Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Can I delete my last post?
A few months ago, Oprah ticked me off! In the past I have enjoyed her show and I have even learned a great deal of information on many subjects. But since she is a woman that does not have children, I felt that the following comment was ridiculous for her to make. "When I am out and I see kids acting up or throwing a tantrum, I know it's not the kid's fault. It is a result of the parents and what they allow their children to do at home." Oprah has actually upset me several times over the past few months and it started during her Oprah and Gayle road tour that aired back in September. Sooner or later I am sure I will get over it but I just feel that her spirit has changed. Her opinions are sometimes a little harsh and it seems that her status has gotten a little out of control. But that's just MY opinion! She has done a lot of great things for people and for other countries but her voice has become too loud in representing all of us stay at home moms.

Okay, so back to her comment regarding children. We all have our parenting styles, don't we? Some spank, some don't. Some do time outs, some don't. I don't usually share with everyone how we discipline because it's no one's business and I really don't care to hear everyone's opinion on my mothering. But here are a few things I will share. I am not a counter. You will never hear me counting to three or any other number in order to give my children warnings. In my opinion and James Dobson and Growing Kid's God's Way, counting does not work. Delayed obedience is disobedience, period. For the most part, my children are well behaved. They are not allowed to say "what?" when being called or asked a question. They are not allowed to say yeah. We don't say shut up, stupid, or gosh. But I have no problem with the word FART while other mother's would absolutely have a fit over that word. They are expected to say yes mam and no mam, yes sir and no sir and our close friends are referred to as aunt or uncle along with their name or Miss or Mr. The basics are pretty cut and dry, black and white and they know that. We have created boundaries, we have set rules and we spend quality time with each of them. All of that to say, their environment is stable and healthy. BUT, they have their own personalities and they are sinners. They were all three born with a sin nature so I can not expect them to always be on my good side or always obey every single word I say. I do think that we are doing a good job and I think it shows when others are around our children. BUT, they have their big moments of melt down. They have their fits. They get into trouble and at times make me extremely upset. I feel like I work so hard to do so many right things and then days like this make me wonder if I am doing ANYTHING right.

After I heard Oprah make that comment, I got mad because I used to say things like that. I used to think that kids acted bad because they were not given boundaries at home. I was the one to say, "My kids will NEVER...". At times, a child's behavior has everything to do with lack of boundaries at home. BUT, there are other times that a child wants to step out and test the boundaries. And today, my children did just that. I could hear Oprah saying what she said a few months ago. "When I am out and I see kids acting up or throwing a tantrum, I know it's not the kid's fault. It is a result of the parents and what they allow their children to do at home." Remembering her comment made me angry and I even began to cry.

Just before leaving today for Ezekiel's two week checkup, I posted a blog about life with three kids and how it has been pretty calm and easy. Wouldn't you know as soon as I post something like that, all hell breaks loose. And yes, it was HELL! Ava Beth is aggressive, no doubt and the past two weeks she has been adjusting to a new baby in the house. I refuse to speak negative about her and place the middle child label on her so soon because I believe there is power in our speech. The Bible even says so! Our family members say things about Ava Beth being sassy and how she is a little toot and lately it is beginning to bother me. She is a normal little girl trying to adjust to her newest family member and where that puts her. Even though I fully understand that, she really has been hard lately. She has been hitting and pushing Josiah a lot and even screaming and telling me no. At home, I am able to deal with it remarkably well. But when we are out, she pushes the limit and she pushes hard. Today at the doctor's office, she pushed so hard that she was off the charts. Josiah is four years old and more sensitive. Instead of hitting her back, he cries and tattles on her. This is almost as annoying to me than her hitting. So during Zeke's well check (which was great-he's doing awesome), I wanted to scream. Since I was unable to do that, I began to cry. As we are leaving, Josiah is CRYING/SCREAMING and I am quite sure someone in the waiting room was thinking, "When I am out and I see kids acting up or throwing a tantrum, I know it's not the kid's fault. It is a result of the parents and what they allow their children to do at home."

I realize by now that with every bad day, comes a good day so I look forward to that!

As I read over this post, I see that I have spent most of the time trying to convince you that I am a good parent and that my kids are well behaved, etc. I thought about going back and deleting that portion. But then I would not be practicing total transparency, which is what I always want to do on this blog. I tell you all of this to share with all the other mothers out there that I have my days where I feel like one heck of a mom and then a day like this comes and I have to tell myself all the good things I have done and all the good things I am doing. If Oprah were in our pediatrician's office today, she would have made quite an assumption about my parenting. And through this big crappy day, I have realized that I care way too much about wanting my kids to act perfect. They will not be perfect ever and I need to allow them to have their moments and I need to pray that God can give me strength and tools for the days to come when all hell breaks loose again.

Some of you know that I have been praying DAILY about homeschooling. Obviously today would not be the kind of day to make that sort of decision. But I do wonder how on earth I would be able to handle it when days like this come. Josiah is only four, I have a little more time to decide so until then, I'm on my knees. Especially after today!

Life with three was hard today. Very hard! I am off to wash all of the mascara off my face now. The tears made me all a mess! And I am feeling like I really need to pray about one major thing in this life of parenting. I care way too much about what other people think of ME when my kids are acting up. This will be a journey for me, I can already tell. This will be something the Lord uses to teach me a lot, I can feel it. (Heavy sigh)

  posted at 4:50 PM

At 7:58 PM, Blogger Mississippi Girl said...

Hi Amanda...
I have enjoyed reading your blog for a while now but don't think I have ever commented???
Congratulations on your gorgeous new addition! I prayed for you just now, and wanted to let you know how much I love and appreciate your "realness" in what you write. You ARE a blessing and an inspiration (even on days that you probably don't feel like you are!)
Many blessings to you and your precious family!
Jennifer R.

