Thursday, April 30, 2009

The "Meanest Mom in the World"

So, the pictures are a little old, but you get the idea. When they're not happy with a decision I've made (and enforced!), I get the title:

"Meanest Mom in the World"

This last time it was over a less-than-modest shirt. Part of the issue is that it JUST a bit too big - oh yeah, and it had spaghetti straps (albeit wide ones). Middle of summer, heading to the pool or in the back yard, no problem (when it fits or over a bathing suit), but school... nah.

When, she told me I'd won the title, I cheered. Honestly, I did. Raised one fist up over my head as I said "YES!" "No, Mom. That's really, * really * bad". "Oh," I said, "but you said I won first place!" "You don't WANT to win it, Mom..." (OH! but I DO!!)

What she didn't realize was that she had given me the greatest compliment! At that moment, I had successfully fulfilled my role as "mother". I'd set an appropriate boundary, and wouldn't budge... and she knew it.

If you were to Google "Spare the rod, spoil the child", you'd find 134,000 hits (trust me....). Those I perused were mostly varied views of the "spank vs. don't spank" debate. (I'm SO not going THERE...) But, I DO think discipline is essential. They need that.... * I * need that.

There's only so much work I can do on the ol' "S.D." (karate-talk for "Self-Discipline"). Important, yes, but I also need feedback, boundaries and guidance externally. I need friends and those in authority to let me know if I start to stray out of bounds - if my S.D. starts slacking. I need to know that there are those who love me enough to be tough with me.

And as much as I hate it at the time, once I'm through it, I am grateful the Ultimate Authority loves me enough to discipline me. It helps me grow. It keeps me safe. Same holds true for my kids.

So, I will continue to wear my badge proudly. My kids have enough friends. They need me to be their mother. My goal in that is to act as lovingly toward my children as He does toward me in the midst of the correction. This night, after tucking her in, letting her refuse my hugs and kisses, I said:

"The 'Meanest Mom in the World' loves you very much"...

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