‘I had to trade in their momentary happiness for a lesson I hope will last a lifetime.’

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I had to do the tough-love kind of parenting today.

I had to do the screechy and scratchy and strict voice kind of parenting today.

I had to do the I-won’t-let-you-grow-up-to-be-an-absolute-jerk-of-a-human-being parenting today.

Amy Weatherly

I had to stand there – firm in my stance, feet flat on the ground, hands on my hips – and let them cry rivers all around me to the point that I became an island. Just a big ole, mean mom island.

Nope, today I made sure my children knew, once and for all, that I am not their friend; I am their mother, and my job is not to give them their every desire. My job is not to grant them their every wish and make all their pretty dreams come true. Today I made sure my children knew I am not a genie. I am not a fairy godmother. I am not a gum-ball machine.

My job is to train them in the way they should go, so that one day, they are responsible enough and ready enough to listen to the call God has placed on their life and pursue it with all kinds of reckless vigor. It is so simple to say, but it is so dang challenging to actually put into action.

Today, I had to trade in their momentary happiness for a lesson I hope will last a lifetime.

Today, I had to stop caring whether they were having a good time, and I had to start caring whether they had a good heart.

Today, two roads diverged in the woods, and I had to take the really crummy one that made my kids hate me.

Amy Weatherly

And I wouldn’t trade it. I wouldn’t undo it. I wouldn’t take it back.

Do I care about their happiness? Of course, but not nearly as much as I care about teaching them to be kind and respectful and thoughtful. Not nearly as much as I care about teaching them to be grateful and gracious and trustworthy. Not nearly as much as I care about showing them how to be unapologetic followers of Christ.

Be strong in your role, momma. Be fierce in your direction. Be bold in your boundaries. Be confident in your calling.

Stay tough. I know it’s a really hard job, but that’s why God called you. Because you are capable of doing the daunting task of mothering. You are the warrior for your children’s worth. You are the soldier for your children’s self-reliance. You are the leader for your children’s light and love.

You’ve got this. Please, please believe me when I tell you YOU CAN ABSOLUTELY HANDLE THIS.

And then when the day is done, collapse on the couch with a gallon of Rocky Road ice cream and a spoon. You’ve earned it.

And yes, it needs to be Rocky Road. That’s what motherhood is after all, but it’s the road you were made to travel. It’s the race you were made to run. You are exactly who your kids need, mean momma and all.

Amy Weatherly

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Amy Weatherly. The article originally appeared here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.

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