Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sharks and The New York Times Crossword Puzzle

I was just remarking to someone the other day how things seem to have gotten easier with the girls, because they've become so much more obedient recently.

Then the heavens laughed at me with my "awesome mama" badge I had pinned to my shirt. 

All of a sudden, the girls have become exponentially difficult and defiant. We had two playdates this past week, and I was less than impressed with the girls' manners.

I don't know if this is everyone's kids, or just mine---the girls are having this sort of "language explosion"---it's like now that they know how to say shark and napkin, they are da bomb diggity, and have life and the New York Times crossword puzzle all figured out.

When I ask them to do, even the simplest thing, a sly smile crosses their faces, and they triumphantly and proudly tell me, No. 


The thing is. I kind of needed this to happen. (1135)

Mama-ing is my gig. It's what I do. 

I take it pretty seriously, which all mamas should---I mean, we're growing little people. That's important stuff.


My glory. My worth. My identity. Those aren't defined by how well I parent. It's not determined by how well my children behave during playdates. Or, gulp, how obedient they are in public.

God alone is glorious. Nothing I can do makes me glorious. He is, so I don't have to be. 

That is freeing.

Other Judge-y McJudgersons might judge my parenting based on how my children behave; they may judge me on how I respond to their behavior---as much as I hate disapproving looks---it really is okay. They don't know me. What those judge-y people think of me doesn't determine my worth or my value.

For all you judge-y people (I admit, I am one too sometimes): keep this is mind---every time a mama with young children walks out the door, they're never quite sure how things are going to go. There's an uncertainty to it. Meltdowns happen sometimes, no matter what preventative measures we take. It's hard. I, for one, fight the fear of these meltdown situations, because it feels so completely out of control. So, please: Be gentle with your gaze.Encourage us with smiles, rather than scowls.

This past week, I had to run to Target for a few things. Brynne refused to keep her shoes on while in the store, so I took them away from her. This, led to one big crying fit.

My typical response would have been to, quickly, drop everything, and leave the store immediately with a red face. Why?

Was I embarrassed that my daughter was behaving like a two year old? Maybe, as silly as that sounds.

More so, I was afraid of what others thought about me and my parenting. I was afraid I wouldn't be seen (by total strangers) as this stellar mama with ridiculously well-behaved children. And I need to be seen as something spectacular, because that's what I do, you see.

But God.

I told myself (over and over, and over and over):

It doesn't matter. 
God is glorious. 
You don't have to be.

So, fighting my instincts to "flight" rather than "fight" I picked up my chin, and continued shopping, speaking quietly to my daughter as she continued to cry.

By the time we were in the check-out line, she was smiling at the pregnant lady in front of us. Thank goodness!

Soli Deo Gloria! (Glory to God alone!)

Linking with Jen and Ann.