I remember a few days after I gave birth to my first daughter, my mom & I were out on a walk with sweet Aidann in a stroller (trying to burn off some of those sweet lbs) when suddenly a wild pit bull (minus his leash and owner) popped out of nowhere! Fortunately for him, he came nowhere near me, but I remember the feelings that suddenly rose up inside of my body at that moment. Mama was ready to tear a dog apart that day if need be. I could just see the headlines now "New Mama Ripped Dog to Shreds While Protecting her Sleeping Newborn" & there would be a picture of me all cool calm & collective as the hardly recognizable remains of a dog would be just laying there to the side of me. I mean, I look back now & laugh about it, but the feelings were so real & just the first of many experiences of the immense love & strength inside of a mother for her young.
Now, are these feelings good? Important? Necessary? God given? Absolutely! But I also believe as a mother if we are not carefully monitoring ourselves they can be at the detriment of our kids at times. When someone comes to you with a concern about your child, you have to stop yourself from immediately coming to your child's defense & throwing up those walls. Actually take the time to hear their concerns out & respond instead of just reacting. I got news for you, your "perfect little angel" is capable of doing wrong, making mistakes, & even acting out sometimes. Being respectful to you & their behavior at home can be one thing, but sometimes once they are not under your watchful eye or hanging out with a crowd that you may not have necessarily handpicked, behaviors & choices may be different. I know this is an area my husband & I are super passionate about. PLEASE, get us right away if those kiddos out of line because we will correct that immediately. I have also learned as a mother that if I overhear another child saying or doing something to my kid that I don't necessarily like or approve of, I need to first give my child the opportunity to stick up for themselves first & try to deal with the situation on their own before stepping in. Of course I am sure their are some times where it may be more vital for you to step in, but for those times where you can give your child a chance to handle it first, then definitely take that opportunity for growth.
Just yesterday my kiddos & I were at the dance studio & while I was over by the viewing window watching 1 of my daughters dance, 1 of my other ladies came up to me to tell me that some other child told her she "looked like a boy". My first instinct was to turn to 1 of my dance mom friends & ask her to hold my earrings because something serious was about to go down, but then I reigned myself in. I got down on her level & asked her how she responded, how did that make her feel, & so forth. She said that she told her that was not very nice & she shouldn't say things like that. She let me know that she felt okay because she knows she looks like a girl & then she skipped right back on her merry way to go back to playing. I then called over my oldest daughter who had been there for the whole thing & asked her what she did in that situation? She told me that she stood up for her sister & that the girl apologized. See, mama bear didn't have to come out today & I believe since I have really tried to encourage my children in finding their own voices to not only stand up for themselves, but their siblings & others early on in life (often fighting the temptation to just do the easy thing & put in the work for them), I am seeing real growth now.
I know I am not always going to be right there, able to protect them at every moment (though sometimes I truly wish I could be because their pain is so much "my pain"), but I'm not doing them any favors if in some areas I am not equipping them with their own tools. Shoot, I even want my ladies & dudes in Taekwando so they can physically protect themselves too if need be. Our job as parents is definitely to protect our children & train them up as well as we possibly can for the future, but not to cripple them. Its all about that balance. So yes, sometimes I do have to "hold mama back". I am not always perfect at doing it for sure, but I am learning to sometimes let them go & GROW!
|So so sweet. So glad I caught the moment.|
|National Ice Cream Day!|
|Addie and of course one of her twins, Nathan|
|Praising God at church!|
|My little everything's!|
|Someone lost their balance, I blame the pants|
|Our naked firefighter, manbun and all|