Why do I Own Throw Pillows?

I have adapted to motherhood in ways I never thought I would. I have no decor placed within three feet of the floor; I have let go of the dream of an immaculate home and settled for relatively liveable; I have embraced smashed fruit loops on my rug as a blessing rather than an annoyance; I have learned to hurdle a baby gate with such ease I’m pretty sure I would qualify if it were an Olympic sport.

Yes. I have adapted to motherhood.

20180723_163323Despite my unlikely success in molding myself into a less Type A and more Type Z personality, when I picked up the throw pillows in my living room for the 18th time today, I couldn’t help but wonder why on earth I still owned such useless objects. I am certain that my boys think of them as toys, instead of something mom actually uses to keep the house looking like a house instead of a daycare. My boys have taken the name “throw pillows” a little too seriously as well, if you know what I mean.

The only time these pillows are placed on the couch in an orderly fashion is 16 seconds before someone is to come over. Otherwise they are strewn about my living room and forgotten, used as weapons against a dinosaur war, or morphed into a step stool so my youngest can boost himself onto the couch.

I know I’m not the only mom out there who still has throw pillows. I just really wonder why any of us have them. They serve no purpose, and I am picking them up more often than anything else. Sometimes, after my kids go to sleep, I place them on the couch the way I always imagined they would be, standing back and smiling that I have finally succeeded. Within seconds, my husband (my 4th child) traipses into the living room from the garage, sawdust flaking off his shoulders, and decides he needs to sit down right where the pillows are sitting, therefore, throwing them carelessly to the floor yet again.

As I write this now, I can’t find one of the pillows, and I’m pretty sure my son is taking a nap with it. Not only do I have two throw pillows in the living room, I also have three for my bed. These manage to stay on the bed longer than the couch pillows, but only by a couple minutes. My boys love to use them as building blocks and make a mansion where they cook their “psghetti.”

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I guess there are just some aspects of my former life that I refuse to let go. I still drink a surprising amount of caffeine despite my toddler’s disturbing level of interest in it; I still maintain friendships that would be easier to ignore; I still sometimes slip into a pair of high heels despite their impracticality; and of course, I still have throw pillows.

In three short and chaotic years, I have transformed from a clean-freak, type A teacher to a medium-clean-is-good-enough, type C (I think Z was pushing it) mom of three. I sneak vegetables into casseroles and sometimes smother them in cheese. I wipe jelly off my walls. I dig Hotwheels out of toilets. And yet, I’m still the me I always was, because I’m a Child of God before I am a mother, and I still have to be the me He made me to be–throw pillows and all.

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When God Asks you a Question

My kid was sick today.

I haaaaaattttteeeeeee when my kids are sick.

Since I suffer quite considerably from emetophobia, I try desperately to avoid all types of sickness. Fevers-yuck. Coughs-yuck. Sniffles-yuck. Sore throats-yuck. Vomit-double yuck.

20180625_195043Today was no different. Since my little one was suffering from a fever, I had a pretty serious case of the yucks. I didn’t realize until the sun was setting that I spent my entire day sulking about because my plans went on the fritz.

It’s summer. No one should be sick in the summer. Ever. This should really be written somewhere in the Bible. I seem to have spent last winter dealing with a sick kid at least every other week, so I firmly believe I should get to take the summer off.

On my way home from McDonald’s today (this is our go-to meal when mom’s day goes on the fritz) I am pretty sure I audibly heard God say, “Why aren’t you talking to me?”

And that’s when it hit me…

Despite my bad attitude, I had not spoken to God the entire day. In my weak defense, my little one was fussing all day long: It doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for in-depth Bible reading. However, talking to my Father about my frustrating day is the best antidote for a frustrating day, and yet, I avoided Him.

His question didn’t exactly melt away my bad mood:20180624_132711 (1)

“Gee God, I don’t know. Maybe I’m not talking to you because I got nothing done today, or I spent money I didn’t want to spend on fast food I don’t want to eat, or my little boy is hurting and there’s nothing I can do. Or maybe I’m simply not talking to you because you have allowed sickness into this world, and that is not cool.”

