I have decided to take a short intermission from politics, theology, and opinionated controversy to bring you this fluffy Mommy-Blogger post about fluffy mothering stuff.
I know. You’re excited.
There’s some brutal transparency in here, folks, so no judging. But it needs to be shared because I am noticing that as I begin to talk to and develop relationships with other mothers, I am finding many other mommies like myself out there. Who are we? We are the mothers of “No.” What do I mean by that? I mean our days sound a little something like this:
Mom: “Not right now, honey.”
Child: “Can we get the paints out?”
Mom: “Not right now, honey.”
Child: “Can I flip the pancakes?”
Mom: “Maybe another time.”
So what exactly can the child do? He/she can sit in the high chair/Pack ‘n Play/ sofa in front of the flashing box that does all of their imagining for them while I make sure that everything looks perfect in the house. Because, after all, having a perfect looking house means I have it all together.
And why are we the mothers of “No?” Is it because we dislike fun? Is it because we don’t want our kids to learn or try anything? Is it because we’re big mean meanieheads who hate children? No. (See what I did there?)
“No moms”, like me, are usually perfection/control personality types and it is important to us that everything is done the right way the first time. But I’ve come to realize that trying to raise kids this way is just a constant state of chasing your own tail, and as you’re fighting to maintain perfect control of your household, your kids, and your schedule, it can feel like drowning.
Frankly, I am tired of drowning, so this Summer, I decided to do something RADICAL! We got rid of ALL of our TV services. No Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, Cable, Nada. I am actually going to, like, do stuff with my kids. Like Hiking, puzzles, going to the Pool and the park (and actually get in the splash pad with them). And in addition to that, my goal these next few months is to say “Yes” to everything that is safe, biblical, and reasonable. Even if that means I have to re-load the dishwasher, sweep glitter off of the kitchen floor for the next week, eat pancakes with egg shells in them, and show up to a board meeting with rainbow colored nail polish all over my fingertips.
This isn’t natural for me, but I know that it is important, because one day my children are going to be out in the world on their own, making their own choices, and finding their own way and our tiny little window for putting into them what they’ll need to be Godly, successful adults is going by faster than I expected. I hate the idea of them not knowing how, or being afraid of making decisions for themselves because I have micromanaged them their entire lives.
A dear friend pointed out to me once that the ever so popular verse in Proverbs 22, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” says, “In the way he should go”, not the way he shouldn’t. Which means we have to show our kids how to do right, not just tell them what they can’t or shouldn’t do. And sometimes, that means saying, “Yes.” What an injustice I am doing to my children by telling them about Jesus without showing them Jesus.
I may be coming into the game a little late, but I am finally ready to get messy, to teach and to play, and I am excited to see the changes that will happen in our family because of it. Send one up for me, folks, because honestly, I don’t know how the H-E-Doubble-Hockey-Sticks to do this, but I am about to give it my all, praying a lot, and depending on God’s grace to power me through it.
I leave you with today with this paper towel commercial from a few years ago that I always loved that shows the totes awesome “Yes Mom” that I’ve always dreamed of being.
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