Monday, July 1, 2013

Dear Mommy

This is not mine. It's from the gianelloni family. I really like it because I think we get too carried away with our kids and we treat them like idols instead of children. They come before everything and every one. We teach them that they are #1 instead of teaching them to be servants. Then when they get to be adults, they still have their hands out waiting to be served.
WE SHOULD love and kiss on them, but we should also teach them them to be patient, to serve others and obedient. Here is a great article by gianelloni

Dear Mom with More than One Child, Let me Tell you What you Don’t See…

This is sort of a Part 2 post: Yesterday I wrote a post answering the question someone asked me: “How Will You Spend Time With All Of Your Kids?”
I referenced an article that has gone viral and has been shared over and over titled:
“Dear Mom On the iPhone; Let me Tell You What You Don’t See Right Now”
I received a lot of comments from other mothers thanking me for addressing the judgment of the Dear Mom On the iPhone article. So I thought I would expand.
I don’t think it was a horrible article. I got the point of it. I think the author may have had a moment of self conviction concerning her own cellphone use. I am ALL for self conviction. Two of the main ways I learn most of my life lessons is through conviction and perspective. However, when you write a self-conviction piece and then title it “Dear Mom”, it suddenly turns into a judgmental piece. Had the author maybe written the letter to herself, it would have let the reader determine if they had the same self-conviction or not.
However, my issue wasn’t really the with the judgmental aspect of the piece. It was that the article portrays the warped view that our culture has deemed is the “role” of a mother.
In keeping with my post from yesterday, and the word ATTENTION (about how does a mommy spend time with multiple kids), let’s keep the exact wording from the Dear Mom on the iPhone article (but change the topic from “iPhone” to “more than one child”. Every word replacing iPhone is bolded) And suddenly we can see the root of the problem with this article.
Dear Mom with More than One Child, Let me tell what you don’t see right now.
I see you over there on the bench, messing with your baby.  It feels good to relax a little while your kids have fun in the sunshine, doesn’t it?  You are doing a great job with your kids, you work hard, you teach them manners, have them do their chores.
But Momma, let me tell you what you don’t see right now…..
Your little girl is spinning round and round, making her dress twirl.  She is such a little beauty queen already, the sun shining behind her hair.  She keeps glancing your way to see if you are watching her.
You aren’t. You can’t because you are changing your babies diaper.
Your little boy keeps shouting, “Mom, MOM watch this!”  I see you acknowledge him, barely glancing his way. But you could only give him a glance, because you were bent down tying one of your other children’s shoes.
He sees that too.  His shoulders slump, but only for a moment, as he finds the next cool thing to do.
Now you are pushing your baby in the swing.  She loves it!  Cooing and smiling with every push.  You don’t see her though, do you?  Your head is bent,  your eyes on one of your other children who is about to fall off the top of the slide and so you absently push the baby in her swing, because you are worried that your son might fall of the slide and you need to keep your eyes on him.
Put your eyes back on your prize…Your kids.
Show them that they are the priority. Wherever you are, be ALL there.  I am not saying it’s not ok to have more than one kid, but they are a time-sucker: User Beware!
Play time at the park will be over before you know it.
The childhood of your children will be gone before you know it.
They won’t always want to come to the park with you, Mommy.  They won’t always spin and twirl to make their new dress swish, they won’t always call out, “WATCH ME!”
There will come a point when they stop trying, stop calling your name, stop bothering to interrupt your attention you give to your other children.
Because they know…
You’ve shown them, all these moments, that their siblings are more important than they are.  They see you interacting with and taking care of their brother and sisters while waiting to pick up other siblings from school, during playtime, at the dinner table, at bedtime…..
I know that’s not true, Mommy.
I know your heart says differently.
But your kids can’t hear your words, Mommy. Your actions are screaming way too loudly.
Can you imagine? The absurdity of the words in this article really shine through when you remove the word iPhone and insert…well anything else that distracts you from giving your children 100% of your attention 24-7.
Here’s what I’m quickly learning about American culture. We start out well-meaning. We want to give our children the WORLD. We want them to feel loved and special. And this is all great and wonderful. Until…we suddenly realize we have raised an entire generation of entitled children who feel overly important. We smother and saturate our children with attention. And it starts at such a young age. The b-day parties that we throw for little girls these days are nauseating. Full blown princess parties that mimic a wedding for a 5 year old. Little girls are raised getting manicures and pedicures starting at age 3. And heaven forbid they twirl in their new dress at the park and we missed it. Are you kidding me?
We are raising our children with a me-me-me mentality. Our children expect to be served. And according to this article, they also deserve our constant attention.
Do children not know how to play by themselves or with each other anymore? Is the role of a mother to be constant playmate, entertainer, cheerleader?
Not in my house. I want to teach my children how to serve, not how to be served.  I want to raise my children with servants hearts. Not asking “what about me?” but to ask “what about others?”
How can we serve the least of these if we raise our children teaching them how to serve only themselves?
I sat at a b-day party for one of my children’s friends last week. It was a precious party. The little girls (age 5) were put in robes and treated to a spa night. They did make-up and hair and nails. They were given dress-up outfits, walked down a runway, and put on a fabulous fashion show. It was a great night. Every little girl left thinking knowning she was the Queen of the Universe.
So yes, with that mindset…an article that makes a mom feel guilty because she is looking at her iPhone instead of watching her children play, yes that sort of article would make me feel like I am failing as a mother.
All I could think about at the b-day party is “what exactly are we raising our children to think is important?” What a rude awakening it is when you grow up and realize that after all, life isn’t about you at all.
Don’t get me wrong, we are all about making our children feel special. We are guilty of it and go overboard at times as well. My husband has spent many late nights cutting out the age they are turning on construction paper to make sure we have atleast 50 of those numbers hanging on every wall in the house when they wake up. The looks on our children’s faces when they wake up and see their new age plastered everywhere, is priceless. They feel special. And we want our children to feel special.
But our culture and society has gone completely overboard. Toddlers and Tiaras? And on the other side of the world, 147 million orphans and toddlers not with tiaras, but dying from malnutrition and malaria. Orphaned by poverty. And what are we doing about it?

We can start teaching our children (yes, even at a young age) that although we love them with all of our hearts, that NO the world does not revolve around them. That NO, I do not have to watch them constantly play, solve all their problems, & provide them with every need/want/request/demand.
And maybe, just maybe….they will grow up knowing that life isn’t really just about them. That really it is about putting OTHERS first. And instead of going to the store to pick out a new toy for themselves, they will want to buy a new toy to send to an orphanage. Or they will go in their closet and realize they have 15 pairs of shoes and their brother waiting for us to bring him home currently doesn’t have a single pair of shoes.
That’s what large families teach. That life does not revolve around just you.
When I bring my children to the park, they are learning that YES mommy loves and adores them, but that NO mommy does not have to watch them play.
This is what judgmental eyes will never see…that a 7 year old little girl is learning what it means to serve others. That when we go to the park, she doesn’t demand my attention….she offers to help me! “Mom, do you need help with the littles at the park today? I know it’s hard for you to keep your eyes on all of us, so I wanted to help you today”.
Our children are the next generation adults. What are you teaching them? - rejoicing in the present

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