Guilty As Charged

Just plain ole' no-way-around-it guilty.

See...I have a problem.  And it's a big problem.

The problem is that I have good kids.

Whatchu' talkin' 'bout, Willis? 

No, I'm serious.  I have good kids.  Actually really good kids.  And it has become a problem.  Because I've started to become highly proud of them and have become actually very pompous.  I might as well smear Grey Poupon on their cheeks and serve them with silver platters. 

We know people whose children run their households.  Whose children aren't required to say their Yes, Ma'am's and meet their mamas in the kitchen with pleases and thank yous.  Children who are bullies.  And children who are disrespectful.  And mamas and daddies that turn their heads and call it a phase.

And Kirk and I lie in bed at night and discuss them. 

Oh, our kids would NEVER act like that.  
Our children are at least respectful of the rules.
At least our kids are good in public.
Can you believe so-and-so let their kid say such-and-such?
If one of ours said what so-and-so said, we'd tear them up until next Tuesday.

And then we'd go on our merry way pompously being so proud of our offspring.  Proud of their manners and their respect for other adults.  VERY proud of our ability to make them mind.  And maybe more proud of the fact that if we had issues at home with us, that our kids were labeled as the "good ones" in most social scenarios.  It feels good to have your kids bragged on....and we soaked up.

Um. Well.

And then the children came home from their weekend at grandma's.  And Kirk delivered the news that they were nothing short of hellions while there.  Bossing grandma around.  Being rude.  Not a "Yes, Ma'am" or "No, Ma'am" in sight. 

The husband was out in the deer woods.....leaving the children on their own to maintain their manners.


And I was horrified.  Mortified, really.  Because I thought we had it all together.  I have spent hours mulling over the perfection of my children's abilities to obey and be respectful. 

And to find out that they really can't and aren't...is, well, devastating.

Because I thought we were getting to a point where we had them trained.  That being respectful was just part of who they were. 

But I realize that we have so far to go.  That becoming lax isn't an option. 

One of the many prayers that I've prayed over my little boys is that they would grow to be respectful men.  That manners and love for other people would just ooze from their pores.

But they aren't going to become Godly men by me just sitting back and being proud.  And haughty.  And judgmental of others' parenting styles.

Now.  Do I think that my kids are now suddenly bad?


But I do think that the Lord used this weekend where the boys were away from their parents constant hovering and reminding them of the right things to say and do, to shock me back into reality. 

Kirk and I do NOT have it all figured out. 

I fell to my knees begging the Lord to forgive me for my prideful nature.  And had a conversation with Him about the seriousness of my commitments.

Because from this day forward, I'm committing to do my part to raise my little people to be respectful.  All the time.  Not just when they feel like it.  Or when I'm around.  But all the time.

And from this day forward, I'm committing myself also.  To be proud to be their mom.  To be proud of their achievements. 

But not to be prideful.

Because those two things are different.  Very.Very.Different.


Amy Fulmer said...

That's good stuff. Being proud as a mom, but not prideful of your work...Whew!

And you do have good kids. I know because I want my kids to be friends with yours.

Libby said...

Thats really good!

i'm back to blogging...new blog too!

Cathy said...


I could have written this exact same post. Except my reality check has been happening for several months now and I'm about to lose my ever lovin' mind and ask them "Who's kids are you anyway?!" Ok...I really wouldn't do that, but you know what I mean.

....sung "boom clap. boom de clap de clap" at the top of my lungs in the car yesterday and thought of you...:)

Mich said...

Amb, they are good kids. They just happen to be with grandma who hadn't seen them in a while and you weren't there.

But you are so right, even the BEST kids will have their moments.

Love ya!

Tiffani said...

Oh what smart, convicting, honest and sobering words you have written here today.

I must be careful of the very same attitude in our home w/ our kids...praying the same prayers, too!

Thanks for this important reminder, my dear. Love you!

lisa@littlesliceoflife said...

Amb, your kids ARE polite and respectful! But all kids have to test their boundaries and Grandma got tested. I hear you loud and clear on the pride thing but your kids are DARLIN'! And you and Kirk are doing an amazing job of raising Godly men. You rock, Mom!

And tell that sweet Tater-tot that Teshhh misses him.

Becca~TimeWellSpent said...

Oh boy! Have I felt these same things.
My husband and I have often talk about how much we've grown as people since we've become parents.
It brings out the best and the worst in you and forces you to deal with it! Any issue you may find yourselve becoming prideful in or smug or any other number of things you can be sure your kids will take you down a notch!

Jim said...

I don't know why but when I read your blog I thought of a song I've heard a couple of times lately. One of the chorus key phrases is "you don't have to walk on water, what counts is how you walk on land." I guess the idea that crossed my mind is "living perfect as a child" is rather like walking on water - for we who fall short of Godlike perfection. But for those of us who know the rascals intimately, we know it's the overall "how they deal in the day to day loving way they do" that says their walk on land has had good training instilled.

Love you,

Michele said...

Girl. . . I have so been on this journey and God certainly has humbled me through some hard times. I'm just so glad you've seen the sin of pride. .. that way you can shepherd those precious boys' hearts to the glory of God. I always tell people when I just had one kid I thought I knew everything about parenting. Then when I had the 2nd I realized I didn't know as much as I thought I did, but was still doing pretty good. By the time I had the 3rd child, God swept my feet out from under me, got me straight on my knees, and showed me I know absolutely NOTHING about parenting. That is why I must depend on Him to teach me so that I can teach and nuture and shepherd the hearts of my kiddos. I'll be praying for you as God brings you to my mind. Love ya!

Sending big hugs your way!!!

mimi said...

It's just a phase....;)

Seriously, I hear you. Good days and bad days...we ALL have them. Mom and Dad included :)

I'm so glad that you shared this...great post.

New Every Morning said...

I think Jim-Dad should smother you with Grey Poupon because he SHOULD be proud of what a good momma his daughter is. What a wonderful post, Amber! Our children have such an amazing ability to bring us to our knees, don't they. I've fallen into the pride trap, too. And then the Lord gives me a quick swat on the rear end to remind me that pride comes before the fall.
Thanks for a great reminder today. Hugs!

Jennifer said...

good stuff sister friend. thanks for being honest.

Jennifer said...

good stuff sister friend. thanks for being honest.

Nina Diane said...

great post Amber! all kids get like that at times...keeps us on our toes!