Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

I used to be a helicopter parent, hovering over my boys’ lives like a, well, helicopter.

I didn’t interfere. I observed. Ready to swoop and recover in case of an emergency—like an actual driving to the ER, emergency.

Parental styles these days are a far cry from the traditional, dare I say, simple categories of parenting we grew up with: authoritative or permissive. Back in the day, I knew two types of parents: strict or not strict. Varying degrees, temperament, and personality were involved. Different levels of guilt-inducing decision existed.

But, it all boiled down to this: are you allowed to go? And did your parents find out?

Not anymore.

Now, we have lawnmower, bulldozer, free-range, and snowplow parenting. We have dragon and tiger moms. (Why is it always the mom?)

RELATED: Dear Kids, When I Let You Fall

I have decided my parenting style has changed over the years. Not drastically, but enough to fly me out of the helicopter range and into what I would like to call the “curling mom”.

Yes, curling, as in the Winter Olympic sport where they push the stone, sweeping the ice to determine the path, ultimately aiming for the target. That’s me! I am a curling parent.

If you’ve ever watched curling, it appears so simple. (Curlers out there, please note that I said appears, I realize it’s not. And the more I researched this sport, it’s quite fascinating and looks exhausting. I can only imagine that an Olympic athlete makes the competition look easy after long hours and hard workamazing and well done!)

One person, the captain, slides the stone with a seemingly gentle push across the ice. The captain glides gracefully, releasing the stone at just the right moment, on bended knee. Then the sweepers, frantically at times, brush the ice to determine or alter the path and speed. A third (the actual title of the person) guides, calls strategy, and directs the sweepers. There is yelling, there is abrupt silence, but the ultimate goal is to get the stone to the target or “house”.

That’s me! I am a curling mom.

Stay with me on this.

As captain, I have released (at least one) of my boys out into the world. And, if you saw me after we hugged him goodbye and left campus, walking the equivalent of an ugly cry of shame to our car, then you would agreemetaphorically, I was on my knees.

Sweeper may be my finest job. I don’t bulldoze or snowplowI’m not that pushy. I am definitely not that aggressive. But, I will direct the trajectory of my child’s course through gentle nudges, hints, reinforcement, and guidance.

I sweep with my words.

I sweep with the language I choose, to give them an option maybe they hadn’t thought of before. (Should you really take improv and film studies in the same semester?)

I (frantically) sweep when I want them to make a different decision, ultimately realizing I need to allow them their independence. They need to fall short of their goal. They need to make mistakes. (It’s a process, parents, if I can get here, trust me, so can you.)

I don’t clear the pathI show them the way.

I am the third. I am the coach, the strategist, calling the plays and praying someone hears me.

Seriously, is anyone listening to me?

I can see it from the perspective of the goal, and I can see the direct line to be taken. I can see their strengths and weaknesses and call it like it is. 

I am the one (yelling) calling them to the target, to their future, to their home.

So, move over lawnmower parents. See you later dragon moms. I am a curling mom, and I am going to sweep you away.

RELATED: Want Your Kid To Succeed? Don’t Be a Lawnmower Parent.

Disclaimer: I am not an authority in parenting. Any parental information posted in this article, unless directly quoted and cited, is my own opinionplease take it in the lighthearted manner in which it’s written.

Previously published on the author’s blog

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Karen Geiger

I am a writer, mom, wife, and speech language pathologist. I am currently blogging about navigating midlife with style and grace, and a bit of luck. Almost empty-nesters, I try to dote on my son who is a senior in high school—and yes, he LOVES that. Most of my time is spent writing, taking my amazing puppy for walks, and trying to keep it all together. 


Moms Take a Hard Look in the Mirror When Our Girls Become Tweens

In: Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Mother and tween daughter reading

We all know about mean girls. They’re in the movies we go to see, the television shows we watch, and the books we read. These fictional divas are usually exaggerated versions of the real thing: troubled cheerleaders with a couple of sidekicks following in their faux-fabulous footsteps. The truth about mean girls is more complex. Sometimes, they aren’t kids you would expect to be mean at all: the quiet girls, sweet and innocent. Maybe she’s your kid. Maybe she’s mine. As our daughters approach their teen years, we can’t help but reflect on our own. The turmoil. The heartbreak. The...

Keep Reading

A Mother’s Love is the Best Medicine

In: Kids, Motherhood
Child lying on couch under blankets, color photo

When my kids are sick, I watch them sleep and see every age they have ever been at once. The sleepless nights with a fussy toddler, the too-hot cheeks of a baby against my own skin, the clean-up duty with my husband at 3 a.m., every restless moment floods my thoughts. I can almost feel the rocking—so much rocking—and hear myself singing the same lullaby until my voice became nothing but a whisper. I can still smell the pink antibiotics in a tiny syringe. Although my babies are now six and nine years old, the minute that fever spikes, they...

