I’m still thinking about the current wars over parenting. (See previous post.) I’m thinking that another reason I’m relieved to be at the sidelines now is that I remember the pressure to be a good mother. I don’t mean good as in good enough, but good as in nearly perfect. There was no end of experts, advice-givers, and subtly critical other parents (to whom we subtly returned the favour) around us. We were in thrall of, or resisting, our own upbringings. There was also the stern voice of the inner critic, and the noisy voices of children who didn’t necessarily want to be raised our way. We were influenced by all these “best answers” coming at us from every direction; how could we not have been?
I suspect it’s still this way. But here’s the point I want to make, and perhaps it’s still true too: some of the biggest pressure on parents came from within the church. Continue reading