I wish I could say that an unexpected sickness puts me in a bad mood because I struggle to see my kids suffering. Although that is a huge part of it, that is not the main reason I sulked around today.

I really just cannot handle when I am not in control, when the day I had planned becomes the day God planned instead. It’s selfishness: nothing more.

Uffda. That is not easy to admit.

I also have dealt with sick children so often in my 3 years of motherhood that I have decided to grit my teeth and just get through it, instead of falling to my knees and asking God to walk with me.

When one of our boys spikes a fever, I often say something like this to my husband: “I just wish I knew how sick he was going to get and what kind of sickness it is and how long it is going to last.”

It is so much easier for me to turn to the Lord when I have some measure of what I am dealing with. It is when I am left in the dark with a day I do not want to face that I suffer from the temptation to deal with it on my own. I will turn to God when it’s all over and offer Him a polite “thank you” for carrying me through until the sickness was over.

20180620_143347I don’t see this kind of weak faith very often in other areas of my life. When our finances explode and I end up shuffling money so we can eat, I have no trouble turning to the Lord. When I am at a loss for how to help my child overcome his fear and anxiety at swimming lessons, I seek help and guidance from God. It is only when sickness hits my house that I decide to muddle it out on my own.

Tonight I am humbled because I serve a God who fiercely loves me–a God who will chase after me on a day like today, and reveal my sin so that I might be transformed by it. I am a sinner. He knows it; I know it. It is when I am faced with my most difficult challenge, like a sick child, that I can truly become eternally grateful for His grace and mercy.

So tonight, despite having a difficult day and being faced with an even tougher night with my feverish little boy, I get to go to bed in peace, because I know that God goes before me–even when I am trying to shove Him out of the way.

The Dreaded Mom Motto

Every mom experiences it: One minute she is living the high life as a cool, hip and happening, young mom, and the next minute, her own mother tumbles right out of her mouth.

Three years into motherhood, I wish I could say that this experience just happened to me, but alas, I have been sounding more and more like my mother with each passing day since Week 1 of motherhood.20180706_215053

I am not talking about those endearing qualities in my mom. I am referring to those mom cliches that I grew up hearing, and yet had no response to whatsoever because I heard the same cliches 67 times a week.

Allow me to demonstrate:

The other day my son was ignoring my 900th request for him to pick up his cars. Now, since I am raising two boys and zero girls, our car situation has become sort of dire in our living room. Of course I have a box, devoted entirely to vehicles of all kinds (Hotwheels, monster trucks, wood cars, dump trucks, tractors, pick-ups, jeeps, and on….and on… and on…). Despite my efforts to keep each one of these vehicles safely entrapped in the box, I still end up finding them in every nook and cranny of my home: behind the toilet, tied up in a curtain, shoved in the couch cushions, in a flower pot, and in my own bed. To date, keeping the vehicles organized is my most exhausting motherhood chore.

So, as I asked my son for the 901st time to pick up his cars, my mom came out:

“Young man, I am not going to ask you again. Pick up your cars.”

Oh my… did I actually just say, “I’m not going to ask you again”?

(This is not entirely pertinent to my story, but I did finally get my son–who suffers from a chronic case of selective hearing–to put all his wheelie things into the wheelie thing box).

20180704_205222I call them mom mottos: these fantastically frequent sayings that can be heard coming from any mother in any situation at any time. Most of them don’t really mean anything, and it doesn’t take our kids long to figure that out. If I pull out a mom motto, my children are guaranteed not to react.

