The weight of motherhood isn’t measured in pounds and pants sizes. It’s measured in responsibility. And it hit me almost immediately with both of my children.
Here’s how I speak up for them:
1) I ask the doctor about speech delays, hip dysplasia, and the 3rd percentile for weight. I share my kids’ stories. I advocate for treatment or against treatment. I wait and watch and re-evaluate. I ask more questions. I speak up to protect their health.
2) I recognize their traits, talents, and preferences. Little Man loves to move. He’s a sociable guy. He’s inquisitive and talkative. I look for opportunities to develop those talents. I sign him up when I think a program “fits” and say “no, thanks” to those that don’t. I ask the teacher to work on weaknesses or to expand their learning in new directions. I speak up to nurture their potential.
3) I understand that more isn’t always better, even if it tastes or feels good at the moment. I make or break the rules. I say “no” to sugary snacks and staying up too late to watch another TV show. I say “yes” to thirteen colors of play doh – even if they’re mixed together – and “yes” to playing at the playground as the sun sets, even though we need to cook dinner. I speak up to teach values.
4) I read the hurt or happiness on my kids' faces. I hear joy in Little Mama’s squeaks and squeals. I hear the hurt or hunger in her cry. I see frustration in Little Man’s pout. I read anger in his stomps and scowls. I give their feelings a voice, translating into words what they know with their hearts but can’t yet describe. I speak up to capture their feelings.
5) I live in the world with an eye toward tomorrow. I see failures in our education system. I worry about our American obsession with reality-show role models. I seek out role models who set an example by acting with kindness, compassion and persistence. I support causes that will make the world better for my kids today and, more importantly, for their kids tomorrow. I sign petitions. I vote. I speak up for their future.
That’s what leading parents do.
How do you speak up for your kids?
This post inspired by a prompt from Mama Kat who asked me to "Describe a time you spoke up for someone who couldn't speak up for themselves."
Image © Ken Hurst | Dreamstime.com