I had the opportunity to chat with two of my favorite mom writers yesterday on the Faith & Family LIVE podcast. (And boy was it fun!) Rachel Balducci (host of Testosterhome and author of How to Tuck in a Superhero), Lisa Hendey (founder of Catholic Mom and author of The Handbook for Catholic Moms), and I focused on protecting and treasuring our kids.
First, we tackled bullying. My kids are too young yet to have been exposed to any kind of bullying other than the occasional spat within the home (“She hit me!” “I had that first!”), but I went through a phase in my childhood when I was on the chubby side and got teased for it. I’ll never forget the way some cruel boys’ oinking cut to the core of me. I’ve heard some argue that bullying is a rite of passage and what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. But true bullying whether it’s physical torment, poking fun at someone on a social networking site for the whole cyberworld to see, or relentlessly teasing someone with cruel words (or animal sounds) is not something anyone “needs” to make them stronger, thicken their skin, or to help them mature. I didn’t tell my parents about those boys until much later, until after I stopped eating and making myself throw up in an effort to stay thin and to be more lovable. During the podcast, we talked about how it’s so important to protect our children, to discuss bullying, to make sure our kids don’t feel attacked or excluded, and to keep them from turning into bullies themselves.
On a lighter note, we discussed carving out one-on-one time with our children. Some great yet simple suggestions on how to make your children feel loved and special came up. Also, I’d meant to mention Elizabeth Foss’s most recent column that touches upon this same topic. I seriously doubt any of her nine children feel lost in the crowd. As I recently wrote in a Faith & Family magazine article called The Gift of Ordinary Time (subscribe or order a copy of the issue here), our houses may be full, but our hearts are fuller. There’s plenty of enough love to go around.
Inspired by Hairbows 4 Life, we also talked a bit about adorning our daughters and ourselves. This is the photo I mentioned during the podcast of my little Mary Elizabeth all decked out (she personally chose each bow and pointed to where she wanted them placed on her head). I’m not quite sure if I can call this a good hair day or a bad one. Your call.
I loved chatting with Rachel and Lisa, and I’m really looking forward to seeing Rachel in-person next week at this event. (We’re both alumni of the University of Georgia’s Journalism School. Go DAWGS! Not that they’re having much of a football season this year. The priest last Sunday commented on another heartbreaking loss and then said, “But there’s always hope. Then again, what do I know? I’m a Cubs’ fan.” Mom/Gaba, I know you can relate.)
Speaking of chitchat, I sure am chatty lately. I’ll stop my word slinging, so you can do some listening.