My most used mom mottos include:

  1. “We’ll see.” As a kid, I wondered if my mom knew “we’ll see” is really not an answer to a question. Now as a mom, I know what it means. It means “no” but it is a soft “no” in an attempt to avoid an immediate tantrum. Much of the time, it works for my three-year-old, although I doubt it will have the same effect with my future teenagers.
  2. “If you keep crying, I’ll give you something to cry about.” This must be the single emptiest threat a mom can dole out to her children. I am quite certain that even my 18-month old is confident I’m not going to wallop him in order to give him a reason to cry. It is impossible to follow through with this mom motto, and yet, I say it.
  3. “Because I said so.” I never understood this one as a child either, however, when my three-year-old will not stop asking the question “why”–even if the house were on fire he would continue to ask “why”–my only other option is to throw this mom motto out there, in desperate fashion.
  4. “We do not live in a barn.” When I found myself yelling this one out the garage door toward children who were already out of sight, it broke my heart. I cannot believe I actually say this. Even though I have heard this one from other moms, I am pretty certain my mom wrote it herself.
  5. “I am at my wit’s end.” As if my very small, very self-absorbed toddlers care where my wit is and how far away I am from getting to the end, I still attempt to earn myself the slightest bit of compassion by feeding them this line. Guess what? It never works. In fact, one time my toddler asked me, “Mom, what’s a wit?” That’s when I realized I may as well be trying to get compassion from my plants.

It’s unavoidable. Sooner or later, we all morph into a stereotype. And becoming a stereotypical parent means becoming those cliche throwing, don’t-make-me-come-back-there saying humans who raised you.

Some See Super-Mom. Others See Super-Fail.

Motherhood is a wily creature. She’s tough to pin down, and can be awfully sneaky about how she brings you down. Although sleep deprivation seems to be her weapon of choice, I have also seen her utilize tantrums, lots and lots and lots of germs, and food fights (and I don’t mean the fun kind).

The thing is that Motherhood often involves tasks that require more than two hands, and most women were, unfortunately, only given the two.

If Motherhood were a person, I doubt it would ever take responsibility for the many, many, many young women who have lost all sense of time, space, and overall sanity due to her countless intolerable demands.

For instance, I am always in a hurry.

No. That is not an exaggeration. I really mean it. I am literally never not in a hurry.

This is how Motherhood has chosen to pluck away at my sanity…

I am either running around like a lunatic, trying to get one single chore complete before my son decides to find me and torture me with one of his numerous and unrealistic requests.

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I often find myself racing up and down the stairs in a vain attempt to accomplish even a small load of laundry before my infant’s grunts and snorts evolve into full blown wails, as if in the two minutes I have not been at his beckon call, I have completely abandoned him.

Or even worse yet, I can never even pay a bill online at a normal pace since it takes my toddler 2.3 seconds to see that I have the computer open and everything goes right to the crapper once he is aware of this.

When it is finally quiet in my home and I have achieved the impossible: both children asleep simultaneously, I must frantically choose, wasting as little time as possible, how I will spend these precious minutes. Do I choose to clean my home, therefore reestablishing my sanity? Do I choose to sleep, therefore reestablishing my sanity? Do I choose to eat, therefore reestablishing my sanity? Since each of these things is impossible to get done during the few minutes of peace I get each day, it is a safe bet that insanity is a much more common facet of my personality.

Today, I actually got to grocery shop in the absence of the two mini humans I created. I thought it would be peaceful, but alas I still found myself rushing through the aisles and scurrying to my car, thinking that if I hurried, I might still be able to clean the basement before my oldest awoke from his nap.

Many veteran mothers will recognize this as an amateur mistake.

Unfortunately, in my two years of motherhood, I have still yet to learn that one should never, ever, not even if all the stars have aligned, make plans when children are involved in any capacity. My plans for my afternoon came to a screeching halt, when I flew out of my parking spot, suburban loaded down with 3 weeks’ worth of groceries, and slammed into a Buick Equinox…Oops.

I hope you all noticed that I still managed to blame Motherhood for an event that happened in the total absence of my kiddos. I am confident I have a strong case against her.

Now, veteran and amateur mothers everywhere know that Motherhood is extremely two-faced. In the many moments that she makes you feel like a total failure, like you can’t possibly carry on in such a frazzled state, she busts out one of those moments where you manage to arise triumphant, from the tears, vomit, and broken toys, with your held high knowing that you just defeated an impending catastrophe with your rapid thinking and cat-like reflexes.

