Why I have decided to ignore my children

woman with appleYou know how we are often told to turn away negative thoughts and voices that make us question our self-worth and potential?  Well, now I am faced with a moral dilemma.  On the one hand, I should nurture my children and be a good listener.  On the other, I should ignore voices like this:



Grant:  Um, Mom, let me look at your teeth… (invasion of personal space) … Your teeth are brown.

Me:  What?  They’re not brown!

Grant:  Yeah, they are.  They’re brown.

Clark:  Let me look.  (in my grill)  Oh, yeah. … Maybe the other day at the baseball game some dirt flew in the air and got on your teeth.

Me:  (blink, blink, stunned silence.)

Natalie:  I wanna look.  (3 children on my lap, staring disgustedly at my now-faded smile)  Oh.

And you can see that, clearly, I should no longer listen to my children if I want to keep any shred of dignity or warped acceptance of my own appearance.

Elder Marvin J. Ashton said (and I tweaked):  

In the world, where there are often voices of pessimism and negative feelings [my children], the voice of gladness is welcome indeed. Some seem to live with doubt, fear of the future, and sorrow for the past [or renewed shame in their less-than-gleaming-white teeth]. If it is our nature to criticize or demean, we can cause the voices of gladness to be silenced [and one’s desire to smile to be eliminated]. We need those who bring gladness into our lives. We need those who give encouragement and reflect optimism.

Sincere yet simple words of praise can lift souls and bring gladness. Mark Twain remarked that he could live two months on one good compliment. In the words of the biblical proverbs of Solomon: “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” (Prov. 25:11.)

Encouragement can be quick and simple, but it is a voice of gladness that is needed by everyone.

So, I made a few decisions today:

1.  Ignore my children.

2.  Remember to say nice things to other moms because their children probably sucked all of their self-worth out of them.

3.  Call Matt to find out if our Health Savings Account covers any kind of cosmetic dentistry.  (I did. It doesn’t.)


21 thoughts on “Why I have decided to ignore my children

  1. he, he….this is so funny. And by funny, I mean ironic, because my children are allways super awesome to me. I love having my chin hair pointed out, named, and spoken to by my pre-teen daughter. It is great some part of my body has a working relationship with her.

  2. In related news, I heard a comic the other day say that a girl didn’t become a woman until children came out of her and squashed her dreams.

  3. Reminds me of this post on my blog from awhile ago:
    Today I was playing on the floor with Emmeline and Grace, just laughing and tickling and having a great time. Somehow Grace ended up with her head on my stomach. She started laughing and looked up and said, “Mommy, your tummy is bouncy.” Bouncy. Wow. Just the adjective every woman wants to hear. It was a little depressing until I realized that she probably meant bouncy in the way a trampoline is bouncy–nice and tight enough to throw you up in the air with minimal jumping effort. Yes, bouncy like a trampoline–a new trampoline, not like a saggy old trampoline you find at the DI.

  4. I get told all the time by children…even those not from my own womb, that my teeth are yellow. Oh how I wish we could afford cosmetic dentistry. I’m right there with you.

  5. Yeah. Those darn kids have a way of just bursting our bubbles, don’t they! On the other hand, my little girls often tell me how pretty I am, so I guess I’ll just have to take the good with the bad.

  6. My 4 year old told me the other day there must be a baby in my tummy (there isn’t), but followed up by informing me that the baby in Daddy’s tummy would come out sooner since his was larger. At least he gave me that.

  7. Sigh! (heeheehee!)

    And yet, for all these things that children see and comment on, they still love us. Whatever their observations are, or their little “judgments,” it doesn’t really matter to them. They see the flabby stomach, the less-than-pearly-white teeth, the ratty hair, the un-made-up face, the chin hairs, etc, and we are no less in their eyes for it. They may be momentarily fascinated/disgusted/intrigued, but they will still want us to be their mommies.

  8. That is rich! I think it really gets worse as they get older too. My teenage daughter would ask me as I’m getting ready for the day “Are you really going to wear THAT out in public? And your hair like that too?”. They must think they are doing us a favor or something, really! It might be the time to invest in whitening strips they are alot cheaper and my dentist recommended them to me ( I actually receive a lot of positive feed back about having white teeth now). I also reevaluated my wardrobe and made a few changes. Thanks to the kids helpful comments. Fun stuff!!

  9. I’m still laughing with the picture of all your kids on your lap looking at your teeth. Been there.

    I am past that point a bit…my self esteem has been so crushed through the years of Mommy hood that I now seek out advice from my 5 and 7 year old. How pathetic…at least I know they will always tell me the truth.

  10. I only wish I could say it gets better when the kids get older and have some semblance of propriety. But, no, it does not. It’s worse because you know they don’t mention it with the innocence of a small child; they mention it so that you’ll fix it. Nobody wants an embarrassing mom.

  11. Number two on that list made me giggle out loud.

    My girls like to point out the “holes” (freakishly huge pores) in my skin, and my red nose.

    For the teeth – best fix is a wet toothbrush with baking soda and a bit of salt sprinkled on top. Works fabulously.

  12. This is why the truly “joyful mother of children” is a heavy drinker. I’m pretty sure it says that somewhere in the bible.

    You could use those Crest whitening strips, which offer the added advantage of melting your gums away, too. But then your kids would just point out that your teeth are way too big now, on account of your not having gums any more.

    And L. Tom Perry wonders why we blog!

  13. I just had an experience like that today. My son was tying to get past me and said “move your big butt”. Boy that can burst anyone’s bubble. Of course we had a talk about how that wasn’t very nice. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Oh man. Those little punks!

    I, for one, do not think your teeth are brown.

    Can’t wait until Sean starts talking so I can start figuring out which things he says to me are compliments, lies or things of “love.”

  15. I realize my opinion may not hold the weight of your kids’ opinions, but for the record, I think you have a nice smile (judging from your picture on your blog and the fact that I have seen you in person). Unless something really weird happening in these intervening years (like you started drinking coffee like no one’s business) then I trust your smile is still quite a nice one. 🙂

  16. You are so funny. And oh so right. My children have damaged my self worth and sense of dignity in SO many ways. From asking why my belly looks like it still has a baby in it, to wanting to sit ON my lap while I pee, to calling me “Just a cow” when observing the process of breastfeeding.

    I’m sorry… am I still a person?

    Loved this post. 🙂

  17. I am a stay-at-home mom with three kids, the oldest of whom will turn three in July. Two of them are boys. I love reading this blog because it makes me feel like there’s someone else out there who understands how CRAZY life is as a mom, and yet how COMPLETELY WORTH IT it is. {Giveaway}

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