Monday, May 19, 2014

Crying in the Costco Bathroom Stall . . .

I have been told that I was a "strong-willed" child. I've also been told that entering into parenting my past faults would come back to haunt me. I guess you could say it's the circle of life or whatever, but the truth is, it's becoming my reality.

Sample Incident Report
Don't get me wrong, my children are amazing! They surprise me everyday with glimpses of hope. But I'm also in the trenches right now. I'm walking through the messy parenting stages of life with a 4 and 2 year old. I cross my fingers daily as I go to pick up Izzy from preschool that she hasn't had a rough day. My stack of incident reports is growing (the only competition is my sister-in-law with my niece Ella- ha). My parent-teacher conferences are getting scheduled more frequently. It's no joke. I'm in the trenches.

I'm sure you are wondering what this all has to do with crying in Costco- so here goes. My cute little family of four adventured to Costco on Saturday before heading to a few family and friend BBQ's last weekend. We had to pick up "the goods." We like to think we have our shopping trips mastered at this point. Joe grabbed a cart and stuck Judah in it. I grabbed another cart and stuck Izzy in it. Divide and conquer, right?! Well, everyone needed to stop for a potty break so we headed to the bathroom. And so it begins. . .

Izzy is smart. Izzy is potty trained. Izzy is independent. She opened a bathroom stall and proceeded to go potty all by herself. I headed to the stall next to her (TMI-sorry) rushing quickly to make sure she didn't have any escapades crawling between stalls (cause that has happened before) I was done and waiting for her to finish. She started taking her time and I was in a little hurry to get our shopping trip done. I knew for sure at this point the boys were so far ahead of us, that I knocked on her door and offered to help her get her pants up. She insisted that she could do it herself which was fine for the first minute that passed. But with the clock ticking, I opened her door to which she responded by screaming loudly in the echo-y bathroom. I continued by pulling up Izzy's pants and carrying her out of the stall to her dismay. Those in the restroom (and outside the restroom) heard her disappointment and frustration. To me, it wasn't that big of a deal (maybe it should have been?). Just a battle of the wills at this point and I was going to win.

Well, I take Izzy up to the sink to wash her hands and she's still upset, but I'm #winning. I guess not only was Izzy upset, but an older woman also became very upset that I wasn't doing anything to put Izzy in her place. Washing her hands next to me, she looks over and says "Aren't you going to do anything about that? You know there is something you can do!" (I'm guessing she's referring to "spanking" her). To which I turn and say, "Thank you," very kindly as to not enter an altercation.  She grabs paper towels on the other side of us and turns to Izzy and says "Brat." I think more than anything at this point I was kind of in shock. No words came out of my mouth. She continued to exit the restroom and then turned around back to me and said, "You know the only reason she is like this is because of you." Still in shock I said, "Thank you, you have been very helpful." And she walked out the door.

She then runs into Joe and asks, "Did you confiscate my cart?" To which he replies (not knowing any of what just went down inside) "No, but your husband confiscated our extra cart and moved down that direction." She muttered under her breath and walked away.

I actually did not end up crying in the bathroom stall (just thought it would be kind catchy) but I know plenty of young, tired moms (without much support) that easily could have ended up defeated and crying in a stall. I probably felt a little deflated, but I won my battle with Izzy (even though it wasn't a quiet win). I explained to Joe what took place and he laughed. He said, their home must be really lame and not filled with much life. I guess the husband was standing by Joe (after the husband confiscated our extra cart) and when Izzy uttered her first frustrated scream the man said "Jesus Christ" to which Joe replied, "No sir. It's not Jesus. It's just Izzy." The man then walked further down the lane to remove himself from the scene of the crime.

Well, I know I don't have parenting figured out. Seriously, I don't. My children don't always listen to me at my first request. Sometimes there are tears, timeouts, spankings (we actually do spank sometimes) but I do try to ask God for help along the way. I know that He has given me my kids for this time in history. I know that He has equipped me to be their mom. To win some battles of wills, but more importantly to teach them that Jesus loves them. That Jesus has created them to show love to those around us. That Jesus has blessed us, so we can in turn bless others. We are walking life out together. I just wish that the nice old lady could have looked at me instead and said "I've been there. Keep fighting the good fight. You've got this."

I hope my little story sparks something in you today! Don't be discouraged. You've got this! My little fighter (her name is Ireland people) is going to be something mighty! This will be a story I can tell her when she ventures into parenting and has one just like her. Good luck!

My everyday life.

MOPS Be You Bravely . . .

MOPS International announced their theme for 2014/15 not too long ago, and everyone is buzzing with excitement. It's a great follow up to A Beautiful Mess. We have wrote out our stories, we have dug down deep to find our callings and what we are good at; now, we get to live it BRAVELY!

Here are just a few graphics we created (with the help of the leaders idea board on

Our leadership team is getting ready to start planning our retreat to get away this summer. We are excited about the future, and ready to live Bravely.

Download the PSD (photoshop) files for the images above here from Dropbox:
1. Facebook Cover:
2. 5x7 Postcard Front Image:
3. 5x7 Postcard Back Image: