All of these subjects have come up in conversation with my daughters over the last couple weeks. None of those words were EVER discussed between me and my own mother. She is more private and reserved and my mom didn’t talk about those kinds of things.
Though I love my mom and am grateful for her, this is one area I definitely want to do differently with my own kids and in my own life. I want my kids to feel safe to talk with me about anything. I don’t want any word, any topic or subject to feel taboo. If it comes up in their life, I don’t ever want them thinking they can’t bring it up with their mama. So, I’m always a bit proud when conversation gets a little edgy. Because teenagers. And toddlers.
What I am striving to be is a safe place. A place of safety for my kids and husband and for those around me. Someone they can come to with any conversation piece and know that they will find love and not judgement. That they will hear truth and encouragement from me, spoken with kindness and compassion.
Being a safe place looks like having a countenance that does condescend or emit fear. A safe place is where family and friends will find validation and hope. A safe place never heaps shame and condemnation on people.
If my four-year-old needs to ask me if she has curly poop, so be it. I won’t shame her for talking about topics that are less than glamorous. Because a conversation about curly poop will become a conversation about the value of saving herself for marriage in just a few short years.
A conversation with my fifteen year old about her PMS symptoms will become a conversation about her insecurities about her postpartum body in a decade (or so).
And that conversation with my teenage daughters about penises? It will become a conversation about sex in marriage and how to work through the struggles in any season of life.
What I’m doing with my kids is deepening our relationship. I’m showing my friends that I care and I will walk with them through whatever life throws their way. When I am a safe place, I’m showing my husband that I’m trustworthy with his heart and his life.
I don’t have this down pat. I still struggle with judging situations I don’t understand. I still struggle with having harsh responses to my kids. I still struggle with reacting to my husband in an inconsiderate tone. But I’m growing. That safe place is cultivating inside of me and making me a better mom, a better wife and a better friend. And it’s giving me really hilarious conversations about penises, PMS and curly poop!