So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

Picture this. You’re in line at Target. You see kids in front of you who are old enough to be independent. They are taking photos and laughing at a cashier who has a visible injury to his head. And you are just trying to buy your Bullseye bin items, Wheat Thins, gallon of milk, two 4th of July tees that you didn’t know you needed, and box of tampons. 

Do you continue to mind your tampons or do you step in and set the situation right?

Let’s be real. Unless you just got done watching What Would You Do? chances are, you would look at the magazines, read about the 8 ways to get flat abs, and maybe mutter something under your breath or say a passive aggressive, “Wow. You’re jerks.”

But. What if you did want to say something? Would that be kosher? Is that socially acceptable these days?

Mary Katherine Backstrom, the chick of the MomBabble fame, decided to say something. She took to the internet to share her experience. 

She saw a few kids being, in her words (and mine) buttholes. 

She called them out. Then, she waited with them for their ride and told the adult behind the wheel, the mother of one of the kids, about the situation. That they had openly belittled this man. That they’d put it on their social media. That they’d acted in a way that she felt, if she was their mama, she’d wanna know about. 

And guess what? The mama said, “Thank you” right back. She didn’t say, “It’s not your place!” Or “Lady, you’re outta line!” She said, “Thank you!”

And all the mamas reading this rejoice! Right?!

Isn’t this what motherhood should be? A village! A tribe! A “hood” of mamas who watch out and are the eyes and ears when something our kids are doing is buttholish behavior!

I think so. I think we’ve gotten to a place where we’re scared to offer help. Because we don’t want a mama or a papa to think we’re attacking them. In fact, I think this is the key. Mary Katherine wasn’t attacking the parenting behind these kids’ actions. She was trying to help the kids understand that there are always people watching out for goodness. As a parent, when we see the opposite, we offer guidance to help young minds understand that concept. 

I don’t want some mama telling me my kids are jackwads and that I am awful or that my kid did something that I don’t think is worthy of their judgment. Like if my kids won’t eat their peas and you think they should have to take a bite, that’s a parenting decision. But basic human kindness… I believe we can all agree that that calls for a village, right?

I think we’re all aware that we hope upon hopes that our kids have enough of us with them, even when we’re apart, that they won’t act like a bag of peanuts. But the reality is, they are going to make bad choices. They are. They have about a million opportunities nowadays to make decisions and post them in a place without having to think them through. They are not always going to do what is right. Heck, even adults (like yours truly) do not always make the right decision. How can we expect kids to keep a perfect record? Also, let’s all just acknowledge right now that none of our kids are perfect and we can lend thoughts without lending judgment. Let’s lend less thoughts about other people’s decisions as parents and more compassion to understand that there are no perfect humans out there. We can all get by with a little help from our friends. 

Let’s all be warriors. Together. Let’s be each other’s tribe. Each other’s ears. Let’s rock this village thing together. And let’s all say, “Thank You!” to the mamas willing to step in when necessary. And help make our village stronger. 

 

Ashli Brehm

Ashli Brehm = Thirtysomething. Nebraska gal. Life blogger. Husker fan. Creative writer. Phi Mu sister. Breast cancer survivor. Boymom. Premie carrier. Happy wife. Gilmore Girls fanatic. Amos Lee listener. Coffee & La Croix drinker. Sarcasm user. Jesus follower. Slipper wearer. Funlover. Candle smeller. Yoga doer. Pinterest failer. Anne Lamott reader. Tribe member. Goodness believer. Life enthusiast. Follow me at http://babyonthebrehm.com/

Summer Goes by Too Fast

In: Kids
Boy lying on bench at park, color photo

To my oldest, As our summer vacation nears an end and we begin school supply shopping, I think about all the things we didn’t get to do together this summer. I instantly feel mom guilt. All the plans I had made? Only half of them done—if that. RELATED: Remember When Summer Lasted Forever? All the books I was going to read to you at bedtime? Only a couple short ones. All the creative art we would do? Maybe just one time. The fact is, I let time slip away from me. I was too focused and anxiety-ridden about work, my...

Keep Reading

Going on Family Vacation with Young Kids is Work That’s Worth It

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mom with two young kids on airplane

Our routine will be a mess. Our toddler won’t sleep in a new environment. Our baby needs all of the gear. The flight could be a disaster. I went through a mental checklist of reasons why this kind of family vacation would be hard. It was a pretty convincing list if I’m being honest. I considered throwing a pity party dedicated to the concerns I shoulder as a mother. A few days later I felt a wave of conviction wash over me. I was dreading a trip that was meant to be a blessing to our family. Any kind of...

