What a difference twenty years makes.
Twenty years ago we began attending Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis. It didn't take long to plug into a Sunday school class, making fast friends with other couples who were also trying to decipher how to raise kids. After Sunday school, we sat under the teaching of Dr. Adrian Rogers--truly one of the greatest preachers ever. What a privilege.
By the time number five was on the way, I realized I was in way over my head. I became a regular at the Thursday morning MOMS Bible study with Jean Stockdale.
Can we talk about smart-aleck kids?
"I cannot believe the way some of my friends talk to their mothers," my own kids will tell me from time to time.
"They wouldn't live at home if they talked to me that way," I say.
"They wouldn't be alive if they talked to you that way," one of them replied not too long ago with a laugh.
Without apology, I don't put up with sass. And I have my own mother to thank for it. Despite my sisters' insistence that Baby (that's me) never got in trouble, I can remember my mother coming at me with a spanking and a few choice words.
"Coddled Kids Crumble" was the title of the article that caught my eye a few days ago on Facebook. Being the mom of ten, coddling kids has never been an issue with me. Quite the opposite, in fact. Consequently, I confess I have had a touch of mom guilt here and there over the years. Maybe I was requiring too much of them?
But no more. As the title implies, coddling kids is the equivalent of crippling them, and after ten years of this faulty philosophy which has robbed a whole generation of problem solving skills, college kids are limping to their school counselors over the most trivial issues.
Some old, some new, but here they are--
A Mother's New Year Resolutions.
I will not scold happy noise.
I will use the TV as a babysitter-- rarely and as if it costs $10 an hour.
I will give my kids a 1970's summer.
I will, without apology, be the nutrition, grammar, hygiene, wardrobe, curfew and screen police.
I will, without apology, require uncompensated help around the house. It's called being part of a family.
I will, without apology, put my husband's and children's ambitions before my own.
"The only thing that doesn't change is change," my oldest son once said. If changing traditions is hard for you to embrace, here's one way to take the sting out of the inevitable. This piece appears in this month's Memphis Parent.
Being the youngest of eight, my Christmas traditions have always been packed with people. Now, as the mother of ten, the holidays still call for a crowd. If I ever meet a lonely Christmas, I suspect I will have to find the nearest throng and join in.