“I hate you!”
“You’re so mean! All my friends get to go. Why can’t I?”
“Stephanie’s mom is so cool. She let’s us do whatever we want.”
“Why can’t you be like other moms?”
Ever hear these kinds of comments come out of your child’s mouth? I did. Plenty of times.
And they hurt. Every. Single. Time.
Comments like these added to my fears that I was failing as a mom.
Many times, I took myself to a secluded spot, shed my tears, and vented my frustration until I reached a place of peace.
But it was never easy. There was always a smidgeon of doubt, a niggling in the back of my consciousness. Always.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1: 5
I needed wisdom! Do you relate?
While I wanted my children to “like” me, I also knew I was The Mom. But knowing something and believing are two different things. I struggled to define my parental role.
Here are my four conclusions regarding my role:
- I am the Mom, not the best friend. Moms protect their children. Moms love their children at all times. Moms are always seeking the best for their children. Often this means you’re not going to be popular with your children. That’s okay. Best friends come and go throughout life. While they often soothe your ego, they don’t always have your best interests in mind. Moms do.
- It’s my job to teach them how to function in this world. This one is really tough. It’s my responsibility, along with my sweet husband’s, to teach my children:
- work ethic
- emotional health
- intellectual health
- right from wrong
- social skills
If I don’t teach them, who will? I didn’t like the alternative. While others supported this teaching, the primary responsibility was mine and my sweet husband’s.
- Love my children always, even when they really tick me off. I thought I knew what it was to love someone. Then I had children. The protective, “momma bear” love that flowed over me took my breath away. BUT, then my kids, my sweet little kids, would do something very irritating, like imitate my bad actions and attitudes, and that love didn’t come so easily. It was in those times that I learned the discipline of unconditional love. I learned what it meant to “love the sinner and hate the sin.” Easy to say. Difficult to practice day after day.
- Determine your family standards and don’t make them complicated. When Dave and I finally sat down and hashed out the things that were really important to us, life became simpler. Here’s an example pertaining to personal hygiene and dress: clean, neat, modest. Simple. Easy for kids and parents to understand.
You’ll notice “perfection” doesn’t appear in the list.
I’ve said it before: parenting isn’t for cowards! AND, it is the most rewarding, stimulating, life-changing journey you will ever take.
How do you view your parenting role? Have you determined your family standards? If not, take a moment today to determine how you want your children to function in this world. They will thank you for it later. Today? Not so much. 😉
I’d love to hear what you do to teach your family standards. Leave a comment below.
Capture the extraordinary moments in the ordinariness of today.