Can we PLEASE stop it Moms? Seriously, grow up.

Before I start,  I just want to say, this is by no means meant to hurt feelings, etc.  There are just a few things I’d like us all to consider before we roll our eyes, write a blog post, share a blog post or applaud a blog post that is dealing with this “over celebrating” issue. –Even saying that, I know I’m not going to make any friends with this post…

I wrote about this issue over a month ago, but it is sitting in my “draft” section because I know what a touchy subject it is.  But after I started seeing yet again sweet friends of mine applauding and hailing a recent rant by a Mom about “over celebrating,” alas,  I cannot wait any longer.  As with any post, I hope to convey my two cents in honest love.  If you are on any type of social media, I am sure you at least saw this latest blog post.  Basically, it is yet another Mom ranting about the over celebrating of holidays–especially made up ones or minor ones, like “100 days of school”, “Dr. Seuss’s birthday” and the latest, St. Patrick’s Day.  I hope to add just a little perspective here and maybe a little self reflection to follow.

As your children grow, you change as a Mom.  You may not think that you will, but I assure you, you will.  Many of you young Moms won’t understand this now, but in a few years, you will.  I know, because I was just like you.  Not condemning or belittling here, because again, I was the same way.  I have changed over the years as a Mom–hopefully a bit wiser.  And, now having 5 children–even things that I thought when I had 3 kids has changed.  Recent example:  I SWORE I would never use a pull-up to potty train a child and I would potty train them on MY TIME–not when they were ready.  Well, guess what?  I was VERY pregnant with my fifth child AND moving to another state when I “should’ve been potty training Lucy.”  Then the onslaught of our family’s fall birthdays happened–along with everything else that happens in the fall, and then we had our sweet Sarah Noelle on December 8th.

Our Lucy turned 2 on October 2.  And with our life right now, I knew it would make me a stressful lunatic to try and train her in big girl panties like I did with my other girls.  So, she was trained in pull-ups.  She’s still wearing them.  She has not had an accident in over 2 weeks, AND she has kept her diaper dry through the night for the past week.  We are about ready to ditch all diaper related things for her, as she’s clearly got this.  But, had this been a former child, there is NO WAY I would have done it this way.  Yay for me–I am growing wiser.  Because really, who cares?  I mean really.  I have a potty trained 2+ year old.  You do it your way if it works for you, I’ll do it mine.  And, so far, I’ve potty trained each child differently.  And all are thriving, happy kids who can all “wipe their own…”  If you’ve seen Big Daddy, insert proper ending.

All that to say, stop it.  Seriously Moms, stop it!  Good grief.  I am going out on a limb here–but to me, these Moms who are ranting about other Moms “over celebrating” holidays (made up or real) have some self evaluating to do.  They talk about pressure, expectations, being overwhelmed, and competition.  Um, who’s competing?  May I submit this is perhaps your own insecurity?  Listen, I have 5 children ages 7 and under–it is physically impossible for me to do everything all out.  So, guess what?  I DON’T!!  And, when I see other Moms going all out, I think “Aww that is super fun and cute!  Yay for you!!”  I don’t roll my eyes and make comments to discourage their efforts.

I have a few friends who are these Moms–they go all out for birthdays, etc.  And, sure, there are probably Moms out there who go all out to “show off,” but not the girls I know.  They are creative beauties at heart, and to them, big, all out parties are fun and it helps them express their creativity while celebrating their children.  And, may I be so bold to ask this pointed question?  Would you judge a Mom who went all out if their child was sick, like really sick?  Or, if their child was sick and was miraculously healed?  Somehow, I don’t think you would.  So, why can’t a Mom go all out in celebration over the precious child God has blessed them with and celebrate that they are healthy?

