I know it is every good mom’s job to, every now and then, look at their children and reflect on just how big they are. We remember their little bodies, and the remedial things we did back then that we can only touch in our minds, now. Washing and folding clothes. Putting their hair up on top of their heads to avoid having to go through the tangles that would form through their curls, and stewing a bathtub of bleached Duplo blocks- each with a finger full of poop stuffed in them.
Ah, those were the days.
But now they’re growing up and learning about life and… boundaries.
Being a parent isn’t only not easy- it’s down right hard. It’s hard because you love the buggers, you want them to grow up to be the kind of people other people like to be around, and sometimes not even you want to be around them. But you stick through it, and you pray through it, and you stare each other down, and you hope that- along with your ‘You-Are-The-Meanest-Mom-Evah’ award, you will achieve some higher super mom power for the super mom level you just got past.
Okay, so I know you want to stay in the circle with your daughters. You don’t want to alienate yourself from finding out first what is going on in their hormonally psychopathic heads (because really, all they do in there sometimes is beat themselves up) but having pity and having grace for your misbehaving children are two different things. It’s important to be mom first- because being a friend doesn’t help her. Something I learned early on was that- tough love is painful for both sides. As a parent you want nothing more than to watch your child have things that make them happy. You want to give it to them with glowing beams of glee bursting out of every pore! But when the time calls for it, you see that you can’t always give them everything they want and sometimes have to give them things they ‘need’… and it sucks.
We recently had to set some strict-er boundaries where it comes to schoolwork and other things, and it’s a sad tug-o-war to be had. I mean- come on! A SOCIAL life is at stake here! You want to scream, “PLEASE just show us you understand the depth and breadth of this bottomless pit you are heading so we can stop lecturing you!”
But we are molding and shaping a wonderful, beautiful person who someday will be molding and shaping her own.
So, I decided I was going to stop taking pity on the destruction and start, firmly, offering grace and discipline instead- knowing that even though she may mumble under her breath at how miserable we make her life, someday she will thank us knowing that it drew her into the delightful, wonderful, God-led mold that she will become.