So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

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

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. 

 

You’re Not a Bad Mom, You’re a Work in Progress

In: Motherhood
Mom hugging child

I’m kind of hard on myself as a mom. In fact, most days if I were to grade myself on some sort of official motherhood report card, I think I’d give myself a “Needs Improvement,” which isn’t all bad. Nobody’s perfect, and the idea of working on being a better mom is great—important even—but I’m realizing more and more that when I see myself as a mom, I tend to focus on the bad. The things that need improving. All the little mistakes add up, and overall, I end up feeling like a bad mom. Nobody tells me this. It’s...

Keep Reading

I’m Giving My Kids the Summer Fun I Never Had

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two boys playing in the waves on the beach, color photo

I love that my kids hate school. Stay with me here . . . Yes, I absolutely love that year after year, my boys cannot wait to ditch school for summer break, that they endlessly bemoan the academic year and cannot wait for June.  I love it because it is normal. I love it because it means they enjoy being at home and implies that I make summers fun for them, or, rather, allow summers to be fun for them. I love it because I always dreaded summers when I was growing up. Dreaded them with knots in my stomach...

Keep Reading

I Would Relive Every Moment of Sorrow Just To Hold You

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding infant, black-and-white photo

As I sat there rocking my child to sleep, I caught my mind wandering to the past. Not my recent past but my before . . . Before my son was born. Before my stressful pregnancy. Before my positive pregnancy test. Before . . . when I was praying every day for a miracle—six years back. Infertility is a messy journey that few (and many at the same time) are chosen to take. It’s lonely and heartbreaking and dark and will make you hate yourself at times. You feel helplessness and anger and despair. RELATED: This is Infertility Your relationships...

Keep Reading

So God Made a Mother With a Willing Heart

In: Motherhood
Mother and daughter smiling, color photo

You may have heard it said that God only gives special children to special parents.   But, when God made the mother of a child who has special needs, the Lord did not need a special mother, the Lord needed a mother who was willing. God needed a woman who would say yes to an assignment that many choose not to accept. The Lord knew she wouldn’t feel qualified to raise a child with special needs, but that didn’t matter because God would equip her every step of the way. Since there is no such thing as a perfect mother,...

Keep Reading

Mothering One Day at a Time

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding daughter in matching shirts, color photo

As I sat with my growing belly, full of anticipation for the arrival of my firstborn, the possibilities were endless for this little girl. Maybe she would lean toward the arts and be a dancer, writer, or musician. Or maybe she would take after her great-granddad and become a scientist. And maybe one day she would be a mother too. Dreaming about the future was fun and exciting. But then she surprised us with an at-birth Down syndrome diagnosis. Special needs were never included in my dreaming sessions.    All of the sudden, my hopes and dreams for this new...

Keep Reading

Fall into the Arms of Jesus, Little One

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Child walking

I have three younger brothers, so I know how crazy and wild boys can be. Lots of falls, cuts, scrapes, bruises, broken bones, and even a couple of head stitches. My husband has two younger brothers. He’d always tell how they used to jump from the banister down two floors onto the glass coffee table. Why anyone would do that, I have no idea. Pure madness and chaos.  Right now, I have a little baby boy who’s only seven months, but I know he will probably be just as wild as his uncles and dad. But that doesn’t mean I’m...

Keep Reading

You Don’t Have to Lose Yourself to Be a Good Mom

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman brushing wet hair

There is nothing wrong with losing yourself in motherhood. Diving in head first, serving your kids and spouse endlessly, never asking for a break, being proud for providing an amazing childhood for your kids, and allowing mom to become your entire identity. But what if you don’t want that?  When did this become the standard of motherhood we are all expected to achieve? Why does society say the best mom is the one that’s 110% physically and emotionally available for her kids all the time and never does anything for herself? Why are you less of a mom if you...

Keep Reading

No Screens Before 7: How Our Family Broke Free of the Screentime Habit

In: Living, Motherhood
Kids using smartphones

“We still have three more minutes!” my 7-year-old says, bouncing with Christmas-like anticipation and excitement. “Well,” I say, looking from him to his 9-year-old sister, “what could you do for three minutes?” “Leg wrestle!” they exclaim and run to the carpeted living room. This life-filled exchange was not happening in my home just a couple of months ago.  In spite of my best efforts, screen time had taken over. Both the kids and I would slip into this zombie-like, space-time vortex. I would look up and know it wasn’t healthy, but it was just so easy to just keep on...

Keep Reading

10 Tips to Banish Teenage FOMO

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen with red hair smiling

Do you ever feel like the whole world is having a party—and you weren’t invited Maybe you worry about being included in the right groups or invited to the right sleepovers. Maybe you envy the relationships you see at school or youth group or feel jealous of the perfect social media posts showing others making memories together. If you’re a teen in 2022, you’re probably well acquainted with the fear of missing out. Knowing or wondering what you’re missing or who is getting together without you can leave you feeling lonely. It can leave you lonely and a little blue....

Keep Reading

I Want My Boys To Become Men of Character

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young boys with arms around each other by water

I’m a single mama of two young boys. As a woman raising young boys, I’ve thought a lot about how I want them to act—as kids and adults. We joke around that I’m not raising farm animals, and we don’t live in a frat house. I’m trying to plant seeds now so they grow into men with positive character traits. They burp, fart, spray toothpaste on the sink and somehow miss the toilet often, but I’m trying to teach them life lessons about what it means to be great men and gentlemen.  Interactions with other men provide opportunities for us...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime