|My sister and her kids|
I know this is primarily a running blog, but occasionally I use it for other things. Running is a big part of my life, but there are lots of other big parts. One big part is that I'd like to be a mom some day. I'm leaving this up to God (or trying to) and if I'll be a good one and it fits in with His plan, so be it. If it does not fit into His plan for me, it may be disappointing but I'll do whatever He does have planned.
That said, I find it interesting, somewhat annoying and discouraging to see all the negative mom posts on Facebook and to even hear them in conversation. Especially those who I know to be Christians. No, I don't expect Christians to be perfect simply because they believe in God, but I do expect them to know better at times.
I have heard it said again and again in marriage seminars and classes of all sorts that spouses should not talk badly about one another in public or even to their friends. Now, I think women need other women and talking about the struggles we face in marriage should be used to encourage and build up our fellow wives. But there is a difference in discussing struggles and husband bashing. Just like there is a difference in discussing hard days with a child and discipline, and child bashing.
I would also like to remind these ever-complaining mothers that (most of them) CHOSE to have kids. Many of them cried, whined, gnashed their teeth and spent every day longing for these unborn children. And then, when they got them... the whining continues...?
I'm certainly not saying it is cake. I'm fully aware that parenting is one of the most challenging and important tasks a person can undertake. I don't approach it lightly. In fact, it is sort of impressive that I'm approaching it at all given my previous inclinations (or lack thereof) toward parenthood. I am aware of the sleepless months and years, the worry, the sickness, the awful presents left in diapers day after day, and that with each new year of age comes brand new challenges, fears, questions and doubt.
But come on. There are women still longing to be moms. There are women contemplating it. And there are those like me who freak out just a little (or a lot) at the thought of it while thinking it might be an adventure on which they'd like to embark anyway! And while I know it is not easy and that is an understatement, should moms (especially Christian ones) not be aware of these other women and temper their words (and whining) just a tad?
|Mom and Daughter - shaving cream fight at camp|
My sister is a mom and I have been with her every step of the way. I have witnessed it ALL from the head poking through (both times), to every stage up to their current ages of 9 and 6. Watching Julie do it all these years is what has made me see how wonderful it can be and to decide I'd like to do it too. She is the absolute BEST mother I have ever known and I think she should teach seminars on the subject. If I am HALF the mom she is...I'll be a good one. I run with mothers close to my age and I listen to their joys, funny stories and some struggles too. So I get the picture.
It isn't just the negative comments that get to me but the ones where the kids get to decide things. The three year old has more of a say than the 33 year old mother. How does that work, exactly? The siblings fight and that is just what they are doing? When my sister and I fought, there were consequences. I think those consequences we faced when we were young are the very reasons we are best friends today. Fighting with my sister was not allowed. Period. And she is my hero today. As for the word, "no" what does that really mean anyway?
I know it is a little gutsy of me, the non-mom, to talk this way. I almost cringe at the thought of God "showing me" if I get too prideful, too sure of myself and how I will do it when it is my turn. But really, what I want to say to those complaining, whining, helpless mothers is to consider those who will follow in their footsteps. Those women who will need their strong, good example when the going gets tough. And as you probably know, it WILL get tough. And I humbly remember that as I approach the idea of parenthood myself.
I'd like to leave you with three articles and a blurb. The first is an article on CNN Opinion that I thought rocked the house. I'd much rather you read this than anything I've said above.
"Parents, Don't Dress Your Girls Like Tramps" by LZ Granderson
The second is a blog post on discipline posted by my friend, Brett. More than share opinions, he asks questions, but I think they are good ones and the thread of comments is equally as thought provoking.
"Corporal Punishment: to spank or not to spank" by Brett Harrison
The last article is a blog post by my friend Katie on her blog titled "How We Roll: Katie's Blog About Marathoning and Mothering." I loved this post because she too is a runner, but it is the mothering that she focuses on here and I love what she has to say.
"Putting It Into Perspective" by Katie Maehlmann
And the blurb is an e-mail from my mom sent yesterday. She is a GREAT mom, married to an AMAZING dad, and she is a retired high school guidance counselor. Why no one has asked her to speak to the masses on child raising is beyond me. She's a pro at not only raising them, but helping parents. I leave you with her passionate paragraph on the subject.
My whole life/career, I have become very frustrated with the lack of parenting skills that most parents have. If you spend much time stewing about this, you will go crazy because MOST parents these days, and it HAS gotten worse and worse, are just plain abusive to their children because of their lack of discipline and teaching respect for authority. That is what this allowing kids to dictate what will occur really is...abuse. I think if we could stand on a mountain and shout it or tell those who are guilty since we can't shout it from the mountains, we have done our part to give the children of this world some hope. When we are afraid to MAKE our children do what we want them to do in the name of "choosing our battles" we are wimps, cowards, and we are literal1y harming our children! If God "parented" His children like this we would all be in a mess. Parents are the bosses and if they don't assume that role, kids grow up to be frustrated, angry, undisciplined, disrespectful brats and thus, adults.
And then her words to Julie: YOU are THE best mother that I know or have ever known. You have a balance between discipline and love and it is working!!
|Caleb and my mom - the best Gran in the world|