Keep Reading

I Want To Raise Good Sisters

In: Kids, Motherhood
Four girls sitting on a rock in the forest, color photo

My current dilemma: how to teach four little girls how to be good sisters when I have no idea what I’m doing? I was an only child growing up, and a tomboy at that. It was a lonely, quiet childhood. I remember wishing for a sister, but knowing that with my single mom, it wasn’t going to happen. So, the sister thing is a big mystery to me. I’ve noticed (admittedly with some envy) adult sisters together and their inside jokes, shared history, and language known only to each other. I’ve read about sisters in books. The relationships between the four...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Just Love You, I Like You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young boy standing at bridge, color photo

My growing child, my heart often aches when I look at how big you have gotten. You aren’t a baby anymore, you’re a whole kid. You are your own person, with your own thoughts and feelings. You have your own friendships, and interests.  Parts of me realize you don’t need me the same, but deep down I know you need me all the same. And I’m realizing, that in all of these changes, my love for you is also a like.  RELATED: Being Your Mom is the Greatest Honor of My Life Because now we can connect in a whole...

Keep Reading

Dear Kindergartner, I’ll Always Remember You This Way

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and child touch foreheads

The first magical flickers of your strong heartbeat on a black and white screen— the reassuring evidence I needed to know you were gaining strength for this world. My belly grew, and I proudly went shopping for maternity clothes to cover it. I felt the first dances of your little feet, and it reminded me of butterflies taking flight— the movement of a true miracle. I’ll always remember you this way. The sounds of your first cries—music ringing in my ears. You were real, Earth-side, and wanting only to be loved. The softness of your skin, the way you smelled,...

Keep Reading

Having the Tools To Parent a Child with Sensory Processing Disorder Changes Everything

In: Kids, Motherhood
Child playing with water in tube

My heart leaped into my mouth as Soccer Mom, with her matching foldable chairs and ice-cold Gatorade, glared at me. I wanted to explain how hard I tried to be a good mom, to raise a kind human, but I swallowed the words so I could vomit them at my 5-year-old son on the ride home.   Didn’t he know that pushing another child was unacceptable? Hadn’t I taught him to use gentle hands?   RELATED: To the Special Needs Mom Who Sits Alone Despite implementing the parenting books that promised me a new kid by the week’s end, I often wondered...

Keep Reading

There’s No Instruction Manual for These Middle Years

In: Kids
Little girl smiling on porch

As a preschool teacher and a mom, I’ve always felt pretty confident in my parenting from ages birth to 5 years old.  I by no means am perfect, and I silently rejoiced the day my kids could pour their own cereal and turn on Netflix for themselves while I caught some extra sleep. Even though that’s probably not a proud mama moment to celebrate, it’s just the reality of parenting.  We both celebrate and mourn independence as our children need us less. And let’s be honest, oftentimes independence makes our daily lives easier. Yet it is bittersweet.  It feels like...

Keep Reading

I’m Halfway Through Raising Little Kids

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two girls smiling outside

Today I stayed in my car a few minutes more than usual as my kids hopped out onto the hot driveway and ran inside. The cold air conditioning felt amazing after a long day at the local water park; so did the silence. Then it felt odd, so I turned on the radio. The song that started playing hit my soul: “Woah, we’re halfway there/Woah, livin’ on a prayer.” I’m always living on a prayer, but I also noticed we are halfway there. RELATED: Growing Up, You First Then Me Halfway through the year, more than halfway through summer, and...

Keep Reading

Kindergarten is the Start of Letting You Go

In: Kids, Motherhood

We’re physically ready for kindergarten. We’ve got the backpack, the school supplies, the school clothes, and the new shoes. We’ve talked about it all summer. We’ve practiced the skills he will need, and how to open everything inside of a cold lunch box. We’ve talked positively about it and imagined all the friends he will meet and the places he will go, and how kind and caring the teacher will be. We’re physically ready for kindergarten. But here’s a little secret . . . My heart? My heart can’t fully be ready for him to go to kindergarten. I know...

Keep Reading

The Truth about Puddle Jumpers and Toddler Drowning, From a Grieving Mom

In: Kids
Little boy in Puddle Jumper on waterslide

The very last video I have of my 3-year-old son, Levi, is of him bobbing up and down in a Puddle Jumper.  His little legs kicking underwater, his eyes the spitting image of his daddy, and his older sisters, his happy grin, and his little voice saying “Cheese!” This time-stamped video, counting down the precious minutes we had left until he would end up in this very same pool, less than two hours later.  But this time, it was without the Puddle Jumper. I understand the sense of panic building inside you to avoid my story or read it just...

Keep Reading