Welcome to our very first “Spotlight on a Mean Mom”! Every Monday you’ll get to meet someone new!
Has your child ever said you were mean? If this is your first time here you need to know something–what a child defines as mean a mom defines as instilling loving boundaries. Remember, the word mean isn’t always the mean they think it means.
The Mean Mom’s Guide to Raising Kids will be available in March 2015. I had some help from some very special ladies while working on this book over the summer.
LOTS of mean moms and marshmallow moms raised their hand to be a part of The Mean Mom Team, a focus group I pulled together on Facebook. (If you’d like to join just click on “The Mean Mom Team” above. We’d LOVE to have you!)
Their wisdom was incredibly helpful, I thought, Why not interview mean moms so everyone can meet them?
So, here we are!
Would you please say howdy to our first Mean Mama — Lara Van Hulzen!
Lara Van Hulzen is mom to three GREAT KIDS in California–a daughter (16) and twin boys (14).
Lara, would you consider yourself a mean mom or a soft marshmallow mom?
I’m a mean mom. I get marshmellowy sometimes but I truly believe when a mom is firm and loving it reaps a harvest of independent, self-sufficient adults, which I believe is my job as a mom.
What’s the toughest “mean mom” decision you’ve had to make recently?
Holy Cow! Just this past week I’ve dealt with being a Mean Mom! My daughter is 16. In California it’s not legal for her to drive with friends in the car. My husband and I have told her that is a strict rule – no ifs, ands or buts. She says, “All the kids drive each other around, Mom. No one gets caught.” Hmmm, the everyone is doing it scenario. A close friend of ours is a Highway Patrol Officer. He explained to her the fine is $525 plus 30 days probation with no license.
There are times when I want to cave on things with my kids, I look beyond the moment to what can happen down the road. I explained to her that there is small stupid and big stupid. Teenagers do small stupid all the time – fine. But this is big stupid. Something that goes on their permanent driving record. Is that really worth giving a friend a ride to the Homecoming float building?
What Mean Mom wisdom can you share with other moms?
“Be consistent. Make boundaries. Kids will test these boundaries over time but if you don’t budge, they’ll understand you mean what you say. The boundaries change as they get older because they have more freedoms, but when we as moms are steady and constant, they rely on that. They need it.” My daughter doesn’t like this boundary of no driving with friends, but because I have always been consistent, she knows I love her and have her best interest at heart in making that boundary. She may not always my boundaries, but she respects them.
Has being a Mean Mom changed your relationship with God?
Yes. Being a mom has changed how I look at God. Now, when I feel like He’s asking something of me that doesn’t make sense, I know He has my best interest at heart and I need to trust that. My view of obedience has changed as well. I see it now as a corral. The world sees a corral as holding you back, I see it as a safe place. I can run around within that corral and I’m safe. Outside of it is not good. I have freedom within it in obedience to Him.
What legacy do you want to leave your children?
That no matter what, I ran to God. In every circumstance, every moment I looked at Him and said, “What do you think? How do You want me to respond?” I tell them all the time that my prayer for them is that they cling to God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. At the end of the day what matters most is who they are before God.
There will be times in life where they feel dreadfully alone – but they are not. Ever. I know they will face challenges so I want to them to stand firm in the fact that they are children of The Most High God. Greater is He that is in them than he that is in the world.
The only other thing I think you should know is Lara is an author! Pretty cool, huh? She’s recently written a fiction novel, Remember Me, the first of her Men of Honor series. I’ve included links to purchase her book and keep in touch with her below. Thanks for sharing, Lara!
Facebook Author Page —Stop by for giveaways!