20170114_093318I had such a moment recently. I had been supermom-ing it all day, cleaning my house like a maniac and dealing with each son’s needs effortlessly. However, at 6 pm my boys and I found ourselves surrounded by an immaculate home, yet completely without supper. I don’t know why I thought it would be a good idea to load my starving toddler and crabby infant into the car to drive ten minutes to get a Little Caesar’s pizza, but even the best moms make bad judgment calls occasionally.

So, there I stood: in the middle of an extremely crowded pizza joint, holding my son’s hand and my other son’s car seat. I was completely aware that most eyes were on me as I ordered, and attempted to keep my toddler from running into the street, since this particular pizza joint decided to leave their door wide open in the middle of January.

I managed to maintain control of my situation until I was handed a box of pizza, a bag of breadsticks, and a 2-liter of Pepsi… Yep… I didn’t think this through. As my eyes wandered over the pile of food, the car seat, and my oldest son, I tried to fake an air of complete confidence, as if I had suddenly sprouted two additional hands and would just seamlessly whisk up everything in front of me and float to my car.

I continued this facade as I somehow managed to shove all my belongings out the door and toward my car, but I most certainly did not float; I lugged, hauled, and balanced, but I did not float. As I strapped my last son into his seat and climbed into the driver’s seat, I released a victorious sigh.20170130_174141

Take that, Motherhood. I, a mere mortal, managed to avoid a complete disaster brought on entirely by the bewilderment and woes of one of your impossible demands. My house got cleaned; my family got fed; And I avoided a panic attack.

Some of you may be asking what I learned from this experience: Sometimes you’ve just got to smile, or grit your teeth, and come at Motherhood with both fists swinging, and remember that tomorrow is another day and it is all a tremendous gift—even the real bad days.

No Applause Necessary…

Happy Anniversary to Pursue Peace Blog!

Hmm…. For those of you who are wondering how I feel about writing just one year into blogging. The only thing I can really say is the following:

I love writing.

I love writing.

I love writing.

And sometimes I hate writing just a little bit.

When I started this blog a year ago, I had an incredible and, dare I say, unrealistic vision for it. I dreamt of being the next famed blogger, getting paid bucket loads of cash just for jotting down my ideas. I dreamt of people from all over the world drooling over my syntactically dazzling sentence structure and my even more exceptional and superlative word choice. In fact, I often considered that perhaps so many people would be begging me to write for them that my husband would retire from his job roughly 30 years early and we could buy ourselves a 10-bedroom house and raise 9 to 12 babies in it. I would write and parent and my husband would build things out of wood and parent. Life would be grand!

That’s just living the dream and I assumed it would be easy enough to achieve.

20161122_132536Alas, after 365 days of pure writing bliss, I have achieved not 1 million or even 10 million followers but a whopping 100. After I publish a post that I truly believe will change the world, only for it to be read by about 10 people, I am baffled. However, after I publish a post that was painstaking and served no real purpose other than just to publish a post, I don’t blame one soul for ignoring, or even avoiding, my artistic endeavor.

Blogging is full of ups and downs. I often wish more people would spend time reading my posts. In fact, my most frequent daydream involves the publisher of Focus on the Family giving me a phone call and begging me to write more short stories for their magazine. I promise I’m not the most arrogant person around—I just have enormously unrealistic expectations.

All I want is to be the next Flannery O’Connor, and for those of you who have not read her brilliant words: DO IT NOW. She is top-notch.

I do not even come close to taking pride in every one of my posts. There is nothing I hate more than publishing a post that I just could not perfect. I know it is not up to par, but I have no idea how to get it where I want it to be. So, eventually I just give in, hope for the best, and publish it anyway.

I often lie awake at night thinking of past posts and how they could have been made better: I should have said this, this word would have been better, I can’t believe I actually said that, etc.

All joking aside, I regularly pray that I will not forget all of our gifts are given to us by our Father and we should use them to glorify Him—this, of course, includes my writing. I have prayed countless times in the past 365 days that my blog would become as popular as the Lord wills, and that its main purpose be to encourage people in their faith. Whether God allows one million people to read my posts or just one, I know I can trust His plan for my writing and I can rest in knowing that I am doing it to serve Him, despite my desire to be the next Flannery O’Connor. It is so important to remember that we do nothing for our own glory, but for His.

