Sometimes My Job Surprises Me

Last week my school had a “field day.” Though it’s no longer called that in high school. There was a bounce-around, free food, face-painting, fun games, a cool DJ, etc. 

Anyways, one of my sweetest students decided to start a dance party… By himself… Keep in mind, this particular student is one of my special education students… Anyways, he was having the time of his life dancing to the coolest new rap and hip hop songs, busting out all of the latest moves. I was proud for him. Until I looked around…

As the other students started to make fun of him and record him, my heart started to break for him. This poor, innocent soul who was just trying to have some fun… 

Right when I was about to start shaming my other students for being so cruel, two of the “popular” girls jumped out and started dancing with him. My heart burst with an overflow of emotion as these two girls changed the outlook of the whole student population. 

The whole crowd then circled around and shouted his name. Students would take turns jumping in to dance with him. Instead of making fun of him, they accepted him by cheering him on and giving him a moment he will never forget. Needless to say, I lost it. Literally, guys, I started crying. 

I don’t know what came over me. Maybe it was because I saw a light in the darkness, I saw two girls who thought more of someone else than they did of themselves, I saw two examples of kids who are kind, humble, compassionate, gentle, and loving. 

And I immediately started praying that my kids would grow to be just as brave. Brave enough to make a stand against the  cool crowd, if need be, for what is right. Strong enough to take up for someone who can’t take up for themselves. Courageous enough to actually treat others as they wish to be treated. A light shining for all to see. And full of enough love for others to be selfless. Even if it means looking like a fool so someone else has the chance to fit in. 

You’re Missing Out

You’re Missing Out

As a mom, not many things can bother you enough to get you down. Once you have a child, protecting that child becomes your greatest responsibility. Needless to say, the one thing that does bother this mama is when someone disrespects, belittles, or begrudges my child.

As her mom, I vow to not let that happen. This goes for everyone. If you are a cancer or a poison to my child’s life, then how can I allow you to be in it? But you’ve made that choice on your own…

It absolutely blows my mind how you can pretend she does not exist and look through her as if she isn’t real. It also blows my mind to teach your own children to act this same way… What the heck? What happened to good old fashioned manners and grace?

I often feel sorry that we don’t talk… I often ask my husband if I should say something polite just to let you know we are still alive and that I still care… But seeing you this last time and the actions you take in attempt to avoid, bother, and hurt us… These actions let me know that my husband is right. We don’t need you in our lives.

So shame on you for pretending to care so much for others, when it is just your attempt to hurt those you resent the most. And shame on me for letting it get to me. But I will not let it shame my daughter. My confident, beautiful, sweet, sincere, loving, perfect, innocent soul. Shame on you for trying to ruin that. Shame on you for not wanting to know her.

You’re missing out. That’s all I can say.

Like all moms, I think my daughter is the cream of the crop, the sweetest, funniest, most loving, and amazing being on the planet.

And you choose not to be a part of her life. You choose not to know her.

Ignore me all you want. Choose not to accept me as a member of the family. That’s fine. I don’t need your acceptance. But why take out your anger, resentment, bitterness, dare I say, jealousy on a child. A little girl who is so full of life and love. A girl who only sees the good in everyone. A little girl so full of innocence that she does not know what meanness is. My little girl who loves everyone…

You are being an example of how cruel and cold the world can be. To this little girl who deserves to be sheltered and safeguarded from all things hateful and mean. I will not let you push the things you are self-conscious about onto her.

Blame me, that’s fine. But I will not allow you to take it out on my daughter.

In the meantime, I will continue soak up every ounce of love my daughter will shed and adore her amazing little life and beautiful soul. Sometimes, I just can’t help to wonder why you choose to miss out.

Because, you are truly missing out.

Readers, this mama’s heart needs prayer. Forgiveness is hard, and I don’t know if I can do it right now. Each time I think I’m ready, something backfires. So pray for me, guys.

And though I am struggling with forgiving you in this moment and sometimes it’s hard for this mama bear to take the high road, I will still continue to pray that you only experience what God has in store for you instead of “what you have coming to you.”

