Monday, July 20, 2015

I know how it sounds.....

Dear public:

When I thank my child for throwing a stuffed animal at me instead of hitting me....I know how it sounds.

When I tell my child, "good job" when she screams and simply puts her mouth on my shoulder instead of biting me....I know how it sounds.

When I tell my child, in a very public restaurant, that I know she needs to smell her chair first, but it's dirty so don't put her mouth on it....I know how it sounds.

When I give a noncommittal "uh-huh" when people say how normal she is/looks/acts, etc....I know how it sounds.

When I find out my child hit in MDO or at the gym and instead of disciplining or making threats of discipling, I ask first if the child touched her....I know how it sounds.

When she pushes down a baby, and hurts the baby, because they touched her 'space' and I tell her I know that made her nervous before I address the behavior.....I know how it sounds.

When everyone else sees the absolute best of her because she saves it all for home and for me....I know how it sounds.

When I sound like a broken record explaining her behavior over and over to therapists....I know how it sounds.

When I tell people J.O. and I are getting away, yet again, for another mini vacay or night out.... I know how it sounds.

I get it.  I've been the parent on the watching end before thinking "there's nothing wrong", "they are blowing this way out of proportion," "they seem so 'normal'," "their kid is so smart," and so on and so on.

So, just know.....I know how it sounds.  I know I am now labeled by some as "that" mom.  The mom of a child who is simply a discipline problem in a lot of classes.  The mom of a child who would still be fine to leave with the nearest stranger.  The mom of a child who has such anxiety that when she hears the door open at 5am, she runs out yelling, "daddy left me."  The mom of a child who makes everyone feel so special because everyone is her best friend.  I get it.

Truth is, I know how it sounds, but I have no idea how it feels.  And I doubt you do either.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Confessions of a Non Super Mom.....

We have great summer interns at our church and I have loved getting to know them a little better.  Our kids love them, and they love our kids.  The other day, I was walking in to church on a Tuesday morning with the crew and one of the guys said, "you are super mom, aren't you."  As I stood there basking in the compliment, I heard an audible laugh.  Luckily, one of my good friends was walking by, and was able to bring me down a few notches by not being able to keep her laughter in....(thanks, Scarlett).

Seriously though, I was thinking on this and thought how easy it is for people to look at other situations and think:  "Man, they have it all together.  There is no way I could do that.  I am struggling with my one or two.  They must have more time, energy, patience, etc than me."

Now, I am not saying this went through the head of a young college intern, but it just made me think. So....let me dispel some myths.

1.)  I am NOT more patient than you.  In fact, I would venture to say I am more uptight than you.  Clutter sends me into orbit and I have to work hard not to put up toys behind the kids as they are playing.  5 kids has made it a necessity to let some of that obsession go, but it's still not easy.  I also have NO patience with defiance.  People think because we have so many young kids, I must be more patient with chaos and disobedience.  Absolutely not.  In fact, let me tell you a story to show my immaturity.....
The other day, my strong willed 3 year old had a terrible day.  Like major regression day.  I had been hit with hands, toys, a few stray spit bubbles, so forth.  We had walked all day to our time out (or in...however you want to word it) spot a lot.  We had tried quiet alone time, quiet together time, nap, etc.  It just wasn't working and by about 4:00, I was done being the mature adult.  I was screamed at one more time and I asked her if she would like someone doing that to her.  She said yes, so then I had to back track.  I asked her again, "you want me to yell in your face?"  She was adamant.  So then, I just said....well, I am not going to do that.  That proceeded fit number 2,548 because I wouldn't yell.  So what did I do???  I would love to tell you I walked away calmly but instead I did a louder than normal..."AHHHH".  Not directly in her face but loud enough to get my point across and of course that didn't go too well either.  Super mom?  More like super crazy....

2.)  I am NOT a natural mom or kid lover.  There are people who are just natural moms.  You know what I mean....they exude "momness" and all things mom.  They do crafts with their kids voluntarily and not because something is due at school.  They bake with their kids for fun and not because all of a sudden you realize your 9 year old can't work a microwave or crack an egg.  They love being around kids and treat all kids with equal amounts of fun.  They don't sit in a rocking chair in the corner when they work the nursery at church, they actually play with the kids....not that I do that....  They are just more natural at it than me.  I know it sounds crazy to say, but I am just not that mom.  I love those moms and admire them, but it's not me.  I am not a good "sit in the floor and make believe, imagine, pretend, dress up, invent, etc.." type mom.  I am more practical, orderly, "what color is this" type mom.  Super mom?  More like obsessive, compulsive mom.....

3.)  I am not more qualified than you.  Whether you have 1 kid or 10 kids, adopted kids or biological kids, foster kids or relatives living with you, we are all in this together.  I have no more ability to do any of this than you do.  On my own, I fail all day long.  On my own, I lose it.  In those moments when I forget where my strength comes from, I scream in the kitchen.  On my own, I want to sit in a closet and cry.  On my own, I fail miserably. is ONLY through God's grace and mercy that I make it through the day and I would venture to guess, you would say the same.  I ask my kids for forgiveness a lot.  I think it is so important for them to understand I am not perfect.  The other day, I argued with a 2 year old.  Seriously?  She's 2.  And guess what...I was wrong.  She had no idea what it meant, when I said...."I am so sorry Grace, I was wrong.  Please forgive me."  Knowing her personality, she either growled at me or smiled but the important thing is....I said it, and hopefully one day she will say it too.

Alone, I am NOT super mom.  However, I AM more than qualified to have the title of "dysfunctional, slightly crazy, disorganized, no makeup wearing, sometimes shower taking, amazing, miracle, child of the King, and through Him and with Him, a pretty super mom."