Mail and the Mama Bear: Am I Monopolizing My Kids’ Upbringing?

Day 14, Five Minute Prompt: MAIL

Across from the spot where my daughter crafts daily “birthday” cards for her daddy sits a bulletin board where we pin the mail she receives. A colorful collage reminds her she is loved, and she asks often about her “friends” many of whom she has never met or doesn’t remember.

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I look forward to hugging these friends and letting them know how much these tokens mean to me. However, I feel uncomfortable at the thought of sharing my children with many people after so long just surviving as a family of four.

It’s tempting to act like I have a monopoly on molding the hearts of my children. That I am the only one who knows them and can love and take care of them. It’s true God gave them to me, but being uniquely made, they can benefit from all sorts of people who aren’t just like me.

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I think of all the people God used in my life to shape my heart for service to Him and train me along the way. Mom and Dad out-loved and out-taught the rest by far. But they needed those people to pour into me, to assist their efforts to mold me into His image. I would have been hindered had they monopolized my upbringing and kept me from being trained and discipled by others.

It takes a village, or so I’ve heard, and we just happen to have a wonderful community of believers all around the world who love our children. I would hate to rob them of that special blessing because I am a wildly jealous Mama Bear!

Anyone with information on how to suppress this beast can send me relevant mail which I will promptly post to my own bulletin board for future reference.

Do you see the value of allowing others to invest in your children?
Expand your village for your kids today!

And then talk to me in the comment section below.

linking up: Fresh Market Friday, Five Minute Friday

25 Comments

  1. This had me thinking. But yes, I have totally seen the benefit of others investing in my children’s lives, from parents of the kids they hang with, to the youth pastor and his wife. I am realizing, after having raised 2 and am now raising two teens, that I don’t have it all together and I don’t always have what they need. My children have often confided in others before me, and I have learned to be okay with that. At least they are talking to someone. Visiting you from the #fmfparty! Have a blessed weekend.

    • It is definitely a balance to be found, and it sounds like you have done a great job. I am still in the early early stages but see this hesitancy to allow outsiders to care for my children (i.e. we had a nanny while I studied language and I was pretty certain my kids loved her more than me). God really dealt with me on my pride as their mom and my lack of trust in Him to allow others to be used to accomplish His work in them. Thanks for stopping by, Barbie. I so appreciate your shared wisdom! I need all the help I can get, sister!

  2. This is actually a very good point. As I continue to write, I am beginning that you are not the only mama bear. Even though my big kid is only two and has a small circle of people around her, I know there are her grandma and pap who love close by who are not getting any younger who would love to my big things. I think for me it’s fear that they could teach her things I disagree with. But who I am to limit what God might want for my big kid to learn from them despite how different they are. Good points Amber!

    • I obviously couldn’t cover all the aspects of Mama Bear and letting others care for our children. Of course, there are times when mother really does know best and if there are legitimate reasons to keep people away, then that is your responsibility. I trust God will give you wisdom in these matters. Super good points. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your heart.

  3. I think the key might be constant community and contact? We have a close knit community with so many amazing adults and always makes me feel so blessed when our kids connect with others and i see their love for our children. There is something so magical about that connection of others who don’t *have* to pay attention to or care about our kids but they do anyway and the love just grows 😃 it is hard to step back though sometimes as I feel like I should be always monitoring/following my kids.. but I’m learning to relax a little!

  4. Maybe so! Unfortunately, we don’t have that right now, but we will in a few short weeks when we visit America! So thankful for that close knit community you have. What a blessing that is for your children! It is a constant prayer of mine to use my discretion as mom wisely as I loosen up the reigns bit by bit. Parenting is hard on the heart! Prayers for you as your raise your three littles and grow this little one on the way! From what I can see, you are a fantastic mum!

  5. Though we don’t have kids (and thus my opinion may not be worth much) I do agree with you.

    I wonder if this also works in the early stages of a marriage? There’s that initial ‘exclusivity’, and I have the feeling, from what I’ve seen, that many couples have a problem with that kind of exclusive jealousy…if the partner starts making friends outside the marriage, will the closeness be diminished?

    What do you think, Amber?

    #1 at FMF this week.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2016/10/your-dying-spouse-219-rooster-fmf.html

    • I think you’re onto something!I can see how that jealousy can start in a budding marriage, especially if the relationship is also new. I found that our outside relationships (with the same sex) really benefited our marriage! I would not suggest forming close bonds with the opposite sex. And having couple friends is great as well. We especially benefited from older, more experienced couples who helped us navigate the beginnings.

  6. Sorry it’s taken me half the month to get to reading your posts. I can relate to the kid-monopoly feeling. I felt it as a homeschooling mom and now as a public school mom. Who has the right to influence my kids this way or that? I’m the final say! Right? Actually, no. We need to share and be gracious and take a step back. Why not empower other families and breathe into them the love of Christ? He is sure to help us in kind with loving members of our tribe. Like the old George Michael song, Gotta Have Faith. 🙂

  7. Fierce mama bear syndrome is real. I feel the desire to protect my children too (all four of them). Now I have an 18-year-old son going to college. Part of me wants to reel him back home and keep him safe, but the process of growing a child is always with the intention of sending them out. It’s an ache that starts from the very beginning. Growing pains and letting them go–mamas have a hard road in life.
    I am reminded–and often have to be reminded–that I am, more than anyone else, entrusting my children into God’s hands. When I am mindful of Him, I am better able to handle the worries that come in.
    I do see the value of other people investing in my children’s lives. I pray for it. I know that my message is sometimes best heard with other voices. I know that other people have gifts and insights I don’t have. I know this because I have had so many helpful people speak into my life over the years.

    Your fmf neighbor,
    Cheryl

    • That desire is God-given and good! I am thankful that those who have read this have given me grace in seeing that, as I was limited on time to communicate all the things that go along with this. You are right about our message sometimes being accepted better from others. I am seeing this now at even such a young age and know that reality will become even greater as the years pass them by. Can’t imagine sending these sweet babes off to college but trust He will give me grace as He has given you! So encouraged by your testimony, Cheryl.

  8. It’s definitely hard to watch my tween walk through the school doors each school day, but I know I have to trust God and trust her to follow what her dad and I have taught her all those years. Not to mention, we are sending out precious lights out into a dark world…Not my words; we got that as a lesson at church yesterday. 😉

  9. I am so grateful for how other have invested in my children through the years, and they are better human beings and followers of Christ because of this. I also think it helps our children develop a strong sense of gratitude and humility when they realize how God connected all of these dots of investment made in laying their path. Love this perspective Amber!

    • Absolutely! I am praying this sense of gratitude and humility will develop with time. It is so encouraging to hear from other moms further down the road. I’m used to doing everything differently than everyone around me here in Nepal. It helps to know that others have gone before and used similar strategies while resting in the grace of God upon our children. Thanks, Crystal!

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