That’s It

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I just got back from the doctors.

Everything is fine. No worries there, praise God.

But something still doesn’t feel right.

Despite my best efforts, I still don’t feel myself.

I talked with my best friend today.  She gave me permission to chill.

I needed someone to do it.  My husband gave me permission but I thought he was just being nice 🙂 When my best friend did it, I actually heard what she was saying.

After Baby Grace was born, I was rarely home. I stayed gone for reasons I’ve already extensively written about. I was always on the move. I literally could not sit still. In order for me to be in a good head space, I had to be gone. Now that we’ve moved, it is just the opposite.  I am happiest when I’m still. I am calm and at peace when I am home taking care of husband, children, and hearth. I felt bad about that. I thought I should remain active for my Jazmine’s sake. I asked jazmine if she wanted to go strawberry picking or go to the playground.  Her answer?  “No. I don’t want to go.” So there is no pressure there. She loves the pool and that is really easy and convenient to get to.  As soon as its hot enough, we can certainly get there.

Since we’ve moved and gotten settled, I’ve been trying too hard to “get back.” Get back to my regular exercise.  Get back to being active. Get back to going out with friends. Get back to going on field trips with Jazmine. Getback to my healthy eating. Get bak to life and what I was before Baby Grace was born but with her in tow.  I am still ob the road to “get back” but I am taking a different method.  I am taking a break from that thinking. I am resting through July. No purposeful exercise. No making daily step goals. No diets or dietary restrictions. No filling up the family calendar. No making plans to fill up the day. No ‘I gotta’ phrases because truly, there is rarely anything that absolutely has to get done.  None of it.

The ONLY thing I am going to do is stretch and drink more water.  That’s it.

Let the (true) healing begin.

(Originally penned August 2016)

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My Husbands Words Hurt

imagesHe said I always push him away.

That. Those five words have caused marriages to crumble. That small phrase is a seed that, when full-grown, causes a chasm in a marriage. When he said those words to me, it was as if I had been doused with ice-cold water.

To me, that phrase was a warning light.  Not a yellow light but a flashing red light. “Fix this now!”, it screamed.  I prayed and I cried.

I asked God not to let me be that person.  The person who wants all the affection and love my husband has to offer me but refuses touches and stolen moments when those touches and moments stop me from the task I am in the middle of. The person who is always ready to fulfill my wifely duties but bats away all other affectionate offerings. I did not know that my husband received that as refusals.  Until then, I did not classify my actions as refusals.  To me, he was trying to get me to slow down and hinder me from completing my task to which, his linear minded wife, would get intensely upset about.  I didn’t know that he received my look of ‘dude, why are you slowing me down?! You see I’m in the middle of something!’ as refusal of his affections.

How could I have been so dumb!

I had already been praying and asking God to help me with Jazmine.  She is so in need of physical touch. A hug, a tickle, a kiss, rest my head on hers, hand hold, all of that numerous times a day.  That is not my love language but it is hers and I struggled with filling her cup everyday. After hearing my husbands words on top of what I was already aware of with Jazmine, I wilted.

Something had to change.  I had to change but I was at a loss on how.  How to change into something that was so innately foreign to me and how to sustain it.  My strength would fail at the second perceived interruption to my task and the third time I heard, “Mommy you never kiss me!”, when I know I kissed that girl at least twice in the past hour. I needed God to do something permanent in me. I didn’t want to lose my family.  I didn’t want seeds of infidelity to begin to grow in my husband because he was looking for his affections to be reciprocated. I didn’t want my daughter to have to look past me for a mother figure who filled her need for physical touch. I knew what I didn’t want but I didn’t know how to prevent it from happening.

God speaks. God speaks, but I will tell you, rarely is it when I am unmoving. I was putting something away in my daughters’ room when God answered my specific prayer about responding to those cries of affection from my family.  It is hard to pen what He said but the gist of it was ‘to remember this is important too’.  When my husband or daughter seek me for affection, I need to remember that this meaning them and their need, is important too.  Their need takes precedent over my current task.  Their need is just as important as what I am trying to do for the house.  Their need does mean that I stop what I am doing to give them that touch, smile, hug, or moment they need to continue their day. Their need does not make my task unimportant, but, the task can wait a few moments. Fullfilling their need does not take any significant amount to time but it is of great significance to them.

I needed God to give me this mental shift. I could not have decided on and executed it lovingly with any type of sustainability without Him.

Mommy Who Is Scared Of Chore Enforcement

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First of all, I understand.

You are not alone.