Our family suffered a devastating loss last year.  We lost our baby nephew Dalton to Mitochondrial disease.  If by some miracle he had survived, um, can I tell you, I myself would have called Mac Powell from Third Day to come sing at his next birthday party and if my sister-in-law would have allowed me–it would’ve been the biggest bash EVER!  One more pointed question–would you roll your eyes or judge someone’s efforts if it was a party for YOU?  “How dare you make this party so darling for ME!!  You just went too far–you crossed the line.  This baby shower is ridiculous, too much, you should not have made such a fuss.”  Yes, I am being extremely sarcastic, but I really want us to stop and think for a minute about this.  Who doesn’t want to feel like they are worth being fussed over?  Heaven knows there is enough darkness in this world, can’t a Mom or a teacher shine a little light or spread a little joy?  And, if you are a teacher and you don’t want to fuss–don’t!  My kid will be just fine.

Why do we go to birthday parties?  To celebrate life.  Think it is wasteful?  Look in the Old Testament.  Talk about festivals!!  Our God is OK with celebrating!  If you don’t have time to go all out–or simply don’t want to, it is OK!!  Your child will love whatever you do.  You know your child the best, do what they want.  Sometimes I go all out–because I LOVE it.  But remember, I am a girl who loves to scrapbook (never does anymore, because I have no time to) and I love hosting parties.  So, for me, it is win win. I get to spoil and celebrate my precious child and make them feel super special AND love on and serve my family and friends.  Do I do this for every birthday?  NO.  As with every season in life, sometimes I can do it, other times, it is just too much and we go store bought.  Thank you Party City.  Either way, my kids feel special and the friends I have don’t care.  Hopefully, they are there to celebrate with me the joy of children, just like when I attend their kids’ party.  I am there for them, not judging their party décor.  Sheesh, how did we get so judgmental and self absorbed as Moms?

Moving on.  School stuff.  Again, you might not get this until your children are in school and are old enough to get excited about these little celebrations.  But, mine are–some of them.  I have a 2nd grader and a Kindergartener. We just recently celebrated the 100th day of school, Dr. Seuss’s birthday and yes, St. Patrick’s Day.  They came home telling me silly stories of what their leprechaun did in their classroom with such giggles, it melted my heart.  What did I do for St. Patrick’s Day?  Um, nothing.  I didn’t even wear green. *gasp* Thankfully Petersen remembered the morning of to have them change their shirts to have something green on.  But that’s it.  No leprechaun trap, no Lucky Charms–shoot, we had to drop off our car to be fixed and eat at Moe’s for dinner.  No corned beef and cabbage here–happy early Cinco de Mayo!  Ha!  Did I stress out and feel like an awful Mom because I didn’t do all that stuff?  NO.  Not. Even. A Little.  Grow up people, seriously.  Sorry, I am really not trying to offend or be mean, but seriously, grow up.

The only competition is self inflicted.  Nobody cares what you do or don’t do with your kid–so back off the Moms who want to go all out.  Our kids are little for a short time, and if seeing them giggle in delight over green eggs and ham, a little green glitter on the floor from their naughty leprechaun fills them with joy–let them!  Applaud them.  Doing stuff like this for your kids should not be overwhelming or a burden; if it is, don’t do it.  If I feel like doing fun extra “over-achieving” stuff, I do.  If I don’t, I don’t.  If my kids whine that I didn’t “do something” (which they have not), I will tell them oh so sweetly, “Oh wow Honey!  Your friend’s Mom did what?  That is super fun.”  And, we move on.

Having some fun at school is great–even welcomed by me!  I did not have homework in Kindergarten, mine son does.  These kids work hard at school.  I HATE, yes HATE that they have homework.  I want them outside playing when they get home from school, not doing more school work!  Didn’t they do enough in the 6+ hours that they were there?  So again, for me, I appreciate my kids’ teachers and the little bits of fun they sneak in every month.

Whew, sorry…but this whole Moms judging Moms thing REALLY BUGS ME!  Can we just stop it?  Accept who we are or who we are not?  Build each other up and encourage each other in what we are gifted or talented in?  Bottom line…LOVE one another.

