words flying out of my mouth toward the tender hearts in my
care to see this imbalance. I began to take baby steps toward a
healthier balance.
I continued to read authors that agreed with and
defended the conservative Christian parenting paradigm until
one day I read a book called “Grace Based Parenting.”5 There
was something deep in my soul that resonated with this text.
On completion of that particular book and well into the task
of raising three boys, I resolved to take a hiatus from reading
about parenting and striving to get it “right.” I needed to
impart more grace to myself, to my children, and to others.
In many ways, I was a parenting repeater. Yet my
mothering style was conjoined with a lot of internal rebellion
against the religious teaching of my youth. I stoked an inner
fire with misdirected anger toward my own parents. As I began
to experience and consider the complexities and difficulties of
being a mom, kindness toward myself and my parents crept
into my heart. Just like me, they were doing the best that they
knew how given the life they had lived. But at this point in life,
I still was not courageous enough to go against much that I
had been taught and seen modeled. I did not yet trust my gut
or my own voice. Conservative religion had done a good job
of instilling guilt and anxiety in me.
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