Sunday, August 7, 2011


My six-week old baby and I were flying home from the best reunion ever, she was snug and sound asleep, wrapped up next to my chest. I stood there in my planned out travel outfit, stylish yet decently comfortable with my coffee in my hand.  I looked down the corridor and saw her, frantic, frenzied, in sweats and a large tee-shirt.  Her hair pulled back  and her eyes full of desperation.  On one hip, a chubby little baby, stripped down to the diaper, wailing.  In her other arm, a diaper bag, a soiled outfit, and an umbrella stroller trying to keep up.  For a moment, I wanted to raise my eyebrows, but my heart spoke louder and I wanted to help.

There is a lady who lives in our building, I often hear her escaping outside for a cigarette.  Mother of two year old twins, long-term fiancĂ© to man who prematurely moves around with a walker and thus is not employed.  Neither of them work, and their disputes and door slamming can be heard from across the building and up the stairs.  I hate that I have to breathe in her addiction as I approach my front door.  But, as she sits numbingly looking forward, I know my attempts to avoid eye contact would make her feel even more invisible, so I try to remember a smile. 

I was talking with a friend about how she is so cautious to ever discuss her parenting decisions with family, because of the waves of negative feedback that often follow.  This morning I read an article from a blogger that I enjoy about her own thoughts on motherhood, the comments were  an onslaught of judgment, hateful, spiteful, and ungracious words. 

As women, mothers, wives, heck, as people, we are constantly battling something: for our marriages, families, finances, faith, careers, hopes, dreams, that impossible customer service department, and even our sanity. Why must we battle each other too? 

How powerful would it be, if instead of our opinions, our judgments, our scowls…

we tried grace.

To the one with the screaming child in the grocery store, because that was probably you yesterday.  To the one who dares to show a bit of vulnerability, by saying, hey today is rough.. To the lady whose fashion choices are forlorn, because every last bit of her soul might also be. And yes,  even to the one who doesn’t parent like you do.

Whether you think you are saving the planet or your wallet with your cloth diapers or happily keep target in business with disposables, whether you stand by this parenting book or that one, whether you choose to work outside of the home because of preference or necessity, whether vaccinations are helpful or hurtful, public school or home school or un-school, it goes on and on.  It seems that once you decide what is best for your child or even yourself, you must then defend your decisions to anyone in sight.

If we stopped fighting against each other, won’t we have more energy to be better for ourselves, our families, or jobs?  If we offered grace, we could save each other from one less struggle, opposition, or frustration.

And wouldn’t that make a huge difference?

I suppose this might apply to people without children too, but I could be wrong.


  1. You're so right, Liv. And I think this is a broad, sweeping idea that everyone should utilize. I've taken the belief that unless one's decisions are directly causing physical and emotional harm to's really not my place to judge or mettle. Sure, I fail at that often. But when that type of grace is shown to me, I always remember it.

    Now that I'm on the path to marriage, I've started to think about parenting. How every single thing will be a battle. (When we don't baptize our babies...our family will probably disown us. When I choose to use disposable diapers, my friends will likely call me wasteful. The list goes on and on!) While it's easier said than done, I think it's so vital to keep your eyes on who + what matters most, and not on the trival side battles and conversations that others want to pick with you over something that doesn't effect them in the least. (Although, I have the HARDEST time turning my mind off when critiqued.)

    But yes. Grace. We need more grace.

  2. I love this. I'm a firm believer in grace...for all.


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