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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

on embarrassment & children

A precious post from my friend, 5ohwifey

This motherhood thing sure has the ability to pull out our flaws and glaringly display the fears in our hearts. Maybe not for all to see, but at least for us as mothers to know. And to feel ashamed of. I have got to be honest with you because that's what I do here I've been struggling with something. Deep deep deep down in my heart where I'm too embarrassed to admit it to myself even. Because, although it sounds like a humble brag, and although I realize its not about 5ohBaby and not even about other people, it does say something about me that I'm not quite proud of.

I know moms talk because shamefully I do it too. I know that when there are kids who throw tantrums or parents with rather loose discipline styles all the other moms in the room/grocery store/doctors office all give each other knowing looks. But I wonder if other mom's feel the stress about making sure our child isn't that kid.
5ohBaby has always been a mover and a shaker. She rolled over early, crawled early, walked at 9 months and started running not long after. She is not usually misbehaved. She doesn't hit other kids, doesn't snatch toys more often than others her age, listens when I say "no ma'am". She's a great kid. But when we are at playgroup she is constantly running from here to there, playing with this and touching that. When we are at birthday parties she is playing with any toys that are out and talking to just about everyone she can. When we are at home she is always dumping out her toys and spreading them around her playroom and every once in a while I will come down the hallway to see that she has moved her entire ball pit just for fun.

I love her activeness, her personality, and basically everything about her, but sometimes I'm embarrassed.
Because she is so active, I wonder if people think she's misbehaved.
I constantly get comments like "Ooh she never sits still. How do you keep up?" I have other mothers, friends, grandparents, etc feeling the need to chase her, or put their hands out around her to make sure she's safe, or follow her closely as she roams around. I know they do this out of a good place in their hearts, but I feel like they are judging her or judging my parenting of her.
I don't want people to think we let her run wild, but at the same time I don't want to stifle her heart or discourage who she is. Colossians 3:21 says "Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged". That is what I'm worried about. Constantly telling her not to go here, not to play with this, to sit and be still would stifle the beautiful spirit within her.

I know there are many times in her life that I'm going to embarrass her.
When I'm the mom who comes to every single practice/rehearsal and cheers her on wildly from the front row.
When I call her friends parents to talk to them and make sure there's going to be an adult in the house for their sleepover.
When 5ohHubby makes sure that boy she likes doesn't even think the word boyfriend.
When I refuse to stop with the duck face pictures.

I know, 5ohBaby. It's not flattering on anyone. I just.can't.stop.
But I feel so incredibly guilty about being embarrassed about her- embarrassed by something that is innocent and free and lovely. I feel embarrassed when other moms look at me and think my hands must be full with the tiny little baby that runs and runs and runs around.
I guess what they, and obviously I, need to realize is that my heart is also full. Is it so bad that she is active? As long as she is not hurting others, touching adult things, destroying toys, and obeys when I talk to her as much as any other 14 month old does I realize logically it should be fine. I don't even know what, if anything, other parents think about her behavior. I realize it all is something down in my heart that needs to be whittled away.
She is lovely and beautiful and it is me and my heart that need to change, not her.

1 comment:

Rin said...

My daughter is the same. If I got her to sit still she'd be so upset. She wanders in the shops and I see people look at her as if she is an abandoned child... Till they notice me watching her from far away.

I think I agree. Don't be embarrassed. She's your girl with her energetic spirit. As long as she is safe and loved, you're doing a good thing.