Heard about the Tiger Mom and the Elephant Mom and attachment parenting and whatever other kind of mom there is? The Ferret Mom? There are no Gerbil Moms… Or Coyote Moms. Funny, that.
I don’t think I have the stamina or vision to Tiger Mom and I’m not sure about what “Elephant Mom” even means.
The other types of mom-ing? Attachment parenting? All the other hot issues? Bottle v. Breast. Co-sleeping? Um…
Seriously. I have teenagers.
The whole point is letting them leave without me falling apart. Honestly, it’s been quite awhile since the whole “cry it out” v. “comfort” was a part of the conversation.
Well, except for me. Sometimes my husband has to hold me while I cry it out.
Want to know the mom I’ve always been and the one I will always be?
Some of the best parenting advice comes from The Art of War by a 6th century Chinese general. The guy had it going on. There is a battle at home that must be fought before you can ever step outside and win the war.
Win the battle for your child at the point where you decide to take on the mantle of hero for him. Soldier. Champion.
When I advocated for the best medical care for my infant son in a busy hospital with nurses and doctors who didn’t see my concerns as valid?
I was a warrior.
When I refused to allow anyone to shame or ridicule them, as small children, regardless of family relationship or potential fallout?
I was a warrior.
When I stood up to both the bully and his parents when my son was 8 and stood sad-faced behind me, confused by their nastiness?
I was a warrior.
When I stood in front of the broken teenager, barring him from stomping out the door, in the middle of an argument prompted by discouragement and frustration? I recognized we were in a battle for his heart.
I was fighting for the man I knew not the one he believed he was destined to become because of failure. Rather than letting him hold onto the lies about worth and purpose, I challenged the cry of his heart and reminded him who he was.
When he forgot, I remembered his purpose, God’s call, the moments of destiny written on his face and expressed through a halting voice.
I was a warrior.
In that case, I knew I had to fight when he wasn’t able.
See, in the grand scheme of parenting and family, there are plenty of times we disagree about how living should look. But, we don’t fight each other.
We argue our sides and make decisions. We challenge static activity and encourage dynamic change. But, above it all, I know, without a doubt, it is never in the job description to fight my kids.
It is my mandate to fight FOR my kids.
I will fight the society that says their value lies within productivity, what they wear, how much money they have, or how popular.
I will fight the social expectation that says, inevitably, young men are lazy, debauched, self-entitled parasites.
I will fight the human tendencies within myself and within them that rise up, eager and willing, to apathetically fall into the trap of being less than God has called us to be.
There are plenty of battles in this parenting gig and, sadly, it is easy to see how we could be so focused on the daily struggle we could look back and realise the unthinkable:
We fought each other all the time and lost the war.
Tiger moms push their cubs to succeed. Elephant moms protect their babies, I think? Gerbil moms insist on chubby cheeks filled with little pellets. Ferret moms smell bad.
Warrior moms fight.
Warrior moms don’t wait for someone else to speak up for their kids. Warrior moms pay attention and recognize threats, responding accordingly. Warrior moms never doubt there is a battle happening for the well-being of our children.
Warrior moms don’t sacrifice the weak for their own comfort and understand the concept of unit and unity.
We fight on our knees, before the throne of God and in parent/teacher conferences. We fight by being engaged in the lives and hearts of our children and laying down our comforts to lead in the darkness, the rough roads, and the long, long conversations that go late into the night. We fight social expectations by loving their dad with a counter-cultural fierceness that defies a sky-rocketing divorce rate. We fight by living lives of integrity, honour, and righteousness in front of them.
Especially when we don’t feel like it.
I have met tigers and elephants among the tired and the weary parents out there. I have precious friends among the baby wearers and the Cry It Out advocates. If you find three women; expect 5 ideals on parenting.
From the moment those red-face, sweet-smelling, naked infants wrapped in flannel lie on tired breasts to the days it’s our turn to put our heads on their chests and they pat the tops of our heads…
We have the option to become warriors, moms.
There is unique privilege found within being the one who fights for the better angels of their nature.
Do you believe in your child’s success when she doesn’t?
Do you defend your child’s identity when he is willing to give it up to peer pressure and pretty girls.
If you answered yes? Suit up. Lead the charge.
You are a warrior, mom.
Leaning on Him,