Go Ahead and Be "That" Mom

 Anyone who knows me knows that I hate conflict. Like I get sweaty, heart palpitations, a sick tummy, tears in my eyes, totally stressed at having to argue my point or stand up for myself at all.

I would rather avoid conflict than plow through any uncomfortable discussion. 

But, unfortunately, as an adult - and especially as a parent - there are situations in which I simply have to bite the bullet and woman up, so to speak, and do just that - speak up and speak my mind because I know that I am right and it's the right thing to do. 

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I still don't always know the right way to go about it though. 

I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve. So, when I am already upset about a certain situation and stressed about having to confront it, an unfortunate combination sometimes occurs. 

I remember once when I thought one of my son's teachers was ignoring a project he worked really hard on. I thought she was dismissing him because of his autism. After crying to one of my friends, I sent a scathing email. The result was that I didn't get the apology I was expecting, I offended the teacher, possibly put a target on my kid's back, and branded myself, for a short time at least, as one of "those" moms. 

You know the type. They run straight to the teacher or principal or coach and complain about everything when something does not go their child's way. You can call her a helicopter mom, a lawnmower mom, a tiger mom, a smother mother, a Karen or whatever the current term is. There is a negative stigma attached to her type of parenting, and other moms and teachers alike talk about her. 

Honestly, it stems from the negative stereotype of being seen as a strong, outspoken woman, one which we women have been fighting for centuries. 

No one really wants to be "that" mom. I cannot believe that any mother says to herself, "I'm going to bitch and complain until I can get my child exactly what I want for him and what I know my child deserves."


Or maybe this is the only way they know how to parent. I know we sometimes like to live vicariously through our children, but we are not doing them any favors by scripting their personal narrative all the time. 

But, what about some of the time? Is there ever a time to be "that" mom? 


When our children are young, it is our job to be their first advocate and their first teacher. We know them best, and when they have a hard time speaking up for themselves, we can model for them how to do just that. 

When our children have challenges that make advocating for themselves more difficult, we should be there to support them.

And when it's time, and if it's possible, we should slowly back off and let them begin to advocate for themselves. 

Until it gets hard again, and they need their mama. Because ultimately, mama-bearing is in our nature, and it comes easily when needed. 

So, I am here to tell you that sometimes it's okay to be 'that" mom. 

When you need to speak up for a child who cannot speak up for himself. 

When you need to hear the other side of the story or learn more about a situation. 

When you have information about how your child learns best or what strategies are the most effective to try when he's struggling. 

When your child is being overlooked because he's uncomplicated, or quiet, or well-behaved. 

When your child's emotional, mental, or physical health could be at risk. 

When your child is truly trying his hardest and feels like he keeps hitting a brick wall.

Go ahead and be "that" mom. That's your job. 

I'm here to tell you that it's hard - if not darn-near impossible - to keep emotions out of it. Our children are our beating hearts walking outside of our bodies. 

It's painful to see them struggle and gut-wrenching to watch them fail; but that's our job, too. To make sure they learn resilience and tenacity, faith and fortitude, courage and commitment that they can carry through life when we are not there.  

They don't come out of the womb this way. They need a guide and a teacher. 

They need us. 

So yes mamas, sometimes it's okay to be "that" mom. Do not fear that label. If you are loving and teaching and advocating for your child when he needs help and letting him figure the world out on his own when he doesn't, and you know the difference between the two, you're really not being "that" mom. 

You are being "THE" mom that he needs. 💕


In Six Years

I haven't written anything on this blog in almost six years. That seems like a long time. Maybe it is. 


After six years I had to make the font bigger so I can see it. 

Other things have happened in six years, too.

In six years, Hubby had to retire from his job due to a disability. Instead of sitting around and feeling sorry for himself, he thought of a clever way to continue doing something he enjoys by starting his own business from home. I'm so proud of his innovation and work ethic and pride in being able to provide for our family. 

In six years, due to Hubby's retirement I had to go back to work full-time teaching third graders. It was hard being a full-time teacher and a full-time mom and a full-time wife. I felt like a full-time failure a lot. Friends drifted away. I missed volunteering at school. It wrecked me that I couldn't be there for my last little one's classroom parties and field trips. I was on other kids' field trips and helping with other kids' classroom parties. I was constantly torn between enjoying my third graders and my teaching team and feeling left out of enjoying all the things and people I formerly enjoyed as a stay-at-home mom. 

In six years, there was a pandemic. I constantly feared for my family's safety, especially Hubby's. I saw a side of humanity and people I thought I knew that truly angered me. I taught during a pandemic. It was the hardest year of my teaching career. I quit teaching after that pandemic year, not because of the pandemic but because Hubby's business was off and successfully running. And he needed me at home. 

In six years, my oldest son, Slim, became a young man. He's graduated from high school. All the experiences with new kids and a new school and IEPs and his first job and getting his driver's license after his younger brother and learning how to be a young adult with autism in this world have happened in the last six years. Slim, when you last met him, was a 13-year-old middle schooler. Now he is a 19-year-old young man with a red bushy beard trying to figure out what's next for him. 

In six years, Knox morphed from a chubby eleven-year-old preteen to a six-foot tall strapping young man of 17. He's had his first job and his first love and his first lessons on how disappointing the world can be sometimes. He loves cars, is looking at colleges, and dreams about where his future will take him. When I look at him, I still see the big eyes and sweet smile of the little middle child who was suddenly thrust into the oldest child's role by default and mostly still handles it with grace and love. 

In six years, Lil' C grew to be not so little anymore. Let's call him C Man now. He was last a spunky nine-year-old, vocal, loud, bold. He's now a fifteen-year-old about to finish his freshman year in high school. The pandemic was tough on him. School, friends, activities, all different or just gone. In the past year, he has blossomed, grown, shone out and turned out. A lead in the school play, a place on the honor role, a first girlfriend, a new school that he loves, and rocking a sport that he's not super great at but doesn't give up on. He still has some of that former boldness, but sometimes I wish he would remember that he once believed he could do anything. 

In six years, Edgie, once an adorable five-year-old, grew to be a busy eleven-year-old who wants to learn and do and try everything. And he's good at almost everything he does. Soccer, track, musical instruments, schoolwork, teaching himself foreign languages and all the countries and capitals of the world. He's got friends and gaming and the lingo of a preteen.  I long for his energy and drive, but the best I can do is nurture it all. Let's just call him EJ now

In six years, the world has changed. Social media is even more dangerous and cruel than it ever was before. My boys do not want me to post their pictures or write about them, and I won't without their permission. I don't regret recording their younger days because reading it over, remembering it all, has been a gift for all of us. 

This post is where we last were. 

In the next six years, where will this writing thing go for me? Why polish off this blog now? 

I am always writing something in my head. I still have writing goals, and I was on my way to meeting them before life made me take a detour. I hated not writing anymore, but I couldn't keep up with it all. 

Now I've decided I don't need to keep up with it all. I don't need to do ads or sponsored posts or even create content constantly just be creating content. 

I'm not a video maker, and I don't use Tik Tok. 

I did republish my Facebook page. I'm working on Instragram. 

I revisited Her View From Home with this post about my boys getting older. 

And I contributed to this best-selling, heart-warming, incredible book

So why do I keep writing? For me, and for you. We both need stories, and I can tell them. 

Stay tuned, and thanks for showing up. 😍 My love to you, and I'll meet you where you are. 

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