Countless frustration abounds in writing a blog. A lack of motivation or inspiration is a constant battle. Negative comments must always be dodged. Frequent disappointment after receiving less than stellar feedback.  The list goes on…

Many have asked me in the past year why I write. More specifically, they have asked me why I write the things I do. I write because it is a gift I am trying to cultivate. I write because it is therapeutic. I write because it strengthens my faith. I write because I love it. I write because I just can’t stop.pencil-147130_1280

And there you have it: One year of blogging and my 60th post. Here’s to many more… J Thank you to all who have supported me!

Maybe Focus on the Family will call me during year two…

A No-Nap Panic

The panic that ensues when you finally allow yourself–after weeks of utter denial–to entertain the notion that perhaps, just maybe, your 16-month old is phasing out his naps is unquestionably the most extreme form of trepidation.

 

Now, panic is a funny thing.

 

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I have experienced it in many forms.

 

However, the no-nap panic is in a category all its own.

 

It is not even remotely similar to the instant panic that rebirths your sailor mouth when you rub your husband’s prized pick-up against a bright, red shopping corral. I am all too familiar with this form of panic.

 

A no-nap panic also has no relation to the panic that eats at my brain, as well as my heart, when I turn on any form of media. The Trump-or-Clinton-Oh-My-Goodness-We-Are-Screwed panic is bad, but it is not nearly as bad as a no-nap panic.

 

It may be somewhat comparable to the panic that stares a pregnant woman in the face when she realizes she is not even close to a bathroom, causing her desperation for even a small tree on the side of the road to multiply ten-fold while she prays for a rest area, desperately convincing herself she is strong enough to hold it.

 

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While in the denial stage, each day you approach nap time with optimism and grace, fully believing that God’s love for you and your family must cause Him to grant enough mercy to you and your little one to keep him asleep for at least two hours.

 

With each passing minute that your renegade stays asleep, your optimism grows. A positive attitude in life is important, of course; however, it simply causes the dread to crash into you harder and faster when you hear grumbling from the nursery 20 minutes after the commencement of naptime.

 

20 minutes.

 

In that 20 minutes you have barely consumed your lunch, let alone done laundry, washed the floors, done your devotions, and baked banana bread, which is just to name a few of the items on your Nap Time To-Do List, which has grown to epic proportions since your sweet, innocent, adorable psychopath has chosen to look at nap time as more of a suggestion than a priority.

 

Now, I’m only going to say this once: NAP TIME IS NOT A SUGGESTION.

 

Now, I am fully and painfully aware that my young boy is not nearly old enough to understand the concept of a Quiet Time. I can’t lock him in his room and say to him, “Okay, honey, for the next 20 minutes, you are going to read quietly while Mommy takes a break.” I can’t whip out a coloring book, place him at the kitchen table, hand him a crayon, and expect silence. Nope. I’m not sure this will even happen when he is three, let alone 16-months.

 

So, once the realization of my reality has fully set in, my first action should be to open my Bible, looking for peace, advice, and clarity for how to deal with this mind-blowingly horrendous situation. However, instead, my first action is to log onto Pinterest. The Bible is helpful, of course, but it does not provide me with endless ideas for inexpensive sensory activities, quiet boxes, and concrete and strategic parenting strategies to escape the terror of my sleepless little one for a few sweet moments a day.

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Ah…. sensory activities. What a wonderful thought!

 

Yes, I’m sure my son would thoroughly enjoy digging through a collection of dry pasta that I have placed in a cake pan on the floor. It would most likely take no more than 3 minutes before he lifted the cake pan, dumped out the pasta, and threw every item in his grasp as far as he could; lucky for me, he is not throwing at a real great distance right now.

 

Yes, I’m sure my son would thoroughly enjoy a makeshift bear cave made out of construction paper and a large cardboard box. My perfectionist self would work tirelessly to create an authentic and spacious cave. I would strategically place his stuffed bears inside the cave, thrilled to watch him play in it for the first time. I would leave him in the basement for five minutes, expecting his attention to remain on the box for at least 10 minutes, only to find that he has removed all the paper from the sides, torn it up, and tossed it willy-nilly about my, once clean, basement floor.