Let me relay my story.  I hope you take comfort.

My daughter Jazmine is 8 years old. If you are new to this blog, for the first 7 years of Jazmine’s life, we lived with my mother-in-law.  Life was very different then.  I had a lot of “help”; most of which was an easy fix to a current situation. During this past 11 months of living under our own roof, I’ve had to grow A LOT! Jazmine had to grow a lot. It could not and did not happen all at once. Discipline is an area where I’ve had stunted growth. I am not talking about behavioral discipline. I am talking about enforcing chores and household responsibilities.

Jazmine has chores, meaning I’ve assigned them and she knows what things she is responsible for doing.  She also knows how to complete each task to Mommy’s specifications. However, I have not done a consistent job of enforcing those responsibilities. She knows she is to vacuum after dinner but, often enough, because I dismayed at having to address her non-verbal unpleasantness at being told to complete the chore, I would not say a word but let it go.  Other times, it’s not that I didn’t feel like enforcing but that a greater need arose. Namely, Baby Grace needed and eye kept on her while I finish something in another part of the house. Jazmine can not yet vacuum and watch a toddler so, I nixed the vacuum for babysitting.

My husband and I just got back from having some time away.  Now that we are back home, and our weekly routine gears up again tomorrow, I have had time to reflect. I can not be that worn out anymore. I can not stay up late after our girls are in bed to clean, fold, and wash. My husband does not need to stay up after working to straighten up.

The Bible is clear. It says, “Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 11:19).  Although that verse is referring to the Israelites teaching their children to carefully obey God’s commands, you will notice that the children are with their parents. The children are with them in the house, on the road, at bedtime, and in the morning. I’ve not had Jazmine by my side while doing most of the things needed to run a household. I’ve let her entertain herself while I completed my chores. I’ve done her and myself a disservice.

I was afraid to enforce before because of what it would cost me. Time.

It’s like teaching her to tie her shoes all over again.  When she was 5, I had to add an extra 5-10 minutes to the get-out-of-the-house routine to allow her time to work at tying her shoes. It was worth it but oh so labor intensive. Until today, I’ve shied away from enforcing chores because I did not want that labor intensive work day-in and day-out for the next few weeks (months) on end while raising a toddler whom, I swear to beans, has hit the terrible twos at 14 months of age!

But the Bible says, “Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul” (Proverbs 29:17) I can take comfort in that, as much hard work that will go into this next stretch of mothering, delight is awaiting me on the other end.

So, fellow scared Mommies, let us journey on together shall we?

Disclaimer:  My decision not to act was selfish and unloving. My desire for perfection (regarding cleanliness) in my home effectively killed much-needed instruction from me to my child. I am armed with laminated and posted chore charts (one of which is pictured above) and a determination to make household responsibilities just as important as school. I will enforce the chores she knows how to do.  Whatever task I am about to do in our home that is new to her, my Jazmine will be by my side.  I will be teaching and she will be observing and learning. We will be conversing. I will not expect perfection when she first attempts task nor when it’s her 50th attempt. I will, however, expect improvement. 

How To Let Go And Let God

PreparingBabyLayetteLet Go and Let God is a song and a cliché within the church. Not that that saying has no truth, but it is often used so haphazardly that the full weight of the words is missed.

I long for more children. An itch has been scratched since having Baby Grace but it still feels that my family is not yet complete. I long for the boy my husband can father in the home; a boy from my womb. While we have been trying, I have not yet felt the desperation I had while waiting for Baby Grace to come. As Baby Grace continues to grow and out grow, I have not parted with a thing.  I have been, once again, hoarding but calling it wisdom.  Better to store and wait for another child than to give away and have to repurchase right? No.  Saving is wisdom.  Hoarding is folly.  Hoarding/Storing takes on the mindset that if we give it away, we could never again regain it. God provided the first time and He can and will provide again. Let go and let God.

During today’s sermon, God impressed upon me that I was hoarding his blessings.  He had to remind me that He provided for Baby Grace and He will provide for the next baby, whenever that happens.  I had to release my coveted Puj Baby Tub, stretchy car seat canopy, sneak-a-peak car seat cover, and nursing cover. My bargain bought breast pump, Close & Secure Portable Infant Sleeper, and my numerous baby wearing gear, all I released.  I released EVERYTHING over and over and over again until it was complete and real and not just lip service.

