Saturday, October 8, 2011

I've Been Banned As Mom Today

I've been banned as mom today by Robby, my seven year old. And I am letting him assert his need to protest.

Saturday morning chores at our house include cleaning bedrooms and the downstairs bathroom together. Not that bad, really. However, my seven year old fights it tooth and nail. I do my best to encourage him and help without doing it for him. Today was one of those days where I got in there with him to get it done. He did a little then moped and complained and counter-acted things I was doing. Finally, I told him he had five minutes to put away anything he wanted to keep, then I would come in and have free reign to organize or throw away what was left.

I walked upstairs to clean the kitchen, simply frustrated over his stubbornness and our lack of accomplishment. How do we move beyond allowing twenty minutes of work to turn into a full day affair or one where he doesn't have the opportunity to succeed?

As I unloaded the dishwasher the words of Sally Clarkson came to me that I had just read yesterday on her blog. She wrote, "...all homes have seasons and it is the faithfulness through all of the seasons that determines the outcomes."

I thought about that. I may be frustrated but how I see this this through will determine the outcome. I still didn't have an answer, but my frustration sub-sided a little.

Robby came upstairs shortly after, "You have to help me, mom."

"I'm sorry, but my energy is drained," I respond. "I simply have none left to help you."

"Hmph!" he grunts with a stomp of the foot and cross of the arms.

I continue to do dishes.

He walks over to a small note pad and draws a "no" symbol, walks over and puts it in my pocket then goes to draw another one.

"What's this?" I chuckle. "Are you protesting against mom?"

He chuckles then brings another one over.

I chuckle some more. "Are you banning mom because I'm so mean?" He chuckles. I tickle his side. "Are you banning mom because I make you work sooo hard?" He chuckles. "Okay, that's fair," I concede, "you can protest. But, I'm not relenting."

"Hmph," he pouts with a stomp of the foot and a little smirk. "Well, I'm not either!"

"Okay." I respond. "Alexa, go get dressed now. I'm ready to go to the dollar store."

"Okay," agrees Alexa.

"Yay! We get to go to the dollar store!" exclaims Robby.

"Oh, I'm sorry Robby but I won't be taking you to the dollar store, " I reply.

"But, I earned my ten crystals (glass rocks we use for a point reward system throughout the weeks)!"

"Yes, honey, but you banned me as mom today."

"Oh. Well. Okay, I relent."


"Yes. Can I go to the dollar store now?"

"Yes, after you clean your room."

"But, I don't want to clean my room!"

"Well, then you really haven't surrendered, have you?"

He then gets a little encouragement from his dad.

"Well, if I go clean my room now, will you wait for me?"

"Yes," I agree.

His room was in great shape in under ten minutes. Then we cleaned the bathroom. Then we all went to the dollar store.

I tell ya what. Being a parent takes some serious creativity. And ya know what else? Creativity doesn't really flow well when we're mad. 

Is this a formula? Nope. This is one of those ways in which parenting is an art, not a science. But I sure am grateful it worked...

and mom is still mom.

Sharing with Finding Heaven 


  1. Hold fast mom! Mom is still mom! Love it.

  2. I enjoyed your post. We have lots of those stand-offs, some I win, some I don't. I loved your line about parenting being an art, not a science.

  3. Great story...great wisdom from is not a formula for sure...God is faithful to give us the wisdom we need for each moment...each season...

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  5. Oh, you have a good point -- creativity does not flow well when we're mad! I'm surprised my creative children have not thought of banning me as mom! Thanks for quoting Sally Clarkson...I had read that, too. What a great picture of faithfulness in your life. Thanks for the encouragement.

  6. Oh, the suspense! I'm so glad you are out from under the Ban of the Mean Mom!
    Great story; thanks for sharing, and for being faithful.

  7. Love this! And I love how you say that it isn't a formula. What works one day, may not the next, which is always why we need a line to the Holy SPirit for our creativity!

  8. That's a great quote: "Mom is still mom."

    Just wanted you to know I prayed about your upcoming fundraiser today.

  9. Wouldn't it be easier if there was a parenting formula? You're right though, it isn't a formula and requires some creativity. Sounds like you are doing a great job of being mom!

  10. way to manage a tricky situation.
    I don't know if I would have had such a good humor about my child banning me.


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