I pray to be strong. Strong enough for my daughter and my family. I pray that she remains confident and full of life and wonder. I pray that she keeps her innocence and stays sweet, and I pray that no one ever makes her feel less than. Lord, help me to protect her from the world’s evil. To teach her to be strong, courteous, and courageous. Help me to be a better example of Your life and Your love. I pray that I can nurture my daughter’s forgiving soul and be the role model she needs. Lord, help me make the right choices in these difficult situations and be the best I can be for her.

New Life

If you have been following my blog, you’ve seen a previous post about the shower I threw for my SIL and niece.

Well, baby Reign was born yesterday at 6:41 p.m. She weighs 7 pounds 10 ounces. The perfect little size. And she had the perfect little voice and the perfect color. She is beautiful and absolutely perfect!

I cannot wait for my daughter to meet her new little cousin. I hope they are best friends and always stick up for each other and always want the best for each other. Oh, I can’t wait to document their love and friendship over the years.

Anyways, we are beyond thrilled to welcome this new little life to the world! Celebration is definitely in order!

The Freak-of-Nature in Me

Most people, mothers especially, have a few things that they kind of obsess about, something particular that they are very strange about… I have several things that I am an absolute weirdo about. Just to name a few: my child’s sleep schedule, her exposure to sunlight, and thank you cards.

Sleep. If it is doctor recommended for my daughter to get 24 hours of sleep a day, somehow, I will make it happen. I’m a psycho about the hours of sleep she obtains and keeping her on a routine. Seriously though, if our pediatrician said she needs between 12 and 14 hours of sleep at this age for optimum brain growth and development, by God, I will get her those 14 hours. Also, keeping her on a sleeping and eating schedule is HUGE to me, so you can bet I will be pressuring her caregivers to ensure she gets those hours and stays on my strict schedule. However, no one does it as good as Mama.

Sunlight. During summer, I’m the mother with the spray sunscreen and the lotion sunscreen, lathering my child until she is paler than normal and has a nice pasty white tint. In addition to the sunscreen, I like floppy hats and prefer long sleeve swimwear; although, I’m not sure my daughter will let me get away with that this summer. I’m such a freak about sunlight that if we are driving anywhere longer than 5 minutes away and the sun is blaring through her window, scorching her, I will find a makeshift window shade to hang from her side of the car. (We did have a SafetyFirst shade, twice, but they broke or won’t work.) I may or may not, on occasion, strip off my own shirt to act as her window shade while driving. Seriously, I’m that paranoid and that much of a freak about dangerous, UV rays.

Last but definitely not least, receiving thank you cards really brings out the psycho in me. And it’s not because I feel entitled to have your appreciation. Maybe it’s because my mother has always made me write thank yous for even the smallest things. This is just one small thing that is important to me and makes my day a little brighter to receive. When I send various wedding or baby shower gifts, I am [not so] patiently awaiting the arrival of a sweet thank you card.

My friend, Natalie, is the best at these! She’s so good that I wish I could send her gifts all the time! Sending a text just does not do the same thing for me as good ol’ snail mail. I mean I’ve probably spent quite a bit on your gift, because I like to get gifts that I would want. Not kidding, I like to think giving good gifts is one of my strengths. Therefore, I think you should be able to spend $1.50 on a card and postage and a little bit of time to let me know you appreciated the hours I spent trying to find you the perfect gift. Needless to say, I will be that mother who makes her child write thank you cards when she gets to the age she can write.

Again, these are just a few things I’m really weird particular about. Everyone has their quirks and small things they obsess over. So let’s hear some of yours!

Visit from H.E.double-hockey-sticks

It’s funny how when people you know get pregnant, they, all of a sudden, decide they want to come visit you… Even though you haven’t talked in YEARS… But since you already have a kid and all… they want to get a taste of what it’s like… and decide what crazy things you do, that they will never do…

My advice to you: don’t let this happen! If you haven’t hung out or talked in two or more years, why start now? If you have nothing in common other than the fact you have a child and they have a fetus, don’t invite them over. Here’s my experience with this.

Top 6 judgmental comments made from these visitors (there were plenty more, trust me):

  • “If she slept in the crib you wouldn’t have to worry about it.”

First of all, the boys were out golfing, and the girls were left home.  At naptime (which was twice a day at this point), my daughter sleeps in my bed with either me or a baby monitor watching her. So it was morning naptime, and she was sleeping. Since we had company, I did not lay with her and came out to keep the needy, pregnant wife from being too bored and lonely. Even with the monitor, I am paranoid (it’s just my nature). Anyways, I asked her if she heard anything and went to check on my daughter like I do a million times if I’m not lying down with her. That is when this comment was made.

