Are You a Really Crappy Mom?

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We’re living in a generation where everything gets a pass.

Charlie Sheen gets a hit TV show called “Anger Management” after he acts like an imbocile and tries to take down his former TV show “Two and a Half Men.” Lindsey Lohan continues to get movie deals after she’s been arrested too many times to count. Gun toting psychopaths gun down innocent children in elementary schools and 5 kids get 1 million likes on Facebook in 13 hours because they want to get a family dog and need Mom and Dad to pay attention.

What do these four isolated scenarios have in common? They’re all insane.

Never has there been a time in history where you can do less and get noticed more.

You started reading this article because you wanted to know if you’re a really crappy Mom. Perhaps you are. I’m not going to post a test or a checklist with the “10 Ways to Know If You’re a Really Crappy Mom.” You know if you are. Your gut tells you. Your heart tells you. You don’t have to ask anyone on Facebook or read any blogs to know.

Motherhood is sacred.

Motherhood is the one thing that can literally change the world.

You know if you’re doing your job. Or not.

If your kids are in day care, that’s crappy. They need you.

If you feed your kids fast food 5 nights a week because you’re too tired to cook, that’s crappy.

If you watch TV all night long instead of reading to your kids, that’s crappy.

If you spend more time in the car toting your kids than talking to them, that’s crappy.

If you put your kids to bed between the commercials, that’s crappy.

If you divorce their Dad, that’s crappy. (And yes, it will affect them forever. That ‘resiliant’ word is a cop-out. Just ask any adult whose parents divorced when they were young.)

If you work underneath your own potential, that’s crappy.

If you scream and yell all day, that’s crappy.

If you drink or take drugs to numb your own pain, that’s crappy.

So are you? A crappy Mom?

Or are you like the many million Moms out there who are getting about 50% of it right and 50% of it wrong?

The human ones. The ones where guilt and goodness and love and letting people down weigh in about equal on the scale of life?

Are you trying?

Are you doing your best?

Are you training up your child in the way he/she should go?

If you are, then you’re doing okay. We could all do better.

We could be more and do more and work less and love more.

But that’s the same with all of life.

The insaneness will always be with us.
The crazies will get the publicity while the Mom on a quest to do the right thing will go unnoticed.

Not entirely unnoticed.

The kids are watching.

They need you Mom.

All of you. (or as much as they can get)

If you want to change the world, simply go be a good Mom.

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Where Do You Go When The World’s Falling Apart?


Tonight I heard my daughter say the words I’ve longed for…’I had to call you Mom.”

Her world was falling apart and she had hit the wall…the breaking point where you can no longer see clearly and every single thing you’ve ever done seems futile.

• She’s moving.

• Her husband’s grandfather is dying.

• She’s being challenged at work to learn more and faster than the rest because the Dr.she works for knows she can handle it.

• She saw a lady hit a light pole while texting.

• She has four out of town trips she’s required (in her own mind) to take next year and she’s stressing about the money.

• It’s raining.

• Oh, and she’s moving. I know I already told you this one but it’s the energy sucker that won’t go away.

She can’t imagine how her husband’s grandma is going to live without the man she’s been married to for over half a century. How do you go on when the only life you’ve ever known with the only man you’ve ever loved no longer exists. When you’ve spent your last days caring for someone who is irritable one minute and childlike the next.

You cry your eyes out.

You curl up with the wretched knowledge that life as you knew it is over.

You look up and ask God for a hand.

And then you cry some more until the cleansing of the angels can envelop you or the deep of the night embraces you.

This perfect storm of life is real and in your face.

You can’t run home anymore. You can’t eat a chocolate chip cookie and magically feel better. You can’t pretend it’s not happening because it keeps coming at you.

You’re an adult and this thing called life is teaching. What’s important. What’s not.

What can wait til tomorrow. And what can’t.

Who matters. And who doesn’t.

I didn’t fix anything in our 20 minute phone call. It’s still raining and granddaddy is still just a few hours or days away from Heaven. The Docs expectations are still high and the driver who hit the pole while texting is still dumb.

She’s still moving.

But her world and her insides weren’t. For just a moment, the connection between my dear sweet daughter and me was enough to calm the chaos. It was enough to steady the swells that rose inside her and threatened to overwhelm. Our love was like a rock she could hold on to for strength.

I’m her Mom. And that’s what I do.

Wrap her in my heart and soul for comfort.

Listen.

Love her.

I just got a text ten minutes after our call.

It said “I’m better Mom.” “Thanks.”

And I said, “Good. Me too.”

The Purpose of a Four-Legged Friend


One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you’re feeling blue is that he doesn’t try to find out why.

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker ‘s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ”I know why.”

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

He said, ”People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The six-year-old continued, ”Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you’re not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

There comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad, and focus on the good. So, love the people who treat you right. Think good thoughts for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is part of life, getting back up is living.

(This story’s author is unknown. If you know who Ron, Lisa, Shane or the Veterinarian are, please let me know. Thanks!)

The Meaning of Sorrow


My daughter’s friend just lost her 20-week old infant son. Complications prevented Kahlo from being born a full-term baby…her pregnancy was cut short at just 20 weeks in utero after desperately trying to save the baby through a series of medical procedures. Kahlo died.

He already had a name. He already had a family. He had a Mom who couldn’t wait to meet him and whose arms now ache because she will never swing him in her arms or sing him a lullaby.

Her heart is broken. And so are our hearts, for her.

There are no words that can soothe this pain. There is no human reasoning that can explain away the horrendous abyss that Kahlo’s Mom is feeling.

For now, all we can do is cry with her. And for her. We can pray for strength and hug each other a bit tighter. We can remember to make time. To take time. That life is much more than a race to go faster. It is a masterpiece to savor. Each and every day.

This is one of life’s greatest mysteries…the meaning of sorrow. Why did Kahlo not get to make his way into the world. Was it to prevent him from having pain, or allowing evil to permeate his little life? Was it a lesson for the rest of us…a lesson in compassion and heartache and gratitude. A reminder of the things we take for granted a daily basis.

What is the meaning of sorrow? Why does so much of it exist? Lord, what are we to learn from this heart-wrenching death?

Kahlo’s in Heaven wrapped in the safety of Jesus’ arms. Lord, wrap his Mommy in yours too.