At 5:28 AM, Blogger Christina said...

Amanda, you were describing my day yesterday. My boys acted up so much, at home and at the library program we go to. I was so traumitized that I don't think I will go back to the program. Listening to you walk through your day makes me realize that I'm not alone and others go through the same thing. Thanks for sharing your heart again, it speaks to us more then you know. *Hugs*

At 7:15 AM, Anonymous Tiffany said...


Oh, you know that I'm right there with you! It is a "moment by moment" experience with Lily. Ever since she turned 2, I feel SO clueless as to what "boundaries" will be most effective.

I wish we could see some hidden footage of Oprah at age 2!!! You mean to tell me that she never had a temper tantrum?!?! And if I recall (not too long ago), her "kids" (dogs) were OUT OF CONTROL and she needed to call in the "Dog Whisperer!"

Thank GOD we have the Holy Spirit to instruct us...because every child is different and special and lovely and CHALLENGING!!! :)

Keep up the FANTASTIC job!!!

I love you,

At 8:05 AM, Blogger Gwen said...

You are doing a marvelous job as a Mommy! Days like this happen to us all! Keep up the good work!

At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhh, humility. The Lord is blessing your sweet mothering heart with humility!! It is so humbling to stand in an aisle in Tarjay having your kid have a meltdown and feeling like other people are judging you.
Look for another mom. If she is honest with herself and worth her salt, she will give you a smile, a genuine, "It's going to be okay, you are doing a great job, I have been in your shoes, don't worry what others think - worry only about the needs of your child" smile.
That is what I am giving you across the miles. Oh, and a hug!!!

At 11:53 AM, Blogger Munchkin Land said...

Oh Amanda!! Just remember, that your meltdown in the doctor's office might also have to do with post-baby blues too. Hang in there!!

As for those that think "my kids won't act like that"; just wait. That's all I have to say. I think you are incredible mother who has her good days and her bad days. Thank YOU for keeping it real!!

At 12:47 PM, Blogger Paula said...

Well, it is the moments when they are good we are most thankful. It out shadows the bad times.

I probably get looked at ALL the time because I allow Colton to keep on crying when we are in stores.

It is hard because as moms we tend to want others to think we are "super" moms with children that are "angels." But you help remind us that they are not going to be perfect but it doesn't mean your children are brats or our parenting is awful. So thank you for the reminder.

And I love how you build little Ava Beth up. She is just trying to find her place. Having children is just as an adjustment on the parents as it is the kids. They don't know any better. We have to teach them.

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Amanda said...

Thankfully there are no baby blues! Praise the Lord!! Yesterday was a result of a pre-schooler acting pretty horrible. So I would say it is the pre-school blues! :)

At 1:25 PM, Blogger Dee said...

these are the days that we wish we could crawl back in bed and start ALL over again; but alas, these are the days that strengthen us.

i have often compared those moments of humility/meltdown -- etc. to what Christ must feel like when we let him down. really - we are no different than our own children in their moments... if anything i think we are often more stubborn.

this too shall pass and then you'll be sharing another WONDERFUL day with us.

my thoughts and prayers are with you--- but take notes --- i may need some of your WONDERFUL advice when I am soon the mommy of 3!

At 1:28 PM, Blogger Amanda said...

You ladies sure are wonderful. What incredible encouragement you give me. Thank you! My cup is full!

At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey there!
Well, like you said we all have our different styles that is for sure. As for people in your family saying AB is being a toot or sassy - well, I look at it like this, she knows what she wants. Kids are little people - my dad always tells me "pick your battles with your kids" and I do - some people may think I don't pick enough. Chase can talk his way out anything if I let him - know where he gets it from - ME ;o)) Dawson is determined and some view that as defiant at times - know where he get that - ME ;o)) So, I guess know that those qualities they have at times others may see as defiant I can also see as strong character.
Hope today is better ;o))

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Kili @ Live Each Moment said...

Well I agree that counting does not work, I agree with you 100% about the whole delayed disobedience.

As far as kids acting out because of their own choice or no boundaries, or how they were raised. I think it's a mix. Even my little 17mo old is typically very well behaved but from time to time he chooses to act out in ways that catch me off guard, and usually in public!

Anyway, point is. Sometimes it is the parents, but also sometimes, many times it is the kids! Does that even make sense?

At 7:33 AM, Blogger Kate said...

It's SIN nature! That's whose fault it is! We all have days like that - even with bigger/older children. Keep praying. God will guide you and give you wisdom with your homeschooling decision. It's not for everyone, but you will know if it's for you when seeking Him! I love ya!

At 11:43 AM, Anonymous J said...

It sounds like you are homeschooling! I read the previous post also about your precious 3 children. You are teaching your children when you are home with them. The seeds you've planted are taking root.

Don't be discouraged by the few days that are challenging like the one you wrote about. And don't let a few bad days affect your decision of homeschooling or not.

We can teach through the bad days...You are teaching them how to have self control and patience -which is what it sounded like you did when you all went to your rooms before coming together to pray. You are teaching them who helps you - GOD -and you are on your knees is the Word in action. We want to teach our kids to go to GOD first.

I also homeschool. It is through the good and bad that I find teachable moments. Many times I find that I teach "forgiveness" when we all pray and ask for forgiveness for our words or actions.

I have a large piece of paper in our house with character traits that I am striving to teach my children. It is times like this that I point to those and draw examples (what went wrong? - what went right?). Then I may even expound on that over the next few weeks with Bible stories and discussions.

Thanks for sharing.


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