Collections: Where do you need to remove the "shoulds"?
Life Relationships Faith Livelihood

In a book I was recently reading, the author referenced a Facebook post that was going around a few years ago. In it, Facebook users were prompted to share a list of (somewhat random) things about themselves. Things their closest online friends might not know about them, but maybe should.

The author used it as an opportunity to pull back the facade on her life and be vulnerable with experiences from her past, feelings in her present, and fears of her future that most people didn’t realize about her. It resonated with all who read it, and the response was overwhelmingly positive.

It occurred to me that I could make a list for my children. 15 Things I Want My Kids to Know About Me.

When I am laughing with my daughter on the floor as she pretends I’m her baby, watching the joy unfold on my middle son’s face as I “fly” him on my feet, or feeling the comfort of my oldest son’s arms around me at bedtime, sometimes my mind will think, “I should take a picture of this.”

Kids are kids, and adults in a community should be looking out for each other, not just looking out for Number One.

Instead, we don’t know our neighbors, they don’t know our kids, and helicopter parenting is now the expected norm. If you dare to let your child play on his own without being within a five-foot distance to supervise, you risk losing your children permanently.

Just ask the parents in Florida who were arrested and children taken away when their 11-year-old son played basketball by himself in their front yard for over an hour. In April 2015, he arrived home before his parents, who were stuck in traffic. So he ate his snack, grabbed a ball, and started shooting hoops. A neighbor called the police and the parents were arrested, in front of their children, for neglect.

I was recently involved in two separate conversations regarding the cost of living, specifically around raising children.

The general consensus was that “it’s so expensive to live nowadays” and “raising kids costs a lot of money” and “we’re waiting until we can afford kids before we have any.”

Girl Scout cookies and wine pairings. What are you drinking with YOUR Samoas?

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Kids today.

Are they really worse than in any other generation? Than when I was growing up? Or my parents? Or my grandparents?

“You’re not doing what God wants you to do!”

I froze on the bathroom rug. I put down the toothbrush and took a deep breath. My thoughts immediately tackled the question head on, “AM I doing what God wants me to do in this moment? Would he want me to yell at my son and hold him down while I scrape tiny bristles over his teeth?”