I was reading a devotional the other day and something struck me as funny. Every mom knows that we live in a world of mom shaming. Back in the day (do I sound old yet...) we didn't have such quick access to others through social media. Mom shaming was mostly in smaller circles of people who knew you in real life and you probably rarely even heard about it.
Because of the mom shaming phenomenon we are always on the defensive. We see how people think we ought to parent and how people beat up others if they don't follow those specific sets of rules. Yet, we don't take into account that sometimes things happen. Sometimes accidents happen. Sometimes things are beyond your control. And sometimes...we just mess up. It's normal. It's okay.
There was a mom I was reading about who went on a trip with her family. They had a great time and they were traveling back with a large group of extended family and friends. They traveled for most of a day before she realized that she'd lost her son! She thought he was with other family members. Dad thought that he was, too.
There was that moment:
"Have you seen him?"
"No, I thought he was with you."
"I thought he was with you!"
They had left their son! And what's worse, it was for hours! No one had seen him for hours! Panic sets in and they rush back to find him.
We would see all kinds of social media rants about this, posts saying how irresponsible she was. How could she be a good mother if she couldn't even keep up with her child. People would ravenously tear her apart! Mom shaming would be in full effect and she would have suffered not only the grief of losing track of her child but the guilt that other people were placing on her. Making it much much worst.
Do you want to know what I found funny? That mom...that's Mary. Yes, THAT Mary, mother of Jesus. If you aren't familiar with the story, they traveled together when Jesus was twelve and they accidentally left him for an entire day. They panicked and rushed back and found him at the synagogue teaching others.
We tear each other apart for less. I found it interesting that in this day and age we can take a lesson from the Bible about mom shaming. We give Mary grace about losing Jesus. We need to extend that same understanding and grace to others that we interact with daily and that we see online because we're all only human. If someone as important as the mother of our Savior can lose her child, then what does that say about the rest of us? We need to strive to judge and mom shame less and understand and love more.