Blessings Friends.

*In case you are looking to go all out or just some simple, custom things, check out two of my friends’ Holly and Marcy’s Etsy sites:

www.etsy.com/shop/PreppyLaneBoutique

http://www.etsy.com/shop/magicbymarcy

Advertisements

Judge away! I am good with it; like really I am. I am perfect and so are you.

Lucy2blog

This is Lucy’s face while taking a breath from her screaming moment, before I put her in time-out. See the lady behind her! She was mortified for me! Ha!

My parents had just left town. It was time for my next prenatal visit. Fortunately, my two older children were at school. So, I only had two children in tow. Now, I’ve taken all four of them places and done just fine, so only having two should’ve been no problem. Well, it wasn’t. No, actually it was. But, had these been my first two children, this visit would have been horribly devastating, completely humiliating and I would have hung my head so low as a Mom, it would’ve taken a crane to lift it back up.

Buuuut, this time, I was magnificent. You might totally disagree. But I think I was nothing short of brilliant. Why? Because I had the know with all to pull out my phone and capture the awesomeness that was taking place. Whereas years prior, I would have wanted nothing more than to erase such a memory.

New Mommy listen close. I love you. I really do. I love the sparkles and twinkle in your eyes. You are completely adorable to me. Now please, do not misunderstand my tone; I am not patronizing you, I really mean all of that. I was just like you. And, in many ways we are still similar. I still teared up at every ultrasound, seeing this beautiful miracle of God happening inside me. I often wondered and asked, “Why me Lord? I am a wretch of a person. How can You be SO good to me?” I still loved washing new baby clothes in Dreft. And I too, waited excited and anxious to meet this new little life.

But, with all those sweet similarities; there was one thing that I hope we differ in. I was as judgmental as they come. I would see children crying, thrashing and having COMPLETE meltdowns at the grocery store…and I would look at the Mom–and she was COMPLETELY oblivious to the thrashing maniac that was in her cart. I almost wanted to ask the Mom if I could lay my hands on her child and pray for her kid—for clearly they were possessed. I am glad I didn’t, or that Mom most likely would’ve laid her hands on me…and not in prayer.

Now, I get it! How many times I have had that kid in my cart, and you know what? I keep my eyes focused on my task at hand –get what we need, and get out. Keep your head down, ignore the noise and the stares; get the milk, the eggs, the cereal—no, not the cereal, we can live without that for a day or two. And, I completely disregard the possessed child in my cart. Because chances are; this is one of those times where I know there is NOTHING that can be done to console my kid. They need to be disciplined and put in line. But, I also need food; and we are here now, so we are getting said food. Sometimes I wish I could have a digital sign that flashed what I was thinking, “I am sorry Publix shoppers, my child is having a meltdown; but I need food, so you are going to have to deal with it for few more minutes. But, have no fear! I will be addressing this issue at home. Thank you and enjoy the rest of your trip here at Publix, where shopping is a pleasure.”

Oh, there are so many things my child would never do; watch more than a half an hour of television, eat crap food, get their way from whining, and be awarded candy for obedience. They would never hit, speak disrespectfully to me—or anyone for that matter. And I, as a Mom would never yell, never be sarcastic, never look like a haggard mess out of the house, lose my temper, especially with a two-year old, um, no never. I am an adult after all. They are two. Please, I got this. I am sorry all you Moms who can’t control your children. So sorry.

I wish I was kidding. I’m not. I actually thought ALL of those things. But, as God would have it, my first-born helped in removing the scales from my oh so covered eyes.  And my fourth child, Lucy added the exclamation point!

My Hannah. My strong-willed child. Actually, I like to refer to her as “passionate.” That sounds better, yes, passionate. Woe to the Mom who has a Samuel or Bethany like child first. You might just think you are the best Mom ever and look down your nose at every Mom who has an unruly kid. My only son, Samuel and my third child, Bethany are the types of kids that you sometimes want to ask “Um, hi, I am your Mom, and if you need any parenting, I’ll be over here.” Seriously, they are just something special. Thank God, I didn’t have them first. I probably would’ve had my first parenting book written before they were three.

