Saturday, March 1, 2014

Whose issues to expose - mine or his?

Perhaps you’ve seen them too. The “Reasons my son is crying” photo series floating around. Pictures of children tantruming for the most ridiculous reasons. The boy who can’t find the red balloon which is right behind him. Or the girl who got paint on her fingers while finger painting. Cheeks red with frustration, tears and snot streaming down little faces.

My first response was to laugh, no doubt the bloggers intent. Hey, I totally identify with that. I thought. After all, identifying with other adults who live in the totally insane and irrational world of parenting feeds my sanity. My daily survival depends on it.

But identifying with the Mom at the grocery store who is fighting mightily to keep her cool while her child tantrums about wanting soda, and posting photos of the tantrum on the internet are two very different things. Grocery store mom I meet in my actual life and I see both sides of the story. We give each other knowing and encouraging glances. I want to high five her. “You’re doing a great job!” I cheer with a smile. Sometimes she does the same for me.

There is a lot of talk on mommy blogs about being real and authentic when it comes to parenting. I’m good with that, but here’s the thing. While I can easily post pictures of my three year old’s tantrums for everyone to see and get a good laugh at, I’m totally safe. My own issues avoid exposure. My son can’t take a photo of me and post with a caption, “Here’s the time my mom lost it because I wouldn’t stop singing.”  (true story)

He can’t, but I can. I can write about how I’m hanging my heart on Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.” Hanging on this verse and ones like it because I’m stressed and when I’m stressed I speak sharp words. 

I can write authentically about the state of my own heart.

No comments:

Post a Comment