I am not like other moms. I let my kids play with all-purpose flour on the kitchen floor. I let them pick out their own clothes, and if that means wearing their pants on inside-out, so be it. I let them wrestle with each other and roll around on the living room floor without playing referee. I have zero desire to be the homeroom mom. I don’t do Pinterest.
I don’t do everything exactly by the book. Here are 5 Ways I’m Not Like Other Moms:
I love when they fall. I mean, I really love it.
I run over and yell “are you ok?” and brush their wispy blonde hair away from their watery eyes. I make sure nobody is seriously hurt, but a scrape. I’m totally ok with that. I’m totally in favor of skinned elbows and dirty knees and anything a little Neosporin and a big ole Band-Aid can heal. That’s the best way to teach them to get back up. That’s the best way to show them that they have what it takes.
That’s the best way to prove that they are good enough to handle whatever life throws at them, and it’s bound to throw them some real curveballs from time to time. They need to know that failure doesn’t mean getting down. Failure means staying down. And so I am all in favor of anything that teaches them to walk with wounded knees and crawl with calloused hands. I am hands up, praising Jesus for chances to show them to use failure as a stepping stone to doing something, being somebody better.
I don’t stand under them on the playground.
I encourage them from afar. I cheer them on from the corner. But I don’t wait for them to fall. I don’t, not for one second, let them know that I fully expect for them to drop from the third rung in the monkey bars. I don’t let them rely on my strength. I make them rely on their own. I don’t allow them to stand on my shoulders.
I teach them that they are capable to stand on their own. I’m here for them, every step of the way. I am their biggest fan, their number one cheerleader. I am that crazy lady in the stands yelling their name and wearing a giant button with their face on it. Sure, I’ll come running the second you scream my name, but until then, fly away little birdie. Be free. Do hard things. You’ve got this.
I encourage them to be in control.
There are basically two kinds of people: People who believe that they are a direct result of everything that happens around them. That their happiness and their circumstances and their successes are mostly reliant on outside forces. These people, basically, just want to be lucky. They are hoping that life gives them a winning Lottery ticket. And then there are people who believe that they are in control of their destiny. They are happy, because they choose happiness.
They are successful because they go out and grab it on their own. These people don’t waste a lot of time waiting for the sky to rain. They just grab a bucket and walk down to the nearest river if they want water. They know they aren’t in control of everything, but they understand that they are in control of their perception, they are in control of how they handle situations, they are in control of how they treat people. They don’t worry about whether or not their glass is half-full or half-empty, because they are going to make the most of whatever it is that they’ve got. These people aren’t victims. These people are the ones that take whatever they have and make their own lemonade.
I don’t tell them they’re smart.
That sounds just awful, doesn’t it? But I don’t. I don’t want them to ever believe, not for a single second that the world belongs to the smartest. It doesn’t. It doesn’t belong to those with the highest IQ. It doesn’t belong to those with the best GPA. It doesn’t belong to those with the most God-given talent. It belongs to those who work the hardest. It belongs to those with the determination to make their dreams develop into actuality. It belongs to those who don’t rely on what they were born with, but push themselves to become something, someone better. They won’t find achievements because they are smart. They’ll find achievements because they made the decision to use their smarts, and there is a world of difference between those two.
I hug them when they get in trouble.
I forgive them when I should be furious. I give them grace when I should give them a punishment. I give them love when they deserve it the least. Yes, of course, I punish my kids. Yes, of course, I put them in timeout. Yes, of course, I take away their toys, and I make them sit on the bench while we’re at the park. I make them own up to their mistakes. I expect them to do better when they mess up. But, as somebody who relies on an awful lot mercy herself, I do my best to give it out like candy, especially to my family. I want them to know that my arms will always welcome them back. I want them to know that my door will always be open for them. I want them to know that my heart will always give them a place to reside, no matter how far they’ve run away. There is no end to my love. Not now, not ever.
I am not a good mom. I am not a bad mom. I’m just a “me” mom. I am just doing the best I can for the people in my family. I am just giving them opportunities to learn skills life is bound to demand from them: grit, independence, positivity, determination. Most of all, I am showing them that they can always count on me. That love doesn’t leave. Love doesn’t shut the door. Love leaves rooms for errors.
I am just a mom trying desperately to train up a child in the way he or she should go, and to go with all his might.
I am just a mom trying to teach their children how to leave them, and still grasping at straws to hang on to every last bit of their childhood.
I am just a mom with no real clue what she’s doing, and hoping that I have enough grace and love and faith to shine through all the moments I royally screw things up.
This post originally appeared at In & Out Beauty by Amy Weatherly.
I love red lipstick, graphic tees, and Diet Dr. Pepper a little more than I probably should. Most days you can find me lounging in sweatpants, running kids from one place to the other like a crazy person. My family is my home and my passion is helping women find courage, confidence, and the deep-rooted knowledge that their life has a deep and significant purpose. Make sure to come follow me on Facebook.