Ever have "one of those days"? Of course you have! Even if you think you haven't, you have. You're just oblivious. Trust me.
As my kids get older, my "one of those days" day's have changed quite a bit. Formerly, you might have heard a story that included plugged toilets, permanent ink in the wrong places, and spilled something that splattered into the next county. Now, things have changed a bit.
It's now, the kid that insists he hasn't grown somehow has short pants...again. While so and so showers, the other so and so flushes the toilet and slowly, methodically washes their hands. Just for fun, wrestling turns into a trip to Urgent Care. My favorite, the milk gets put back into the pantry, while the cereal ends up in the fridge.
Of course, it's never really any body's fault. Nobody did it, saw it, heard it, ate it, smelled it, spilled it, threw it, stepped on it, or opened it.
All of these things lead to me creating ridiculous rules or statements of correction. The kind you never, ever imagined yourself saying.
"No rough housing after 7 pm. No exceptions!"
"Keep your fingers out of your brothers nose."
"Don't waste all the tape on your brothers face."
"Rinse these dishes better or you will have to eat whatever residue is on it after it comes out of the dishwasher."
"Clean all of this up...and when you think you're done, go back, because you missed something."
Without proper context, you might read this and think I'm cruel. You might even think I'm unreasonable, irrational and a bit "over the top". You might be right. I am unreasonable when it comes to accepting poorly done work. If I know my child has the knowledge and ability to do better, it is not unreasonable for me to expect better results. I will admit to feeling irrational when someone gets hurt because one of their siblings was being careless and caused an unnecessary injury. It is over the top, by today's standards, to expect my kids to do things as they've been taught. ("They're just kids", they say) However, through a proper example, helping and continued practice, kids can do things "over the top". I'm not raising kids to stay kids, I'm supposed to be training children to be adults!
These are a couple of my Mean Mother verses...
Ecclesiastes 9:10 says "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might."
Colossians 3:23 it says- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
If I'm training my children to have a biblical worldview then I need to teach them what God has to say about work. It's never too early to teach children to be spiritually minded. In fact, it is much easier to begin when they're young. Rather than leaving it out until their "old enough to understand", and then expecting them to flip an invisible switch one day and have them be spiritually minded.
It's a daily challenge to stay on top of a busy household of 7 people. People often remark, "I don't know how you do it!". Honestly, it is only because of the strength of the Lord and his word that he has helped me to raise up these young people. We have endeavored to teach them while they're young so that we can enjoy them, and see the results of the hard days of parenting.
It is hard. Some days it hurts. Some days it is wonderful.
Each day is an opportunity to be that Mean Mother, or to let the opportunity pass until another day when I "feel like dealing with it".
I pray that I will win that Meanest Mother in the World title each and every day from now until I go to Heaven. I hope you'll join me!