 

Yes, I’m sure my son would thoroughly enjoy a large, endless track of paper towel rolls, taped throughout my house for his Hotwheels cars. After an hour of assembling, I would stand next to a tube and show him how to put his car inside and retrieve it at the other end. Then, I would head into the kitchen to wash dishes while he begins to tear every tube off my wall, mistaking them for a weapon against the dog, instead of car tunnels. The dog will definitely thank me for my efforts…

 

You see, there are a few key facts that Pinterest is utterly unaware of as it displays countless, bewitching proposals to make my life easier. These facts are as follows: 1. My son is a dangerously curious boy; 2. My son is only 16-months old; 3. My son needs constant attention; 4. My son destroys literally everything.

 

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I guess I failed to take into account that Pinterest does not know my son, and parenting is not perfect. No matter how many strategies I employ to entertain my busy toddler, parenting is never going to look like a magazine ad.

 

So, what is my solution to this no-nap panic? First, open your Bible: God will help you through every step of parenting. Second, keep trying. Third, against all odds, stay sane.

 
Most of all, soak up every moment you can with your little attention hog because even though you would give anything for a break, someday you are going to be willing to give anything for just one more day with your no-nap-taking-monster.  

To the Media: Shut Up.

Yesterday as I did dishes, my son spent an entire five minutes standing at a wide open garage door, looking out into the dark garage, considering the option of taking a step, stumbling down three flights of stairs, and landing on a cement floor. Yep, didn’t see that coming.

 

Today he was visiting with an 8-month old in a wagon at the park. I was watching from afar, making sure he did not poke her in the face, when suddenly the wagon handle that he was leaning on moved and slammed right into the poor girl’s head. Yep, didn’t see that coming.

 

I should really delete Facebook off my phone. I don’t even think about it. One second I am waiting for my son to get done eating or for my car to get done filling up and the next second, I am cruising through my Newsfeed. It is like I have some sort of constant thumb twitch that can only be satisfied by clicking on the little blue app stamped with an F. It calls to me.

 

I have seriously considered getting rid of my account, and if it weren’t for my blog, I would.

 

Some of you probably think that would be a great idea, as you also have a love-hate relationship with this stalk-anyone-you-want-stimulation. However, others probably wonder how I could mediapossibly live without it. I feel sorry for those people.

 

Social media is important to us. It also serves many incredible purposes. I use Facebook to spread the word about a ministry I am trying to start; I use it to spread the word of a new blog post; I use it to sell items and make some extra money; I use it to advertise my new idea for a book club for middle-schoolers.

 

However, many of the articles posted on my Newsfeed only serve one purpose: worrying me. And trust me: I do not need any help worrying; I am pretty skilled at that all on my own.

 

I used to joke with my dad about worrying. I would tell him that he just wasn’t complete unless he has something to worry about. Little did I know, someday, I would adopt this torturous trait.

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This is a bit off topic, but worrying literally is the most useless human activity. Probably even more useless than snuggling up with your cell phone and your Newsfeed.

 

Anyway, to prove my point about Facebook and its indomitable, worry-laden information, I just logged on and cruised through status updates, pregnancy announcements, and quick speed recipe videos. I was looking for articles shared by my friends. These were the first five articles I came across:

  1. Stevenson Funeral Home – Obituary for Cadence – This is a funeral happening on Thursday for an 18-month old niece of my co-worker. She had cerebral palsy.
  2. 19 Year Old Stroke Survivor says ‘Just live for now’
  3. Customer with Concealed Carry Permit Fatally Shoots Ax-Wielding Attacker at 7-Eleven
  4. University of North Carolina: Saying ‘Christmas Vacation’ a Microaggression
  5. Exclusive: Ikea to Halt Sale of Deadly Dressers, Offer Refunds to Millions

 

This is what my anxious, and perhaps pessimistic, mind gathered from the above articles.

  1. Children get sick and pass away.
  2. People can have strokes at terrifyingly young ages.
  3. Soon, if our government has their way, all of us will be at the mercy of a psycho with an ax or gun or knife.
  4. Colleges and public schools alike are continually trying to shove God out of their hallways.
  5. Something as insignificant as a dresser has killed three, yes three, children.