Keep Reading

Here’s to the Saturday Mornings

In: Living, Motherhood
Baby in bouncer next to mama with coffee cup, color photo

Here’s to the Saturday mornings—the part of the week that kind of marks the seasons of our lives. I’ve had so many types of Saturdays, each just a glimpse of what life holds at the time. There were Saturdays spent sleeping in and putting off chores after a long week of school. And some Saturdays waking up on the floor in a friend’s living room after talking and prank calling all night. I’ve spent many Saturday mornings walking through superstitious pre-game routines on the way to the gym, eating just enough breakfast to fuel me for the game, but not...

Keep Reading

From a Veteran Special Needs Mom: Don’t Lose Hope

In: Living, Motherhood, Teen
Woman making heart symbol with hands

When my son was newly diagnosed with autism, I was reading everything—the good, the bad, and the ugly. So much so that to this day, I can barely handle reading anything on the subject because I overdosed so badly on it. I went through a grieving process as all families do. Grieving my expectations, hopes, and dreams. It was during this time that all hell broke loose. My child, like a lot of other people who experience autism, has a lot of other psychological and medical issues that interact with his autism. The combination of all those things led to...

Keep Reading

Right Now I’m a Mom Who’s Not Ready to Let Go

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter hugging, color photo

We’re doing it. We’re applying, touring, and submitting pre-school applications. It feels a lot like my college application days, and there’s this image in my mind of how fast that day will come with my sweet girl once she enters the school doors. It’s a bizarre place to be because if I’m honest, I know it’s time to let her go, but my heart is screaming, “I’m not ready yet!” She’s four now though. Four years have flown by, and I don’t know how it happened. She can put her own clothes on and take herself to the bathroom. She...

Keep Reading

They’re Amazing Grandparents but They Were Great Parents First

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Grown woman with her parents

My parents are phenomenal grandparents. They are without a doubt my children’s favorite people. They show up to babysit with activities ready. They pick up the kids from daycare and go straight to the ice cream shop. They are the first ones to get on the floor and play cars or dress up when requested. They read the best bedtime stories and spend the extra few minutes tucking in tiny toes and kissing chubby cheeks. They’ve never missed an opportunity to spoil their grandbabies with too many toys and lots of love. But before they were the world’s best grandparents,...

Keep Reading

Raising a Teenager Is a Long Walk through a Tunnel

In: Motherhood, Teen
Two people walking down tunnel, color photo

So much parenting advice asks us to envision bridges as a metaphor for finding the path forward–bridges we need to create now during these tumultuous teen years to build connection with our kids and pave the way for a brighter future when they are adults. Bridges that override the lonely chasms created by chaos and tension. Bridges that link us together from one season of family life to another—from the island of childhood to that of adulthood. Bridges are regal, durable, and confident. They touch the sky with grandeur. They are exciting and powerful. When we ride over a bridge,...

Keep Reading

This is the Bittersweet Goodbye to the Baby Years

In: Baby, Motherhood, Toddler
Little girl pushing toddler brother in baby swing, color photo

Last August, I had my last baby. Oof. Even typing those words makes my heart ache. There’s something so final, so sad, so unreal about acknowledging the end of having babies. Maybe it’s because I’m the type of person who likes to keep all the doors open. I love possibilities. I hate goodbyes. And this, my friends, feels like a very hard goodbye. When I think about being done having kids, it feels like a goodbye to the baby years. For six years now, all I’ve known is the baby years. And while the baby years can drain me and...

Keep Reading

I Didn’t Know Anxiety until I Knew Grief

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Motherhood
Woman crouched on ground by waterfront

If you had known me for the first 45 years of my life, you would say I was an extrovert. I loved going places, meeting new people, and striking up conversations with all ages. I talk a lot, often sharing too much in the way of being transparent. It’s been said that I have never met a stranger. Yes, I will admit, I am that woman you see in the grocery store line starting up conversations with the people around me. A few years ago, my life started changing, and I struggled with becoming introverted. Though I had once loved...

Keep Reading

Each Child You Raise is Unique

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three little boys under a blanket, black-and-white photo

The hardest part about raising children? Well, there’s a lot, but to me, one major thing is that they are all completely different than one another. Nothing is the same. Like anything. Ever. Your first comes and you basically grow up with them, you learn through your mistakes as well as your triumphs. They go to all the parties with you, restaurants, sporting events, traveling—they just fit into your life. You learn the dos and don’ts, but your life doesn’t change as much as you thought. You start to think Wow! This was easy, let’s have another. RELATED: Isn’t Parenting...

Keep Reading