Why the World Will Never See Me as a Good Parent

She wanted her way.

I said no.

Sound familiar? It’s a regular occurrence in our house.

“You are the meanest mom!”

What? Your image of our family is shattered? Yeah, mine too.

I used to cringe when my kids said this.

Now, I just nod my head and remind myself that I must be doing something right. And most of you are too. But the world won’t always see it that way.

It’s in our children’s nature (as it is in ours) to be selfish. We want what we want and why didn’t we get it five minutes ago? I’m not picking on my kids. They are human, completely normal. So much like me.

But our culture is all about self-gratification. It’s made comfort and ease and excess the goal.

I try to say yes when I can, but let’s be honest, some answers need to be no.

This probably won’t shock you, but this isn’t popular in our world. We live in a culture that thinks they put kids first by telling them yes. It’s common, normal, applauded to be yes parents. And we are creating a generation of children who always get what they want. They have their own ipads at 3, cell phones at 7, are over-scheduled at 8, wear $150 shoes at 9 and have more freedom than they can handle at 11 and are “dating” at 12.

Parents in our society have bought into the myth that if they give their kids everything they want, they will be happy. Plus, it’s just a lot easier than saying no. No takes courage. It takes strength (especially if God’s blessed you with strong-willed children). Ahem.

The world will never see me as good parent. 

My husband and I are trying to raise our kids counter-cultural.

I say trying because we don’t have this figured out and we are learning how not to do things. But we walk against the flow, on purpose. We refuse to do what our culture demands and we say no a lot to cultural norms.We try hard to be consistent, offering grace and understanding along the way.

And we screw up every day.

Before you feel sorry for my kids, we also provide them with love and affection, meet every physical need and many, many of their wants. We splurge occasionally (which I think is absolutely necessary) and we invite our kids to talk to us about anything, as long as they can do it respectfully.

I know there are many families that do the same thing and I hope we can encourage each other. But society as a whole, will not understand your choices.

Choosing to live counter-cultural isn’t easy.  The world will never see you as a good parent. You will be misunderstood, even pitied. And your children might (probably will) resist in some areas. Living a counter-cultural life means you won’t fit in. It means your kids won’t be like everyone else. Most days my kids are okay with this, but honestly, some days it’s hard for all of us. We continually ask our kids to trust us as we try to follow God, but we know there are some things they will never understand or like.

Which gets me back to being the meanest mom ever.

And honestly, I’m okay with that.

I know I’m not alone in this, so be encouraged all you mean moms!

one :: limit screen time (set a time limit each day, or only allow it on the weekends, have a “no technology day” –whatever works for you).

two :: resist overspending- your kids are watching, don’t pass down bad spending habits and contribute to what the bulk of our society is doing. And if you do overspend, attack your debt.

three :: don’t be afraid to say no- even if society and every other parent on the block is doing it, don’t jump on the bandwagon unless it’s right for your family. Be intentional with your choices.

four :: give your kids jobs- create a sense of hard work, pride and ownership by encouraging them to work for what they want. Don’t just buy them everything.

five :: determine what your kids really need-there’s a lot of pressure as parents to give our kids the best of everything. Give your kids what God says they need. Love them unconditionally, offer grace like it’s offered to you. Laugh every day and be grateful.

six :: live by example-the Bible clearly states that we are to look different from the world we live in. If we are buying into the American Dream (bigger is better), are we setting an example for our kids? Kids often replicate parents. Give them something good to follow.

seven :: encourage alternatives- don’t just say no. Challenge your kids to creatively express themselves. Example:  I loved seeing this recently: instead of spending $100 on a homecoming football mum, a group of kids gave the money to charity and wore a t-shirt that said so.

eight :: expect more from your kids than culture demands- society says kids need stuff and all teens are lazy.  Let’s prove them wrong and challenge our children to be hard workers.

nine :: let them own mistakes- don’t fix everything. Teach your children responsibility by letting them fail sometimes. Be consistent.

ten :: splurge- surprise your kids every once in awhile by breaking one of the above rules.

WFMW: Egg Substitutes

I’m the kind of cook that gets half-way thru a recipe and realizes she doesn’t have all the ingredients.

I usually improvise.

Oh, you should be me. It’s an adventure let me tell you.

I think it was divine providence that a professional baker lives next door to me. She’s shared more than one egg. Which is sort of why I googled “egg substitutes” because even I have some baking pride.

Did you know you can use the one of following so substitute eggs in a recipe?

  • 1/2 banana, mashed (medium size) + 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 TBS applesauce
  • 3 TBS mayonnaise (*contains eggs so not suitable for allergy or vegan accomodation)

Most eggcellent!

E-Book Coming in April: That Works For Me! Tried and True Tips from Works For Me Wednesday

You Might Be a Mom. . .{Giveaway}

UPDATED with winners:  Comments 303 and 72 were randomly selected; congrats to Rachel & Lori.

If you’ve ever caught vomit with your hands.

If you’ve ever considered a trip to Target alone a mini-vacation.

If you’ve ever told a group of adults you need to go potty.

If you’ve ever hidden in the bathroom to talk on the phone.

If you’ve ever had a funeral for a cricket or pulled a soggy lizard from the washing machine.

If you’ve ever used your own spit to clean a face or adjust a wild cowlick.

If you’ve ever thanked God for Magic Erasers.

If you’ve ever hidden chocolate in the house.

If you’ve ever lied to children.

If you’ve ever shaken a pile of crumbs from your purse.

If you wouldn’t trade your unpaid job for all the money in the world.

If you’re not a mom, you certainly had one

And she (you) deserves to be celebrated! Mother’s Day will be here before you know it. Mothers are beautiful and they deserve a bit of beauty.

Today, in honor of the women who make the world go round, The Vintage Pearl is offering two $50 gift certificates!

Take a look around and tell me what you’d give a mom (yourself included) in your life. And for fun, fill in the ____.

You might be a mom if . . .

This giveaway ends Thursday.

This Really Happened

I really scored this piece of awesome for $20 bucks at a garage sale this weekend. It’s from Pottery Barn Kids. Only I bought it from a lady moving to Canada. I love it when people move to Canada.

Pottery Barn doesn’t sell it any longer. Good thing, none of us could have afforded it.

The manager of a local movie theater really lost the key to the um, door to the theater and sent the line of 20 people away who were waiting to see the first showing of Hunger Games on Saturday morning.

Sometimes I’m really able to convince my children that work is fun.

really did go back to the same theatre the next day and get free popcorn and coke for my troubles. It was a well done movie, but I also think it’s disturbing. But it should be, right? My two cents.

This wooden box is really hanging inside the door of a country Baptist church where my kids had their piano recital this weekend:

The little sign reads: “In case of the disappearance of True Christians, there are instructions located in the above box to help those who are left behind.

And it really brought up interesting conversation with my kiddos!

And just like that, the weekend is really over.