And everything was going according to plan, until Hannah turned two. I can actually recall a conversation Petersen and I had regarding parenting. It was something along the lines of “If we do everything right, follow the suggestions of all these parenting books, discipline our kids, etc., they are not going to have all those “kid issues” other kids have, like the terrible two’s with tantrums and all…” Oh, how we laugh about that conversation now.

I don’t say this to make you feel bad about judging like we did.  I want you to know I welcome it. I really do. And, I won’t waste my breath like so many did to me…telling me, “just wait, just wait until they turn two. You’ll think twice about wanting so many kids.” I want you to enjoy ignorant bliss. Truly. Look at all us crazy Moms with crying, thrashing kids and look away, embarrassed for us, thinking to yourself, “whew, I feel bad for that lady! My kid will never do that!” And, then rub your sweet pregnant belly or look back at your sweet UNDER TWO year old child and look at us with pity. And, I will give you the biggest, most sincere smile. Enjoy it. Enjoy your baby, enjoy looking on at us with sweet pity. Because one day, you too will laugh at yourself. I promise.

So, as I sat at the doctor’s office that day with Bethany and Lucy in a very tight waiting room; Lucy lost it. And, it was over a life-changing event of course. She wanted to look at my phone and I said no. The NERVE!!! So, being another “passionate” child like Hannah, she screamed. I mean SCREAMED–like her leg had just been amputated with no anesthesia. I am convinced the ENTIRE building heard my child. And what did I do? I made her sit down in time-out; right there in the waiting room. And, did she sit sweetly in time-out? Ah, no. She layed herself on the floor crying, completely distraught. The two pregnant moms in there with me felt so uncomfortable, I felt bad for them. They had judgment and pity written all over their faces. They couldn’t look at me, let alone make eye contact. I wanted to say “It’s ok, judge away. Really. I get it. I did it too. I am totally ok with it. Now, excuse me while I take pictures of my kid and text them to my husband.  He has a stressful job you know, and this will make him laugh.”  No doubt they thought I was totally cruel.

Lucy, sitting so sweetly in time-out…

There comes a point as a Mom, when you just let go and surrender to the truth about children and about who you are as a Mom; finally comfortable in your own skin. I pray it doesn’t take you as long as it took me. They are human; therefore they are imperfect. They will have melt downs over the DUMBEST things, they will embarrass you, throw up on you, poop on you, spit up on every nice top you have – sparing only the tops that you don’t care about. And you, you will lose your cool faster than you ever thought possible, you will cry and want to quit more often than you’d like to admit. You will wonder if you have caused permanent damage to your child’s well being from things you’ve said in anger and you’ll question your decisions about almost everything.

But, you know what? You are perfect. You were the perfect Mom before you became pregnant; you are the perfect Mom while raising an unruly toddler or a passionate youth. You are the perfect Mom when you blow it again and yell at your kid. And you are the perfect Mom when you go to your child in love and apologize; they get it. They see it. They know. Only you can love your child as fiercely as you do. Only you can make boo-boos or owies feel better with just a kiss, only you can say I love you to your child in a glance, and they know what you are saying. Only your voice will do at bedtime, even if you can’t sing—like me, it is your voice they want. You are the one they will search for at performances; and nothing will fill your heart like watching your child’s face BEAM when they finally spot you, Mom.

So, as we end this week, which was a bit trying for me, and head into the weekend, remember that God made you— specifically you for your child. And no matter how many times you *think* you’ve blown it. You haven’t. I haven’t. You, we, are perfect. Perfect parents? No. Perfect for our children? Yes. So, bring on the judgment new Mommy’s, I am totally ok with it. I still think you are precious.

Our sweet Lucy. She’s a passionate one, but oh how we adore this sweet thing!