Raise your hand if you know someone popular. I bet that you thought of a few people right off the top of your head.
I often wonder what makes us label other women, especially, with this term?
I wanted to let you in on a little secret over here.
As popular as you think you are or know someone that is…
Guess what? That woman probably had to make some very unpopular choices that we just don’t know about.
We will all be very unpopular at one point or another. Especially if you are a mother.
Being a mom is not a popularity contest. And if it was, I would definitely loose. Big time.
And do you know why I have become ok with being unpopular in my home some days? Because…
I met a woman this week who asked my name and when I told her, she stood upright and said shockingly, “You are September McCarthy! You are so popular!”
Her words and her intent were sweet and pure, but it was that word. THAT word.
Popular. It struck me as ironic. Some of my children might disagree with that right now and some of my decisions might be the contrary.
In the pit of my stomach I could feel that familiar ache of wishing to be anonymous, but then assured it that I was far from her “compliment,” and that today, in fact, I was very un-appreciated in the eyes of a few of my children.
Because here is the thing. The very thing that will rescue you from wanting a sash and accolades when motherhood brings you rough patches…
It is okay to be the “bad guy,” and raise responsible, respectful children.
Even when it is the unpopular thing to do.
A lot of choices I have made as a mom since my kiddos were little, have gone against the grain of this world. Making choices based on morals and not emotions has stirred the pot of convenience or common sense and I got the big ole’ badge of unpopular when implementing some basic parenting values that we prayed and thought long and hard over.
There are days in my own home, when I feel like an alien in a foreign land. Making and enforcing principles and responsibility to children that look at me like I have four heads. Their look of disbelief when I ask them to do something that must seem so unreasonable, but we have been doing this same thing for years.
The moments when I have to enforce a curfew or follow through with a consequence to chores undone or disrespect towards another person. Those very unpopular moments when every other mother has allowed her child to do something and I had to say no, or, not right now.
Unpopular parenting can be a drag. Taking the popular right out of our former self and humbling ourselves to accept this for the win.
I’ve learned the hard way that it is okay if someone else disagrees with my motherhood.
I am willing to take it on the chin when my teens are questioned about their respect or their “rules,” as if it is offensive or just doesn’t make sense.
It is hard, but I am okay with telling my adult kids that I disagree with their choices and sometimes I hold my tongue. Because, it is not always my job to convince them otherwise. I will let someone else get the unpopular badge for once.
And as my little ones are still growing and they see me through the eyes of a child, I remember that it took me years, even as a mother, to totally understand that every time I enforce an idea in this home, is because there is a reason. A very good reason.
Do not feel badly when you been questioned over your parenting decisions, and your heart was humble and intent on the very best.
Do not rescind your core values and “rules,” when others think they are silly or may even question you or your children on them.
You know your kiddos. You know your heart. You are allowing Biblical ethics and strong core principles to govern your parenting. Your open and willing to change and you’ve allowed your children to see your weaknesses.
I am guessing you are feeling pretty unpopular. Because making rules, loving your kids when it is hard and facing the giants of criticism are very unpopular things to do.
Congratulations. Some day, there will be a thank-you on the other side of that label. Some day, we all end up “growing up,” and learn to appreciate and gain understanding for the reasons behind every mother’s heart.