When my kids were little, I thought I would lose it. After all, I had four kids, my oldest needed to be homeschooled for elementary school, and I had the other three in four years. In my house, no one slept, everyone lost their temper from time to time, one child only wanted ketchup sandwiches, one still won’t eat anything too odd in texture, and everyone is brilliant and loud (which means they all have very strong opinions, climbed tall trees in their underwear (today they just express independence in less revealing ways), and no one is ever quiet). I thought their toddler years stretched me beyond all that was feasible.
Then I tumbled into their teen years.
There was the day my oldest two cornered me with my own words “Mom, if it is everybody else, it is probably you, and this time it is definitely you – take a vitamin B and PMS pill NOW.”
The day I realized that every one of my kids (except the oldest who has remarkably passed beyond this phase) had told me I was wrong… when I wasn’t.
The day I began to question my trajectory of parenting (and continue to on occasion) – for rewarding innovation and smart thinking instead of just saying “I said so.”
Do I sound like I am complaining? Sorry. I have amazing kids. My youngest played with the Seattle Youth Symphony this weekend. My son always stands up for the underdog and will be going on a missions trip to Haiti this summer. My middle daughter is incredibly creative and brilliant, and my oldest is stable, beautiful and courageous – everything I ever hoped she’d be.
But there are days as a mom when all you hear is “mom’s gone crazy…mom is mean…have you had your PMS pills? That’s not fair! All the other kids…” And you begin to wonder if you have lost your mind.
This weekend, my new friend Kristin Clouse delivered a healing word at the NWMN She Leads. She talked about what it looks and feels like when the parent eagles decide it is time for the baby eagle to fly. Momma eagle begins to make the nest uncomfortable…and eventually pushed her kid over the side of the nest for a very long, death defying fall. (Daddy swoops in and saves the day, only to have the process repeated again and again until the kid learns to fly.)
Ever feel like your kids think you’ve gone crazy, that you just aren’t nice, that your ‘no’ should be yes? Just like momma eagle, you are doing your job. You are helping your eaglets to fly.
So fly my little eaglets. I’ll keep the PMS pills on standby.