Monday, March 17, 2008

Thoughts From This Mother

Disclaimer: This is a mommy rant. If you're not a mommy, are easily offended or don't care to read rants- feel free to skip this post.

I was watching Dr. Phil the other day when he and T.D. Jakes were talking about teen sex. I thought the show was very informative but I kept yelling at the tv (um, yes I am one of those crazy people). The parents of these children barely knew their kids. I kept pausing the tivo and telling Mike, "This is exactly why we have to be present and paying attention." Finally, at the end of the show T.D. Jakes said something like, "We have a society who is expecting everyone else to raise their kids." Amen.

That's the point of the whole show. It's not just teen sex, it's underage drinking, violence, cheating and so many other things. Parents aren't around enough to impart their values on their children and so they're hoping the school or even the church youth group (of which we are strong proponents) is going to do it. No, parents, it's your job.

Here are a couple of other pieces of media that I have seen lately that really made me think.

This is some of a piece of an interview with Jamie Lee Curtis.

"My daughter was not the priority. I would take jobs wherever I had to take them and I would work all the time. You can talk about working for the greater good of the family and all of the spin you want to put on it, and yet I was just following my mother at the expense of my daughter. "
..."You know she was about 8 and she really said,'Look at yourself.' She said, 'Don't think you're being a good mother just because I look good and I'm a good girl and a good student. Look at the way you're living your life.'
"The only thing children need is their mother. They don't need stuff. They don't need accoutrements. They need the consistency of their mother. The hard, boring, repetitive, day-in, day-out teachings. I missed all that. I would come in, make a big splash, it all looks good, and then I'm gone. It was like, "Was she here?" and I wasn't there for the hard stuff just like my mother wasn't there." Jamie Lee Curtis, Ladie's Home Journal, July, 2007

The other piece is a song that's been on the radio here in Dallas a lot lately. It's by Trace Adkins and for the sake of brevity, I will just summarize and put in the chorus. It's called "You're Gonna Miss This". It starts with a mother and teenage daughter sitting in front of the high school and the daughter says she can't wait to turn 18 so she can do her own thing. The mother tells her,

You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this

Next, the daughter becomes a new bride whose dad comes to visit. He brags on her new place to which she responds that she can't wait for babies. He tells her, "You're gonna miss this". And finally, she is the harried mother of two little ones apologizing to the repair man for her children and he tells her the same thing- you're gonna miss this.

I definitely feel like God speaks to me through the media so much of the time. He was talking pretty loud when I read this article and heard this song. It made me think. I don't want to be the mom who is working all the time just so Clay can wear the latest fashions and I could try to. Do we need to eat out all the time, add more home decor and buy Clay all the latest toys? Is it worth it to me to make money but miss Clay all day? The answer was no.

I kept thinking, who is going to take responsibility for raising this child in a Godly manner? Do I want to blame the media and the schools if Clay grows up to have no sense of moral direction? No. That's mine and Mike's job. If we fail, it's our fault.

So we made a decision. I quit. If you think it's been easy to give up shopping all the time, eating out several nights a week and all the fun parts of being a dual income family- it hasn't. Is it worth it? Absolutely. I take my baby out of his crib each morning, play with him all day and put him to bed at night.

That is how God spoke to me and my circumstances. Obviously, I know quitting your job isn't the answer for every working mom (it wasn't even the answer for me until recently) and that's not what this blog is about. It's about parents truly taking the time to know your children, taking responsibility for molding and shaping them and finally, being present for them because someday, you're gonna miss this.


marina said...

Wow- you couldn't be more right in my opinion. Awesome post- I am glad I read it.

Raena said...

Amen Sister! You go girl!

Rebecca said...

I totally think that you are right about everything that you said. I can't wait to be a stay at home mom too, even though I'm kind of one already to Finn. Clay is really a lucky boy to have you and Mike who love and care soo much for him.