Saturday night, she and some of the boys were playing in the pool when everyone else decided to go play knee hockey. When I found out they were going to play in the hallway of the hotel, I told her she couldn't play. It was 9 p.m., and I didn't think playing in the hallway of the hotel was respectful of the people around and below us. Needless to say, she was incredibly unhappy with me because nearly everyone else who had been in the pool was going to play.
That's when she labeled me the meanest mom in the universe. "I wish daddy had come with me," she said. Ouch.
I don't like to make my kids mad. I take no joy in telling them "no" when they really want to do something. But I can't always be their friend. Sometimes, I have to make decisions that don't make them happy. Sometimes, I have to be more concerned with their character than their immediate gratification. Sometimes, I simply have to be the meanest mom in the universe.
God didn't call me to be my daughters' friend. He called me to be their parent. Sometimes, that means I have to discipline them. Sometimes, it means I have to make a tough decision. Sometimes, it means they don't like me very much.
God is our example as a parent, and I have to admit that there are times when I don't like His decisions very much. I don't always enjoy His discipline, but He always has my best interests at heart. He never makes a decision because He wants to harm me.
Job 5:17 says, "Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty." We want to be blessed. When God corrects us, it's because He cares about us. In the same way, we correct our children and make decisions for them because we love them.
I wanted my daughter to understand that we have to be respectful of other people when I made the decision that she couldn't play knee hockey in the hallway of the hotel. She didn't like it. She thought it was unfair, but she did get to hear my reasoning for the decision. She did get a lesson in respect.
Our kids shouldn't always like us, but they should always have a chance to understand the decisions we make. When we take the time to explain ourselves to our kids, we teach them to make good decisions as well, decisions that honor God and other people.
So, the next time you get labeled "the meanest mom in the universe," wear the label proudly and know that you're teaching your kids to make good decisions, even if they don't like you very much in the moment.