“I had to do a hard thing today.
I had to do the tough-love parenting.
I had to do the I-won’t-let-you-grow-up-to-be-an-absolute jerk of a human being parenting.
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, I am more than a friend. More than a magic genie. More than a maid or servant personal assistant; 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. My job is not to make their life perfect or pave the road to Pleasantville.
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. Out there, in the real world, where things get real tough real fast. 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. For a second, but I’d rather a second than a lifetime. I had to take the crummy one that made my kids unhappy. For a fleeting minute, but I’d rather a fleeting minute than forever.
And I wouldn’t trade it. I wouldn’t undo it. I wouldn’t take it back. And I sure won’t apologize for it.
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 teaching them to work hard, and to be responsible for their actions, and to be whatever the opposite of entitled is.
Be strong in your role, momma. Be fierce in your direction. Be bold in your boundaries. Be confident in your calling.
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 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, lone island, and all.
They may not thank you today.
They may not thank you tomorrow.
But one day they will see how everything decision you made was for their good and their betterment, and they will thank you, and those two words will be like music to your ears.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Amy Weatherly. The article originally appeared here. Follow Amy on Instagram here and Twitter here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.
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