The Grub Master

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5

Dear Reader, I’m suffering from the dreaded mom-guilt. This is a common symptom is my parenting repertoire. Maybe it’s because I’m trying to make up for us living in a world with a giant “D” for Divorce on our chests. Maybe it’s because I had everything growing up and more and I want that for my children. Maybe this is just my own affliction to overcome. Here’s what my current case is…

My middle son, Carter, is going on a camp out this weekend with the Boy Scouts. I love that he’s a Boy Scout! I have mad respect for the scouts and can’t wait for the day when I can get a license plate that says I’m the proud mom of an Eagle Scout. I’m completely on board with their mission, high ideals and have made many Pine Wood Derby cars in my life. I’ve been the Den mom and put my time in but as the boys have gotten older, I’ve stepped aside and been grateful for the men that have come alongside our troop to help these boys learn and honor the motto “be prepared.”

The campout begins tonight. Carter was assigned the task of Grub Master. This is the scout that plans the meals for the weekend, sends his mom to the grocery store to get the items and packs said items. Then the task of cooking and cleaning is distributed among the boys for the weekend so they can work together and take turns doing the different jobs. Carter needs to do this for his Eagle requirement so as much as I hate when he is Grub Master (because it’s a pain for me) I do understand the necessity. Well…other plans have come up. Carter would like to attend a concert at the high school tonight and have me drive him up to Lafayette tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn (more than an hour from our home). This would entail packing up all the food, bringing it to the troop to load and unload tonight (now making it a responsibility for someone else) and a two-hour car trip for me tomorrow morning at 0 dark hundred hours. I had been stewing about this for days when two separate friends told me today, that I can say “no.” Carter committed to the campout. Carter committed to being Grub Master and I don’t have to give up my Saturday morning (I have a bible study on Saturday mornings that I love).

I’m not sure why saying “no” seemed like such a novel idea. Then it hit me…mom guilt. I want to bend over backward making life easy on my kids. AND guess what? Life isn’t easy. I have another friend that says “fare is what you pay to ride the bus” (I’ve got some really smart friends). So, I’m going to work through my mom guilt that my sweet little boy is going to miss an activity tonight to honor the activity that he has already committed too. I am also going to recognize that I am human and can’t do it all and don’t want to do it all.  I will encourage him to pack up all the food the Grub Master is responsible for and help Carter honor his commitment. I can’t have him part of an organization whose motto is “be prepared” and then get in his way when he needs to develop the skills to do just that. I’m sure he will be less than happy with me when he comes home from school and learns that he needs to be “Johnny on the spot” and get ready to go tonight but I feel that this is the best thing for him. Thinking about the long game of parenting can be a true challenge…brutal at times. But I’m raising someone’s future husband and father and that person needs to be someone who honor’s their commitment and knows how to see things through.

Be prepared…for life.

 

Mom-shaming

Tell everyone who is discouraged, Be strong and don’t be afraid! God is coming to your rescue! Isaiah 35:4

I often wonder why there are people in this world so quick to put others down? I read in Max Lucado’s book, Anxious for Nothing, that Satan is like that annoying guest at a pool party. They know they are going to get wet but they will try their darndest to reach out and grab as many people to take down with them as they possibly can.

I recently had an encounter with one of these types of people. I walked away feeling that I had been mom-shamed. I’m a pretty positive person and when in doubt, ALWAYS resort to kindness (because my mom says you can never regret being kind). I was surprised and discouraged by this conversation and decided that my first course of action was to pray about it. I asked God to reveal clearly what I valued (and be able to articulate) as a parent and raising three teenage sons and to remember my own identity in Christ (and not let some Debbie downer drag me into the deep end of the pool). Here’s my TOP ten list of values as a parent:

Love, love, love, love, love! Above all else, I want my boys to know that they are loved by me and a Heavenly Father that will never forsake them. “We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

Grace. “Life is measured in love and positive contributions and moments of Grace.” Carly Fiorina

Work Ethic. “You can’t have a million dollar dream on a minimum wage work ethic” Unknown

Honesty. “If it’s not right, don’t do it. If it’s not true, don’t say it.”

Integrity. “Integrity is not something you show others, it’s how you behave behind their back.”

Same Team. “You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes and encourage them in their pursuits. when we all help one another, everybody wins.” Jim Stovall

Helping others. “The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” Barack Obama

Sense of Humor. “I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.” Maya Angelou

Identity in Christ. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you before you were born I set you apart;I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

Gratitude: “Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” Zig Ziglar

To my sons: I love you more than words can express and one of my greatest joys on this earth is to be your mom. I hope you’ve found me worthy of that calling.

To moms: You’re doing a great job! This is hard work. Build each other up and support one another. We aren’t competing against each other, we are working together to build up the human race.