11:01 AM

"Don't Let Your Children Define You"

This has to be one of my biggest pet peeves. Though our children should not completely define the person we are, they should definitely play a role. A friend of mine posted this as her Facebook update, which sparked this blog: "I was told I should not [let] my children "define" me.. it was left on my blog as comment. What do you think?"

This comment back that sparked the entire debate was: "Your children are a blessing, to be sure, but they are not here to "define" you and [any] more than you are here to "define" them. Your children chose you (and you them) with your unique collection of talents, personality, and abilities to guide them as they unfold on this life journey. You will learn from, and shape, each others lives in both mundane and magical ways."

My final word:"Lmao! Children don't choose you no more than you choose them. They're not puppies in a shop window & you can't take them back when their nature or personality don't agree with you or yours. Each child was hand selected by God for you, with it's own unique purpose. Choosing to be a mother is the most divine purpose you can do...& the unique purpose God gave only to women. There's a reason men don't have babies! And honey, if you chose to wear the stay at home mommy hat & make it your priority on life along side your husband, you win all my respect & admiration. How our children turn out as adults does define the kind of people we are. It reflects on us to a point. Like I said before, there is a line though in which thy cross over to adulthood & no longer all on you. Are the close to leaving the nest? No! So keep up the great job love!!"

Seriously! We wonder why our society has taken the turn it has & our 30 year old children still live at home & can't function as productive members of society. Even the Federal Government is labeling "youth" as anyone 24 years of age or younger. Well...here is why: YOU DIDN'T TAKE THE TIME TO RAISE THEM! Children need more than food, water, clothing, & shelter with a splash of verbal discipline. Raising a child takes more out of you than any job or college degree. You can't just specialize in one subject & expect that to carry your child through life.

Raising a child takes you actually taking the time to stop & THINK & follow through with action that will shape & define them into productive members of society. You have to think of how each child is different & you were blessed with more than one personality within your children. The approach to each one is remarkably different for various situations, including discipline. You have to create rites of passages that help them develop through into an adult, etc. If "X" is the end result that you are looking for in your child, then you have to take the rest of the alphabet to make that result happen. It doesn't just occur.

Being a stay at home mom doesn't make you less of a human being, less of a person, or less intellect. Being a full time mom is one of the roles that God designed women for. Sure children also must have their fathers in their lives. They are just as important. But God was clear about his roles as well. If your hubby is out fulfilling his roles then you need to be the team player & fulfill yours.

Society has made us believe that children are a "burden" instead of a blessing, making it easier every day to "rid" ourselves of the children we don't want. As women continue to push their way into a more masculine roles, we see men starting to retreat into more feminine roles. Then we women sit around complaining that men aren't men anymore & won't step up to the plate. How can they when you are hogging the entire thing? There has to be a balance. God was clear about this balance when he made woman as a "PARTNER" to man...not his boss or his hers. A team player. Here we are forcing our kids into team sports for a "well-rounded" structuring yet being led by adults who can't be team players at home.

Am I the only one that sees the irony in our society & the stupidity of it all? What is the deference of our children "defining" us than a job? Most of us let careers, money, status, etc. define who we are. So why not our children...our role as a mother...as a parent?

A family unit is that...a UNIT. It takes everyone & everyone has a purpose in that family. As a unit, when one does good or when one messes up, it reflects on us all. For example:

The other day I was at Mc Donald's on base having lunch, feeling a little ill (pregnancy) & there was these two mothers with their 4 children sitting over at another table. Each child was feeding off the other. So when the table beating for ice cream started it was cute. But then when it continued for 5 minutes & only a "stop" being said it got old fast. So then when the "fine...no ice cream" came, the high pitched squealing started. That kept up. And the only response from the two moms was "stop".

Here was two moms who children "don't define them", when the reality is they definitely define them! The only thing I could focus on, was not the child, but the parents. They were not doing their part as a parent or making any effort to correct the behavior. To me, I defined them quickly: worthless. And their children are defining them as "They won't do anything to me!" & they will go through life thinking that they can do whatever they want & no one will say a thing.

So someone, again, why do our children not define us?


Anonymous said...

Hey Amy,

Although I agree with most of what you said. I have to make a small comment on the McDonalds event. There is a time and a place for everything, and as parents you should make every effort to make sure your children are well behaved. But, you also have to "Pick your battles". I am sure those Moms were trying to enjoy some "Mom" time and it was just easier to let them carry on. It was not a 5 star restaurant so they probably did not see anything wrong with them getting a bit routy. I will admit, there have been times when I have had ENOUGH with arguing with my kids and it is just easier to deal with it later on. I also have been known to ask for a doggie bag and leave because my kids were out of control. Believe me, they got it later!!!! I hate to say it, but the day will come when you will have all your buttons pushed with your little man, (unless of course your kid is perfect...LOL). Try not to be so harsh. They could have been GREAT parents, just having bad days!


Butter Beanz said...

There is a play area for that kind of rowdiness in which they were not. And yes, there is a time & a place. Indoor voices & outdoor voices. It applies even to lower end restaurants like McDonald's. Had they been in the play area or outside...I wouldn't have cared. They would have been in the appropriate place for that behavior. Sitting a few feet from my ear...not appropriate. You can still have mommy time together & still raise your kids. You at least mentioned you got a doggie bag. Great! I would support that too! Take it outside. Give it to them later. But don't ruin the experience for everyone else just because YOU can't deal with it at that moment.

Butter Beanz said...

P.S. Upon rereading, the "YOU" is not a personal attack on anyone. It is the royal "YOU" as in the generalization of the selfish of our "ME first & only" society.

April said...

It's still quite early in the morning for me to think through all of this to be able to comment rationally, but I'll say this- my child absolutely plays a huge role in defining who I am. When someone asks about me, the first thing I tell them is not that I'm a woman, an employee, or student. The first thing that comes out of my mouth is "I'm a single mom." It's the top of my list of who I am. Everything in my life revolves around the dynamic of my relationship with her.

I'm sure there's more I could say about all of this...maybe after I've had more caffiene. LOL