There are some occasions when being an angry Mama bear is easy. When someone you don’t know (or you know but just don’t like) is doing something that is dangerous or hurtful to your children, it is no problem to flip the crazy Mama switch.
But what if someone you know and like does something to your children that makes you see red? I am amazed every day at the new emotions that being a parent can stir up. Last week, I had to question my human decency after two incidents that made me lose my religion. (To anyone who saw me that day, I apologize for my unbecoming language. I’m pretty sure I made up my own curse words.)
In one day, two people who I know and like very much did things that directly affected my children in negative ways, and in both cases, the motivation of the adults in question was entirely selfish.
I certainly do not raise my children in a way that makes life cushy and easy, avoiding hurt or challenges for them to overcome. Hubby and I were both raised with traditional values and learned early that we would have to overcome unfairness, hurt feelings and disadvantages if we wanted to be successful and happy, and I think that type of resiliency is what is missing for teens and young adults who were unfortunate enough to be helicopter parented.
“Life’s not fair,” “I know it stinks, but how are you going to react to it?” and “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference” are common phrases in the Holt house. We face the natural consequences of our actions and we don’t often bail our kids out when they make mistakes. Sure, we forgive and offer grace, but we don’t protect our children from all hurt at all costs.
Which is why it takes a lot to make me a raving lunatic mother, and it is shocking that two people did it within six hours. By nature I am a diplomatic person, and I try to consider all sides of an issue. But when an adult is more concerned with their own comfort than the health of a child or honoring their word to a child, there is no “other side.” There would have been no negative consequence in either situation for the grown-up element.
I am not a confrontational person in general, and I always kick myself for not speaking up, but sometimes I am so surprised when people behave in very obviously rude or selfish ways that I can’t put together a coherent response in the moment. I just turn into an angry person who blinks a lot. It’s really quite bizarre.
Yes, I realize this is all very un-Christian of me to confess, but I try to be as honest as possible because I’m willing to bet that if I’m dealing with this, then at least a few of you have too. I also realize this column might be passive-aggressive. That’s not usually my style, but you see what lengths this has led me to.
So my question is this: am I a horrible, terrible monster for being this angry with people who have otherwise been kind and pleasant people whose company I enjoy? I certainly can’t justify their behavior, but I’m sure I, too have had a lapse in judgment in my life. I’ll continue to interact with these people as I always have, and I’ll forgive a moment of selfishness, but y’all know a Mama doesn’t forget.
Overheard at the salon: “Sometimes you just need a Swiss Cake Roll, honey. God Bless that Little Debbie.”