To the Mom of the Crying Kid… Good for You!

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to-the-mom-of-the-crying-kidWhen I think back to my life before children, I often laugh at the naïve thoughts that went through my head. Of course, we are all given this gift of complete oblivion, or else we would probably enter motherhood with more hesitation. One particular thought I used to have dealt with crying children and their mothers. Crying kids at a restaurant, in line at the grocery store, running toward the toy section at Target- they were (and still are) everywhere. And you know what? They drove me crazy.

I remember standing in line to check out at the grocery store and being rammed into by one of those little kid carts. The little boy was already crying and screaming (and annoying me) and his mom was basically just standing there. I had a rough idea of what was going on, given the volume of the child’s demands. He wanted a candy bar and mom said no. Hence the tantrum and bruises on my ankles. I just kept thinking – why can’t she just get him the stupid candy bar?!

Another time I was enjoying a girls’ dinner out at a restaurant. A family was eating nearby and a little girl was throwing a fit. There was fork banging, whining and generally unpleasant behavior. Again, I wondered why the parents didn’t just make her be quiet. (I laugh at the “make” part now.) Give her a phone to watch or go sit in the car with her. SOMETHING. Get it together, parents!

Fast forward to two weeks ago. My husband and I were in line at that same grocery store with our two toddlers. Our daughter was thankfully sitting happily in the cart. Our son, however, was thrashing about in the “kid car” part of the cart, ensuring even those in the frozen food section could hear him. You see, we refused to buy him a Matchbox car. A $1 toy that he did NOT need. We were standing our ground, making sure he wasn’t hurting himself, and going about our day. I now wonder what the young man behind us in line must have thought.

As goes parenthood, my perspective has changed. I now think about that mom at the grocery store and the family out to dinner and want to tell them – good for you! Because you see, when you see a crying kid, there is probably a stellar parent nearby. Throw assumptions out the window and think about the big picture. Is that child safe? Are they hurting anyone else? Is that parent standing firm and being a PARENT? Probably…yes.

It’s much easier to give in to our kids. To just get them that candy bar, give them an electronic at a restaurant, or just buy the dollar toy car. But what does that teach them? I openly admit that I struggle with this. I give in FAR too much and in turn, constantly worry that I am raising entitled children. So this post is for you, but it’s mostly for me. I am now officially holding myself accountable. There will be tears (from the kids and me) and it will definitely not be easy. But it is SO important. Beyond my unconditional love, the best gift I can give my children is perspective – to grow in compassion, patience and respect. A gift that, luckily, is free for all of us to give.

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I am a native Cincinnatian and thanks to a lot of moving, I know this city pretty well. I grew up on the Westside, attended Walnut Hills High School, and then headed to Oxford for an education degree at Miami University. After a few years in Hyde Park, my husband and I are settled in Northern Kentucky for the time being. One of the great things about the Cincinnati area is the abundance of wonderful neighborhoods, schools and family friendly activities! My husband, Andrew, and I have a son, Aiden (2) and our baby girl, Audrey. We didn’t exactly plan all of the “A” names, but it allows us to keep our family nickname – the A-Team. I am an elementary school teacher, but am on a leave of absence right now to be home with my kids. My days are filled with entertaining my babies, taking way too many pictures on my phone and changing a lot of diapers. Thanks to recent open-heart surgery, I have an aortic valve that ticks (like a clock!), I have ornithophobia (Google it) and I broke my hip when I was 18 (I will never ice skate again). But, I do love photography on my “real” camera, pretending I’m a good enough chef to have my own cooking show and playing outside. I turned to writing/blogging in order to document my family’s journey to better health and as motivation to keep myself on track. You can read more about my personal journey at www.limkelife.blogspot.com. I look forward to sharing the adventure of motherhood with you!

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