 

Wow, ya know after logging onto my Facebook account to waste a little time while my kiddo sleeps, I feel so much better…….I am so glad I did that.

 

It has become even worse since becoming a parent. Even without Facebook, parents are constantly bombarded by warnings and “helpful” tips meant to keep our children safe.

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THE HIDDEN DANGER IN YOUR BACKYARD!

THE FIVE MOST COMMON CHOKING HAZARDS!

CHEETOS CAUSE CANCER! M&Ms CAUSE CANCER! FRUIT SNACKS CAUSE CANCER!

SWIMMING POOLS AND WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW!

TRAMPOLINES ARE A DEATH TRAP!

YOUR CARSEAT IS ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NOT INSTALLED CORRECTLY!

DON’T MAKE YOUR CHILD HUG ANYONE!

SEX-TRAFFICKERS ARE CRAWLING ALL OVER THE COUNTY, LOOKING TO POUNCE! TRUST NO ONE!

 

It truly is a phenomenon that any child, anywhere has managed to survive until adolescence.

 

If the constant warnings aren’t enough to keep you up at night. The terrifying, disturbing, skin-crawling stories of sickness, injuries, and deaths of children around the world surely will. I am not one to deny that accidents happen, even freak accidents. However, I hardly think anyone needs to inform me of the one child who contracted a frightful flesh-eating bacteria from a bouncy house… This is certainly tragic, but I do not think 1 out of the 1,000,000,000,000 children who have played in bouncy houses is really a cause for alarm.

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It gets even worse if you’re pregnant. Watch out for Zika, CMV, lunch meat, unpasteurized cheeses, and don’t even think about eating raw cookie dough…Bacterias, insects, and diseases are lurking around every corner, waiting to attack your vulnerable, unborn child.

 

Again, I am not denying, nor would I ever belittle, the tragedies that do occur with children and unborn babies. However, scaring the living daylights out of moms and dads is just not accomplishing a whole lot.

 

I don’t think anyone out there is going to argue that Facebook, as well as all types of media, is responsible for spreading these ridiculous, extremely unlikely to actually occur, warnings.

 

I truly do think the media wants all of us to live in fear, buy a lot of bubble wrap, and refrain from indulging in anything even remotely close to enjoyable.

 

According to Facebook, every activity, food, or device is likely to kill my son. It probably would be best if I just put him in a bubble and only exit the house when it is deemed absolutely necessary. If he is smiling, he is surely in danger.

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Even though we tend to gobble up these frightful lies faster than a Thanksgiving feast, it is not the media’s fault that parents worry too much. It’s ours. It is our lack of confidence in our own common sense and in our own ability to keep our children safe.

 

More importantly, it is a lack of confidence or perhaps a denial of our Heavenly Father. We are not responsible to keep our children alive until adulthood. Our responsibility is to serve our Lord by raising our kids to the best of our ability, after that, we leave them with God. Every parent in this entire country is aware that bad things can happen. This fact is biologically programmed into parents. We do not need help coming up with ridiculous and unlikely situations that could harm our kids.

 

This makes me think of the many nights I have lied awake entirely convinced that my son’s bedroom was filling with carbon monoxide. Or, even more embarrassing, when I snuck into his room at 3:00 am and removed a picture hanging above his crib: I was so sure it was going to fall on his head and kill him, I could not sleep until I removed it. Am I crazy? Nope. I am a mom. I am a mom who believes it is on her to protect her child in a dangerous, uninviting, sinful world.

 

We are not perfect. We make mistakes. Accidents happen. Kids get sick. Kids get hurt. This is hard for me to type, but kids also die. We cannot foresee everything, nor should we expect this from ourselves or the parents around us. God would never expect this from any of his children. We are only harming our children by spreading useless and terrifying media that won’t do any good to anyone.

 
My advice to every Facebook cruising, media gobbling parent out there is this: tell Facebook to shut up and listen to your God when He tells you He will protect your family. He will.