5 Ways To Avoid Mama Bear

I’m a nice person.  Somewhat quiet, but generally nice. I typically don’t bother people. I enjoy the heavenly peace that comes with minding my own business and staying to myself.

I am proud of myself for learning how to treat others with kindness regardless of how they treat/ have treated me.  These days I am more understanding of others, less confrontational, and overall a happier and more pleasant person than I have been in the past.

But let’s be clear: I AM a mother.

All of this growth, understanding, happiness and pleasant behavior can easily and readily be chucked out of the window if you decide to wake Mama Bear.  I do not play about my baby.

I’m doing my best to manage these mama bear protective instincts.  I don’t want to be the crazy, erratic mom, poppin’ off at everybody over small offenses, but I also don’t want others to assume that because I’m nice, I’ll tolerate foolishness and not hold others accountable for messing with my child.   

The line between assertiveness and aggression is a very thin one, and I’m likely to dance on it, and even fully jump over it when you try Bella.  Mess with me, but not my daughter.

In an effort to help those who struggle with boundaries and run the risk of encountering the fury of a mama bear, I’ve devised a cute little list to assist you in letting her hibernate in peace. Read, share, pass a long and save a life.

1)  Be Careful in Approaching Mothers About Their Child's Behavior.

To be honest, unless you’re a close relative, caretaker, or my daughter’s teacher, you probably don’t need to say much to me regarding my child’s behavior, unless I choose to open that door.  The odds are, if you’re not any of the aforementioned people, then you don’t spend a great deal of time with her.  Therefore you don’t know her, and your perspective isn’t nuanced enough to advise on disciplining her or determine “how she should behave.”

In the event you really feel your opinion is warranted, and you’re overwhelmingly pressed to share it, as my good friend always says, “don’t be sorry, be careful.”  Offer your advice, without being insulting. Watch your words, and watch your mouth.   

2)  Realize This: She’s Just A Baby.

Please don’t expect my 3-year-old to conduct herself like a full grown adult.  She just got here, and you’ve been here for decades.  She is learning and figuring out the world around her.  Most experiences are fresh and new to her.  She’s discovering her emotions and learning how to handle them.  Manners and politeness are new concepts.

Don’t assume that we’re not working with her, but also know that I’m not at home cracking the whip every time I give her fruit snacks and she forgets to say “thank you.”

She’s testing boundaries, and seeing what she can and cannot get away with.  She gets mad over the silliest of things.  Bella got mad at me the other day because she asked for fries, and I had to put them in the oven first. It happens. She’s a baby.

Sometimes she simply gets upset because she’s trying to tell you something, and you can’t understand her 3-year-old English. You’d get frustrated too if you couldn’t communicate your needs. You leave my baby be.

3) Treat Her How You Would If I Were In The Room

I feel like I shouldn’t even have to say this, but too much foolery goes on these days for it not to be a valid point.  You know you’re doing something wrong if you wouldn’t do it in front of the child’s parent. If you wouldn’t do it in my face, don’t do it all. 

Treat people how you’d like to be treated.  If you also operate under this rule, it shouldn’t matter if I’m standing in the room.  I know my kid can be quite the character, but yet and still: be kind, be fair, and be patient. It costs you nothing to be nice to a baby.  

4) Don’t Mistake My Age for Naivety

I guess I’m what people refer to as a “young” mom.  People automatically assume that being young is equivalent to being naïve. This is one of the reasons, young moms are often the feistiest of the mama bears.  Our parenting skills are always called into question because, you know, “you’re still a baby too,” or “you only have 1.”  New mom this, new mom that. 

Sometimes I’d like to remind older mothers that they weren’t 40 their whole lives. You were once young, raising young children too.  

I am an adult, doing adult things.

I’m used to Bella’s teachers calling me “honey,” and “sweetie,” which I find to be a bit patronizing?  You can call me Mrs. N, which is the same manner in which you address everyone else’s mama.  I drove to this school in a car I pay for, with money from the job I work, and I pay tuition like every other 30, 35, or 40 year old mother here. I am an adult, doing adult things.  Ain’t nothing honey or sweetie about that.  

This is a matter of respect. Regardless of what age I am, I am still a mother.  I want to volunteer, help at the school and be just as involved and informed as other parents. Turn up.   

5)  Keep. Your. Hands. To. Yourself.

I’ve babysat for parents in the past who have given me permission to spank their kids. Lol. I never took that liberty.  Just know, I won’t be authorizing anybody to “pop” my child at any point in life.  

Speak firmly, shake your head no, take away privileges or call me or her daddy’s cell if things really get out of hand.  No taps, no pinches, no ear grabbing, or whatever it is your mama used to do to you.  Be careful that you don’t receive the licks you decided to give.

I wish that I could oversee every event and encounter of my daughter’s day, but I can’t.  I know that it wouldn’t be healthy for her or myself.  I can’t hover over her, and protect her from every offense, every smart remark, nor can I beat up everyone who is rude to her or who willfully ignores her.  My husband had to remind of that the other day.

So, while I attempt to keep my emotions in check when it comes to protecting the gift that God entrusted me with, let us all also make sure that we are not actively inciting, poking or prodding the mama bear that sleeps within. 

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Let us all keep it real cute for the sake of peace and happiness.

Ya’ll be blessed now.