As a self-proclaimed "box-maker," I like to take everything and everyone, package them up, and neatly compartmentalize them. (Just ask my husband. I try to solve even my household dilemmas by arguing, "If we just had a cute box, or a little basket to organize that...")
Motherhood just made this tendency more rampant.
I learned that all moms have a box that they belong in.
"She's the crunchy mama."
"Well, you know... the 'high-maintenance' moms..."
"I just can't wait to be a soccer-mom!"
"It's slightly intimidating. She's such a Pinterest-mom."
And with each of these labels, there come a slew of rules and suppositions. Don't feed the crunchy-mama's children anything but organic fruit. Make sure your house is clean and you have a versatile craft planned for when the Pinterest-mom comes over. Check with the high-maintenance mom to see what preservative/activity/toy/gluten-laden-goody she's avoiding this week because of some article she read on-line.
Because the fact of the matter is, mamas suffer from multiple "bees in their bonnets." What children should eat, what children should do, what places to go, clothes to buy, extracurriculars to enroll in, what the family rules are, what discipline looks like, what fun looks like, what a well-behaved/happy child should do... And some of that is good.
Moms are supposed to be selective. We are supposed to carefully sift through influences and external dangers. We are here to protect, nurture, and raise our children... to be like Christ.
Ah. There's the kicker.
When we moms get upset about car seats, food, and activities, we are telling the world what is most important to us. Hear me carefully... I'm not saying that standard car seats and all-natural fruit snacks are bad.
I'm saying it shouldn't be what gets you all cranked up.
Maybe you went ballistic over the cost of organic apples, or expended hours planning the perfect play-date, but did you notice the disrespectful tone of the TV show your child was watching? Did you grieve over the sprouts of sin in your toddler's life as much as you wailed over another mom's lack of interest in kiddie-pool safety?
(Yes, yes, yes, watch your children while their in the pool.)
That's not what I'm arguing against.
I'm saying that we, as finite, tired, over-whelmed, busy mamas, we have a limited amount of energy to care. We are not God. Our reservoir of caring and passion is not limitless. So are you guarding yours with care? Are you making sure that the bees in your bonnet are the ones that your really should be upset about? When was the last time you had a little temper tantrum about the importance of teaching your child the Bible? About consistent discipline? About manifesting Christ's love and joy consistently?
Even Jesus got mad about the right things.
But we don't do that, do we?
We label. We post articles to Facebook. We look down our noses at what other moms are choosing to do, or else we crawl into a closet of inadequacy and wail because we're not Super Mom.
Maybe instead of labeling, ranting, and making molehills into mountains, maybe we should get down on our knees and ask for perspective. Maybe we should come alongside our fellow moms and encourage them in the BIG things. Maybe we should take a moment to realize that the crafts, snacks, and activities are not the most important things.
In the end, it's the things that make you crazy, the things you rant about, the things you cling to passionately, those are the things that really matter to you.
So... what do the bees in your bonnet say about you?