Although this comment is true, who are you to judge my parenting techniques? I am doing you a favor by changing my routine to accommodate your needy needs, because, honestly, I would much rather be laying and watching my sweet girl sleep than out here attempting artificial conversation with you. I don’t care about the latest sorority gossip. In fact, I don’t care about college life at all anymore. I am a mom with more important things to worry about! So how dare you judge me…

  • “My baby is going to be a go-with-the-flow baby and have to work around my schedule… Life has to go on…”

This comment was made when the visitor was wanting to go do something fun, like go to a casino or the mall or to go look at baby stuff (since it seems the new rave is to get pregnant to buy all the fun/cute stuff rather than actually raise a child?!).

Sorry, I am not going to get a babysitter for my daughter so we can go to some smoke-filled casino and stay up late… That’s not our routine, and I actually enjoy every second I get to spend with my daughter… which there are too few of already. And as far as you having no schedule for your baby, good luck to you. My daughter is actually a good (almost textbook) baby, and I am fortunate to be so lucky with her good behavior and sweet demeanor. Her strict schedule helps with this. If you think she is so unruly, just imagine her not on a schedule… Also, I had a baby to be a parent, not to drop her off every weekend at a babysitter when I am already away from her too much during the work week…

  • “Don’t be one of those weird moms who breastfeeds until your baby is two.” **Insert disgusting looks as I nurse my 10 month old baby girl.

Actually, that was my plan (we made it 18+ months by the grace of God). Actually, I was breastfed until 2+. Actually, I’m a huge advocate of nursing if you can do it. Sorry if you find it gross or unnatural. Don’t look. Actually, just get out of my house.

  • “How much does she weigh??” **Insert looks of disgust as I offer my child a sippy of milk and another snack.

Yes, my daughter is extremely healthy and has always been in the upper 90s percentile in height and weight for her age. (Woohoo, supermilk mama! Insert bows and curtsies, thank you, thank you very much, oh hold the applause, actually no, keep it coming). I love each of her 7 arm rolls and her little, pooched-out belly. Even if my baby is a healthy chunk, she still has to have multiple snacks between meal times a day. I cannot stress it enough: BABIES NEED A SCHEDULE, both for naps and snacks. It’s not that I am overfeeding my baby; it’s that both her father and I were abnormally large babies ourselves… but we turned out normal sized (enough).

Then, the following comments were made as we are at the restaurant and my daughter was playing peek-a-boo with the menu:

  • “Mason! Nooo! We use inside voices here!”

Then use your inside voice wanch and stop yelling at my kid.

Repeat comment 5 about 100 times. And then,

  • “No, you dropped it, so you’re not getting it again.”

Oh, yes, she is… if the menu is keeping her entertained, give her the damn menu! (Sorry for the language, I normally don’t cuss, but this was absolutely necessary).

You know that scene from Mean Girls where Cady envisions herself leaping across the table to attack Regina like a wild animal… yeah, that scene was definitely going through my mind at this point.

In fact, if this ever happens to me again, I am moving tables…. Across the restaurant… and leaving my husband to entertain the couple from college who we have nothing in common with but they are pregnant and wanting to see what life is like with a kid but judging every move you make as a parent because they are expert parents even though they have no kids…. Yeah… So if this couple is wanting to come visit you, just make up an excuse. After all, you really are too busy to entertain.

On a positive note, we haven’t heard from this couple since. It could be that last fit I threw at the restaurant before they left that embarrassed my husband tremendously (yes I said I, not my daughter… But seriously, could you hold your tongue this long? I was stressed to the max, sweating bullets, literally going insane).

And no one disciplines my child for being a silly goose, especially some over controlling, judgmental stranger (no one puts baby in a corner! Grrr! Perhaps I take mama bear a little too seriously?). Hey, this mama bear can only take so much.

And, yes, I had to pray for forgiveness many times for my evil thoughts after this visit. Obviously, I’m still not over it and still a little bitter about the whole situation. So keep the prayers coming, ya’ll!  But, seriously, for the love! Do not feel obligated to let these people come visit… You’ve got much, much better things to do.