Wednesday, September 7, 2011

my not-so-funny "aha!" parenting moment

It was Monday night and we were celebrating Labor Day.  Not sure what exactly we celebrate during the holiday (call me un-patriotic, go ahead), but we were celebrating and spending time with some friends nontheless. 

And then 9:30pm hit.  And I'm not entirely sure what all happened then, but Aaliya went into an all out meltdown.  We don't normally stay out too late past her bedtime, but had decided to do so this one night.  Well, right at 9:30-9:45ish some kind of trigger went off and enter in total and complete meltdown.

The meltdown came complete with back-arching tantrums, high-pitched squeals and a bucket of tears for every offense held against her.  Mommy's humiliation and embarrasement was an added bonus thrown in for the overall cost of just one night out.

I attempted everything in the book I knew to do to calm the little one down.  Shhshhing, holding, bouncing, but in the last twelve and a half months Aaliya has been with us, she's grown exponentially in strength and now even gives Daddy a run for his money when it comes to holding and keeping her tight and still when she doesn't want to be. Basically, our kid man-handles us.

Ugh! How did I become that parent?  The parent you almost feel embarrased for because they can't calm the tantrums down mid-store.  I was mortified and made the executive decision that game night would be cut short on our end.  My dear, dear husband was, I'm sure more mortified of my behavior than the baby's, mumbled his goodbyes and walked us to the car.  Baby securely tucked into the carseat and five seconds later, I find myself biting Caleb's head off sternly expressing my feelings (though I have the very annoying tendency to talk in circles over and over and over again until I finally realize what it is that I'm trying to say, much less give any semblance of a hint to my poor, very confused husband at this point... see, I think I did it again?).

It was a rough, rough night and I essentially cried myself to sleep giving myself the "Worst Mama on the Block" award along with a dozen others now safely tucked away into my "Self-Pity" shelf (hopefully never to be seen again).

Fast forward to Monday afternoon, on my way home.  I was passing through those really unecessary toll booths and I feel the impression of the Holy Spirit upon my heart... "Nicole, as you parent, you cannot parent from a place that regards fear of man."

That was it.  That's all He said.  No details, no specifics.  Just... get over what people will think.

As I meditated this past week on what exactly He meant by it, I realized that everyone will have an opinion on the way the Husband and I choose to bring up our children.  There will always be someone who thinks she's spoiled, someone who thinks we're tyrants from Hitler's regime, someone who thinks we shelters our kids entirely too much and someone who thinks we don't shelter them enough, and then there'll be someone who thinks we're doing a fabulous job with the little bit we got.  There will always be someone, but I need to regard The One

At the end of the day, only grace will carry us through these formative years in our children's lives and only His voice will know the answer to the toughest questions; but the answers may mean that Aaliya will cry consecutively for 40 minutes while she soothes herself to sleep at someone else's house.  It may mean that she screams and cries because she's been disciplined and it may mean that she'll be the child left out because our family doesn't watch that movie or doesn't listen to that song.  But that's ok. 

Because in the end, it's the Audience of the One that really matters in this child-rearing business.


  1. As I'm reading this, I'm thinking of the moments that leilani had tantrums in front of you while you were pregnant and I felt like you gave me that look of I can't believe she is doing that and my child will never do that (I hold no ofense, if you did do that, lol). But I did feel like you feel right now where I felt that everyone was judging my parenting skills. And I still feel that way sometimes. I've even lost friends because of it. But I've reached a point that I don't care what people think, the only thing that matters is what God thinks. I'm still learning to be a parent and Im not perfect. And you are doing fine the way you are going:)

  2. thanks for your transparency ;)) Keep it up! -BibiTaylor

  3. not THAT anonynous lol

  4. Ohh, it's so hard isn't it? What an important lesson impressed upon you and thank you for sharing. I think as parents, we've all had moments like these where it's easier to run home and suffer in privacy, without the perceived scrutiny of others. Thank you again for sharing!