Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Stop behaving like a teenager

It's been awhile since I've had a good ol' fashioned rant, but I've been stewing over something for quite awhile and it's time I say something about it.

I am so tired of watching people who are responsible for the safety, security and happiness of children (i.e. PARENTS) behaving like selfish adolescents. It's unfortunate that anyone can become a parent, that someone with the maturity level of a 15-year-old can be the person that a child depends on for everything in their life.

When you become a parent, regardless of what your life was like before, it's time to buck up, put your wants on the back burner and do everything in your power to make sure your child not only feels loved, but that they feel safe and secure. This means giving them a home where mom and dad are committed to each other, where parents have the maturity not to be governed by what feels good, but by what is right.

Feelings are so freakin' overrated. So many people think that just because they don't "feel" happy or satisfied, that gives them the right to do whatever gives them pleasure at any given moment. If you are unhappy or unfulfilled, look in the mirror and decide what you can do to improve your life. It's not anyone else's fault, you're not justified in behaving inappropriately or frivolously just because another person didn't meet your needs or expectations. Do you think God is going to accept your disappointment with life as a valid excuse for committing sin or behaving irresponsibly?

If you are a parent, you just simply don't get to pursue relationships or a life that will potentially threaten the security of your child. If you've been reading my blog from the beginning, you may remember this post about marriage. I spoke about a friend who was getting a divorce because she was dissatisfied with her husband. He did not cheat on her, he didn't have any addictions, he was not abusive to her, and he worked his butt off so she could stay home with their 3 kids, who he was a great father to. But that just wasn't enough for her. She felt unfulfilled, so she became bitter and ugly towards her husband and began to pursue other relationships to try and make herself happy. Well, now her children come from a broken home, they have to live with their mom's boyfriend, while their dad is several hours away and they only get to see him once or twice a month. This does not make a child feel safe. They are not better off in this scenario (unless the other parent had addictions or was abusive).

I'm sorry, but if you're an adult with no children and you want to be a dumb ass, go right ahead. You can act simply on the basis of how things make you "feel". But if you have kids, you just cannot make choices based on your wants over your children's needs. Your number one priority in life is to protect and love your children. Kids should not have to worry about whether mommy and daddy love each other. Kids should not have to worry about whether mommy and daddy are going to get a divorce. Kids should not have to worry about behaving perfectly so they don't piss off mommy's boyfriend. Kids should not have to worry about dividing loyalties between mommy and daddy. Kids should not have to be embarrassed about how their parents behave (and I don't mean that they think being dropped off at school in the junky minivan is uncool). Kids should just be able to be kids, carefree and enthusiastic about life. And this doesn't just apply to children who are old enough to recognize what is going on. Kids are very intuitive, they sense emotions and are aware of tensions. They aren't stupid. They may not understand what's going on, but they sense anger, bitterness, sadness, and it makes them nervous. It's not OK to make your children feel nervous and insecure.

I am very passionate about the words declared in The Family: A Proclamation to the World. "Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity... Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. "Children are an heritage of the Lord" (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations."

Children have a right to security and if you're doing anything that makes them feel otherwise, you're not fulfilling your parental duties. There are situations where divorce is necessary and in the best interest of the safety of the children. Life is full of challenges where we have to deal with the consequences of others' poor choices. So I am not saying that anyone who is parenting alone is bad or under God's condemnation. But if you are parenting on your own, do you carefully consider your actions and how they will affect your children? Do you put forth genuine effort into providing the most loving and safe environment possible? Are you patient and cautious in your choices, thinking first and foremost of your children and not of what makes you feel good?

Deciding that you made a poor choice in a spouse is not an excuse to behave badly. The time for that discussion is long past. You knew who they were when you married them. You had concerns, but you foolishly figured "everything will work out" because you loved them. That is not reality and now you must buck up and behave like a responsible adult and do what it takes to honor your marital vows. The preacher didn't say, "for better or for worse, unless you're unhappy, then all bets are off." You need to learn something about commitment, about loyalty, about enduring. God never promised us that life was going to be easy and always super fulfilling. In fact, He told us that it was going to be hard, but that it was our responsibility to make good choices. He loves us and wants us to be happy and has outlined a clear path of how we can achieve that. We just have to be willing to do the work.

And if you're not going to do the work, please, for the love of all children, get an IUD and use a diaphram and wear a condom. Don't put another child through this crap.


Lois Ann said...

I see you and Dr. Laura were up in the night together :-). Good for you.

Becky in Wyo said...

Amen, sister.

Sue said...

Oh, and one other thing. Marriage can survive infidelity if each spouse thinks first of their children, considers what their personal responsibilities are in contributing to the problem, and has the maturity to stop playing the victim and face themselves in the mirror and decide to do everything in their power to improve their situation and give their children the best life possible.

Apis Melliflora said...

God wants us to work on our marriage too. If we can do that first, the raising children part follows with greater ease: husbands love; wives honor and respect.

Spymommy said...

Amen and exclamation point!(underlined, underlined)

Lori Gerten said...


The Queen Vee said...

Well said, glad you got on your soapbox. Wish it could be published nationally. I testify that you can make a marriage work even with difficult challenges between parents. It's all about commitment for the long run and a common goal.

Anonymous said...

Wowsers, I am kinda scared to leave a comment...you love to get everyone all RILED up , but that is why we love you!!!

Stacey Gerlach Moe said...

Good stuff, Susan. Good stuff!

Rachel said...

SUE YOUR MY FREAKING HERO. story of my freaking life.