Meet the Momma Bears

momma bearMomma Bear’s Unite!

I very clearly remember leaving the hospital with our first-born son and wanting to block out the world, the germs and the injuries that were SURE to reach him in his innocence and perfection. That desire lessened a bit as more children joined our family. I acknowledged the presence of these “unknowns” but I had a bit more confidence in myself and in my children to handle the inescapable truth – I can’t protect my children from everything and that’s okay.

One of my favorite lines from the Disney movie, Finding Nemo, is when Nemo’s dad says he will never let ANYTHING happen to Nemo. Dory questions this kind of thinking. To never allow ANYTHING to happen to a child means we keep them from experiencing the good things in the world AND the good that can sometimes come from bad things happening.

So here I am, the mother of a teenager, a preteen and a 3rd grader. Let’s just say the momma bear in me is starting to rare its head in a new and fierce way and this time I’m not dismissing the urgency I feel in my spirit.

Please don’t misread my motivation…I’m not afraid.

The protective bend I’m experiencing is fueled by my keen awareness at how my opinion and my level of influence is constantly being challenged. My ability to remain relevant and connected to them is being threated daily and I am working overtime to stay connected.

I need this connection if I’m going to help them learn how to avoid the sometimes deadly grip the world will try to have on  their lives. I don’t want to be a helicopter parent – I just want to be a mom who is an AWARE parent.

We talk about it all the time: the world is changing.

Technology, education, the job market – my children’s future will look very different from mine but who they are on the inside, the kind of citizen they are to the world, and their impact on others doesn’t have to be limited and it doesn’t have to change.

No matter what kind of technological wonders are strapped to our wrists or held in our hands I believe I have a fairly straightforward, focused role to play in my children’s lives. Sometimes that means turning into a Momma Bear and not apologizing for it.

Will you join me?

You will fight for your kids and your home?

Will you raise up a generation of men and women that show strength without sarcasm, give love without judgment and serve without expectations.

It’s not going to be easy. We’ll be tempted to give in and give up – but we will not! We’ll claim victory, even when it seems we’re losing the battle.

Over the next few weeks we’re going to focus on the big picture while remaining faithful to each other, to our families and to our convictions.

Momma Bears Unite!

5 Responses to “Meet the Momma Bears”

  1. 1 Angie May 27, 2015 at 7:21 AM

    I also have a teenager (will be a freshman this Fall) and a 6 year old. For the past couple of years I have read your words for encouragement in dealing with my strong willed little one. Now, I would love to hear more about how to stay connected with my teen daughter. I feel distance creeping into our relationship and I can’t quite figure out how to make myself interesting and fun for her to hang out with anymore. I know she needs time with her friends, but I also know she needs time with me…but hanging with mom just isn’t cool. Any suggestions here would be fabulous!!!

    • 2 Kasey Johnson May 28, 2015 at 10:13 PM

      Angie – I LOVE hearing your heart. It is so difficult to stay connected when so many things are pulling at us. I am writing a post right now to try and answer this fantastic question – hopefully our other readers will add their thoughts as well. Hang in there, you’re doing great (even if it doesn’t feel like it all the time :o)

    • 3 Dawn Mundy May 29, 2015 at 11:31 AM

      Hi, Angie. I’ve got 2 girls, one 15, and one almost 18, so I can empathize with you. The teenage transition can be difficult at times. There are some strategies you can use to help you stay connected, and I’ll get to those in a sec. But first, I’d like to encourage you to reorient your thinking a little bit.

      A big thing to keep in mind is that this is not about you. When she rejects your advances, rolls her eyes at your ideas, or resists connecting with you in other ways, it will feel like she’s rejecting you, that it’s about you. It’s not. It’s about her. It’s about her independence and self-discovery. And just like a butterfly needs to struggle out of its cocoon on its own to be strong, she has to do some stretching and growing on her own, too.

      As a baby & little kid, she shed layers of dependence in small bits – feeding herself, walking, picking out mismatched clothes. Doing that in small doses makes it easier for parents to let go a little at a time. Now’s the time when she’s peeling off those layers of dependence in big chunks. It’s how things are supposed to be. She gets to practice being grown up, and you get to practice truly letting go. As a mom, it’s both wonderful and painful. And there’s no way around it.

      Another thing to keep in mind is that you’re still her mom. You’re not her friend – yet. She doesn’t need to see you trying to be a fun and cool friend. She needs to see you being you. With all your wisdom and weirdness. She needs to see how you navigate difficulties, celebrate good things, and how to be an authentic woman. She may act like she doesn’t notice those things, but she does.

      As far as what strategies you can use to stay connected, I’ve found a few things to be helpful:

      Explore her world with her. She’s going to be trying all kinds of new things. New music, fashion, hair styles, activities, even friends. This is a great opportunity to find new ways to connect with her. She will try some things that interest you, and some that don’t. Ask her about them – what’s new, why she likes something, how something works. Let her lead you to new bands, or teach you something new. An example – I HATE going to the mall. My girls LOVE shopping at the mall. So if they need or want me to take them to the mall, I will go. And I focus on my time with them, not how much I hate the mall. I ask them to show me what they like and to pick out things they think will look good on me. And we have a good time together. I also have discovered new music, food, TV shows and movies thanks to my girls. And that means more things we experience together.

      Invite her into your world. Remember being her age and wanting adults to treat you like an adult? This is the time you to start practicing that. Ask her opinion on things – and actually listen to it. It can be in small things, like what to make for dinner, or what shoes go with your outfit. And it can be in bigger issues as appropriate. You can also share your own feelings and opinions with her. Let her know you’ve had a bad day and are feeling frustrated. Or that you had, a victory at work and feel great. And if she wants to be part of something you’re doing, find a way to let her in, if possible. I started running a few months ago. My oldest sometimes wants to run with me but doesn’t want to get up as early as I do. So we worked out a compromise. If she wants to run in the afternoon, I’ll go with her – even if it means I run twice in one day.

      Overall, I’d say be patient and persistent. You know your daughter best, and will find ways of connecting and communicating with her that she will respond to. You’ll try stuff – and some of it will bomb. But keep trying. Don’t take the blank stares or outright rejections personally. Keep letting her know that because you love her and like her, you’re not going anywhere. And that you’re excited to see her discover who God made her to be.

      Hang in there!

  1. 1 Momma Bears Part 3 | smarter moms Trackback on August 5, 2015 at 7:22 AM
  2. 2 Momma Bears Part 2 | smarter moms Trackback on June 5, 2015 at 10:28 PM

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