10. Let me never forget the difficulty a mother of young children faces when shopping with a baby and a toddler or two (or three) as they beg for various and sundry sweets while she pushes a cart and bounces a fussy baby.
9. Let me never forget how much work it was for that mother of young children to feed, dress, and ready all those little people to shop in the first place!
8. Let me never forget the challenge a mother of young children faces when asked to do anything extra like bake cupcakes for an event, make a meal for a new mom, attend a meeting or another adult-only type event (which requires calling a sitter, meal planning, baths, and bed preparation all before leaving the house).
7. Let me never forget what it's like to be a mother of young children who brings small children to Mass while struggling to glean some small insight into the sacrament and keep kids orderly, calm, and quiet at the same time.
6. Let me never forget how humbling it is for a mother of young children to loose control over those small children as she bursts into tears and wallows in her sense of failure.
5. Let me never expect a mother of young children to entertain me while her children engage in attention seeking behavior like fighting, crying, and jumping off the couch.
4. Let me never judge a mother of young children for parenting in a way different from my own. Rather, let me give her the benefit of a the doubt by saying, "She's doing the best she can."
3. Let me never superimpose my ideals for my family as the perfect standard for everyone else's.
2. Let me never forget how powerfully kind it is to offer a mother of young children a few moments to herself so she can bathe, pray, have a cup of coffee alone, or escape on a date with her husband.
1. Let me never make commentary to a mother of young children about her children that is not going to positively bolster her confidence and affirm the dignity of her children.
Copyright 2010 Colleen Duggan
About the Author
Colleen Duggan is the author of Good Enough Is Good Enough: Confessions Of An Imperfect Catholic Mom, published by Ave Maria Press. She is a Catholic writer, teacher and speaker whose work has appeared in Catholic Digest, Creative Catechist, CatholicMom.com, Aleteia, and Integrated Catholic Life.