Monday, April 25, 2011

Mom or Friend?

My girls are growing up. I never thought that would make me sad. I was always so excited to see them pass a milestone—especially the potty training one. I changed a diaper at church yesterday and the whole time was thanking God that I don’t have to wipe anyone’s butt on a regular basis anymore.

Back to the subject at hand…my girls are getting older. They have discovered that the Easter Bunny is a fraud. Who thought up the Easter Bunny anyway and how do we get our kids to believe that this giant rabbit hops around the world filling baskets with candy and eggs? No wonder they feel a bit betrayed when they realize he’s not real.

They aren’t babies, or even little, but they aren’t grown yet, either. They are in that awkward pre-tween stage. They don’t need me to do things for them as often anymore. They are pretty independent—except when they don’t want to be (like room-cleaning time or putting their own waffles in the toaster). They are moving into that stage where we have stuff in common now. Caroline has already asked about when we can have a girls only spa day. Hope has "female" questions a couple of times a week.

But it’s a strange stage for me as well. I am their mom, not their friend. I’ve never had an issue with that. But, I also want for them to listen to me. And I know there will come a point for both of them when they won’t. And even though I know that, it won’t make me feel any less like a failure when it happens. I know all this.

But what I don’t know is how to balance the Mom part of me with the Woman part of me who “gets” what they are going through and wants to empathize and support them. Who wants to be the one they turn to the first time their heart gets broken or they realize the strength they have inside them. And I want others speaking into them. I also NEED other adults that they will look up to, saying the same things I say, but whom they will actually listen to.

My job at church is to help equip leaders to be that second voice. I’ve always known it’s important, but I think the magnitude of its necessity has finally REALLY hit me. In that arena, it’s easy for me to say that God has to do it in and through me—I can’t in and of myself. And to have faith and really believe that.

Guess that’s what I have to do with the mom thing, too.

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