Wednesday, October 7, 2015

From the "Bully's" Mom

If you have ever felt alienated, felt like your child was cast to the side, or judged due to your child's behavior or your own behavior with your children, this is for you.  This post in intended to show love, support, and encouragement to those who have felt this way.  It is mainly intended to let you know that you are not alone.

The Fault of the Child

The doctor walked into the hospital room after examining my first son for an hour, and pronounced, "This is the most vigorous baby I have ever seen!"

Yes, that is still my Levi to this day, four years later.  Did I make him this way?  Well, if you consider me eating chocolate and cookies during his entire pregnancy the cause, then's all my fault.  Don't we like to blame the parents fully for children's negative behavior?  

I have two sons who are by nature quite opposite (although my younger, adoring son copies everything his awesome big brother does).  They both come from my husband and I, and entered into very similar circumstances.  I am absolutely not complaining or downing my older, strong-willed child's personality.  The contrary is true.  I adore his tenacity, his endurance, and intelligence.  He is, and always will be, my precious baby.

The hard part comes when other parents don't quite see it that way.  My mom always says, "ask to see a brat, and I'll show you the neighbor's kid," meaning we all tend to look at our own children with different eyes than the rest of the world. We watch out for (like angry mama bears sometimes!) the best interest of our sweet, dear spawn. We see the best in them when others can't. We know the depth of their innocent souls. We forgive them, and ceaselessly, earnestly protect their hearts no matter the cost on some occasions.

Of course, I want my children to know right from wrong.  Of course it is difficult to see them upset another child.  Of course I want them to learn from their mistakes and to apologize.

Every kid is different.  Please be glad if you got dealt a cherub of a sweet-natured child that never gets uninvited to special events or play dates or shamed or removed from a preschool class or gossiped about due to his/her behavior, or even that you have never been the center of conversation for it "being all her fault that he turned out this way" or "maybe if she was tougher on him or did xyz".

If we are all to cast the weak aside, the weak will eventually be isolated.  I believe it is important for us as adults and Christ followers to remember to view children as just that: children.  It is also important to guide them after they have fallen, to give them chances to redeem themselves, and to not resent them.  That's right.  I said, "As adults, we should not resent children, including our own."  They need God's grace, but they could use a little of ours, too.

Confession:  My child is not perfect.  He is growing, learning, making mistakes, trying again, and enjoying his one and only childhood.

The Fault of the Parent

Sometimes I ache as I watch the manner in which some kids around my son's age act, how calm, how sweet, attentive, and obedient they are.  I ache, because (although this is my first go-round as a parent) I wonder could I be failing at this?

But let's face the facts:
-All parents are all new at everything once.
-We all have good days and bad.
-We all fail.
-We all feel guilt at one point or another.
-We all likely compare our lives to other's here and there.
-We rarely do it right the first time.
-We are sinners.
-We need God's grace.

I feel the stares, see the open gasps, hear the whispers, and wonder what I could have done differently in the moments after my son has said something rude, hurt someone's feelings, or done something mean to another child.  I wonder if I am being judged as I timidly deal with the situation at hand with an audience.  Parenting in public is not for the faint of heart (especially not for the introverted).  We just don't do it with the exact same confidence we do at home sometimes.

If you don't always know what the heck you are doing in this parenting thing, you're not alone.  Know that there are those who will love, support, and encourage you, and surround yourselves with those who can forgive both you and your children when you mess up.

Confession:  I am not a perfect parent.  (If you are, by all means, please coach me!) I am growing, learning, making mistakes, trying again, and enjoying my one and only time to parent little children.

The Fault of No One

In summary, no one is to blame.

We are all flawed and do not deserve the judgment of others, yet we do deserve forgiveness and grace.  We all screw up.  Things change.  People change.  Our kids grow up.  They become doctors, teachers, artists, friends, spouses, and maybe even parents themselves.  The "bully" can grow to become an inspiring, thoughtful, wonderful person.

When you feel down about the way current circumstances in parenting your strong-willed child are, remember that it won't be like this forever!  He won't be openly telling other adults they aren't his best friend, yanking things from their hands, or calling them anything with the word poop attached to it.

Your child will impress you.  He will do great things!  Believe in him! He has the type of spirit and will to persevere and succeed in life. And most of all, love him even when others don't.

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Monday, October 5, 2015

A Mom Poem

When you title your blog "The Creative Bubble", you can basically write about whatever you darn well please, so a poem it is!  I was inspired by the first five pages Elizabeth Gilbert's book, Big Magic.  When a pinch of creativity knocks at the door, it is best to answer.

The light doesn't shine through my window just yet, 
but I hear four feet clumsily making their way to my bed.
Fighting for my limbs and full embrace, they smother me.
I relish in the moment, hoping they never, ever let me free.
My exhausting, precious boys, I love you.
When I'm tired and annoyed, I love you.
So, come visit me each morning until by it you're bored.
I'll cuddle you until you're big, for you'll always be adored. 

Okay, I am out of practice.  :)  
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