of their parents. Divorce is always sad, but sadder still is how it affects the children. Let's be honest, there are couples who work well together and work hard to keep things amicable for their children, then there are parents like Kyron Horman's father who is currently revealing things about his soon to be former-wife that I find a little circumspect. There are things to reveal to the police, and things to reveal to the media and these are things that he needs to keep to himself. Airing your soon to be ex's dirty laundry does not make you look better, it makes you look like a self-serving jerk!
I watch as Sarah pays the price for what her parents decided to do. I see how it leaves her in conflict, I know that her dream is for everyone to live under one roof in one humungous house and live happily together (did I mention this is a pipe dream?). She hates that her parents aren't together and this isn't made any easier when she attends a church where few parents are divorced, so this leaves her feeling like the odd man out a lot. There are more aspects to Sarah's life and other instances that lead to us receiving sole custody, but some things are best left in the past and some things are best left private in families. And Sarah hates having everyone know the dirty details about her life with her mom when she was little.
Now as a mom, I watch Sarah struggle and learn to navigate adolescence and live with aspects of divorce and it makes me more determined. It leaves me with a determination to be sure that no matter how bad it gets, Chris and I will work on our marriage. It makes me determined to be sure that God forbid, if something happened to our marriage to not play games and use my children against their dad, because having a relationship with Chris will be one of the most important relationships the girls will have in their life.
And yet, with all of this, and all of the media coverage surrounding celebrities and their divorces and custody battles, it comes down to this. . . Kids do not come home with a manual. No parent is perfect, anyone who tries to tell you this, is in deep denial or is fooling themselves. And yet, the media enjoys crucifying the likes of Britney Spears (okay, she made herself an easy target, I know, but really), Mel Gibson, and others, because they can. Now let's ask the tough question . . .And where exacly are your families? Where are your children? Are you even parents? Do you really understand the rigors of parenting while you question other people's ability to parent their children? And last but not least, what makes you so qualified to decide if someone is a bad parent? These are questions we all need to ask ourselves and those who constantly critique others, whether that person be a celebrity or not. When we are all sitting reading a newspaper, or the computer and casting these judgements, do we remember what Jesus told us in Matthew 7: 1 & 2 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and wit the measure you use, it will be measured to you." It goes further from there to tell us that we need to worry about our own life more than the life others are living. If you want to know the rest, then please be my guest and research it further. The bottom line, like the men who wished to stone the adultress woman had to walk away after Jesus wrote in the sand and told them "He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone." Notice the men had to walk away. Wouldn't it be interesting to know what Jesus wrote in the sand? Either way, it meant that just as those men had to stop their judgement of the woman, shouldn't we too stop constantly critiquing other's parenting jobs and worry more about how our children turn out.
Have a good week and God Bless,
Maureen

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