God provided before.  He will provide again. Why? Because He told me to let go. I didn’t decide to just let go and hope he’ll catch me because I desire for new. No. He told me to let go so I am. I know He will provide yet again because He did for Jazmine and Baby Grace.  I KNOW He will do it for whenever the next baby comes.  By the time you read this, I will have already made a call to see if a new mom needs anything I have and I will have sent a text asking another mom to come view my wares and to take whatever she needs. Whatever is left will be posted on my MOPS group Facebook page.  Whatever is left after that will be consigned at the next local Tot Swap for $1-$3.  I look forward to being a conduit for God’s blessings.

“I Want Hot Breakfast Mommy.”

I put the brakes on what type of Mom I was not going to be long ago.  One of those types was the fresh-breakfast-making type. I have a friend of mine who makes her children’s’ breakfast even now.  She has two high schoolers. She has been frying up bacon, sizzling sausage, scrambling eggs, and flipping pancakes for many a school day. Couldn’t be me.  That is what I said to myself.

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I have brought many brands of cereal, pop tarts, toasters strudel, cereal bars and the like to make the morning meal as easy and portable as possible.  As a preference, I don’t do mornings. It was a sad day for me when Jazmine was a baby and I could not longer offer her the breast as her pre-breakfast meal while I remained in the bed. I now had to get up and gather breakfast up! Baby Grace still takes her morning tata-meal and goes back to sleep for at least an hour before requiring that I get up and gather her breakfast.

My Jazmine is not a big breakfast eater. I usually have to force her to eat something.  She will eat a donut or pop tarts without hesitation though, but we can’t have that every morning.  (Her father’s preference, not mine…regarding the pop tarts).  However, recently, my husband has taken to making bacon in the morning. I bought orange juice to help my husband get over a cold. Since then, my Jazmine will get up, toast some cinnamon raisin bread, eat it with bacon, and drink orange juice. I asked what gives?

“I like hot breakfast Mommy,” she says. Truth be told, she has been saying it for years but this is the first time I heard it for what she was saying without trying to shortcut my way out of it.  I used to make pancakes in bulk and freeze them so she could have them every morning.  That worked for a time but one day she abruptly quit that. I asked why.  She said she prefers fresh pancakes.  I asked why.  She said because there is no love in frozen ones. I would make her bacon on occasion in the microwave.  She prefers pan-fried. I bought chocolate cereal. She stopped eating it after a while.

This is deeper then just breakfast.  My Jazmine likes to be pampered and catered to. It seems that one of her love languages is Acts of Service.  My primary love language is the same. I thought it would be easy to express this love language to her since we speak the same language.  I was wrong.  Her acts of service are different from mine.  I think that is because at her age, how many acts of service can she really receive as love? I can’t vacuum for her.  I can’t do her school work.  I can’t put her toys away.  I can do all of those things but those chores are her training for adulthood.  I can’t show her love in those things on a regular consistent basis and still expect to raise and adult who can take care of herself.

What I can do is make her hot breakfast every morning.

HE Catches Me Before I Fall

One sentence spoken from my daughter Jazmine.  One wishful thought that I can’t fathom how to accomplish. Either of these can send me down an unprofitable thought rabbit-hole.

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I recall a Gospel song There Is No Failure where one of the lines in the song is, catches you before you fall.  It is so very true.

I have often heard God’s voice speak to me as I am peering down the bad thought rabbit-hole.  I hear truth to my ears but because it wasn’t what I wanted and wasn’t a way to get what I desired, I often dismissed it with an excuse. I can clearly see now that was what I was doing.  Only after receiving truth was I able to detect the lie(s) I was choosing instead.

This really happened.

I was driving home with my girls in the car.  I had already been noodling how I was going to sign Jazmine up for all of these camps this summer and how I needed to keep my ear to the ground for when registration opened up so we wouldn’t miss out. At that point in the car, I wasn’t currently thinking about that but it was still on mental radar.  Jazmine says, “Mom, I want to do ballet, Karate, and soccer.  I already told you I wanted to do ballet.” And that she did. She has mentioned ballet on and off since she was three.  The first emotion I felt was guilt.  Why hadn’t I put her in a class yet? I couldn’t remember.  Because I was already working under my own pressure regarding camps, hearing my child restate a desire she had and adding that she wanted to try new things, I felt like a failure.  Summer isn’t here and I already felt like a slouch. I was trying to figure out how I would juggle getting her to karate, finding a ballet and soccer camp, and making sure Baby Grace had some semblance of a schedule during all of this.  Before I succumbed and really tried to piece this all together, I heard the Lord say, “Many adults try things for the first time in their adulthood.” And BOOM! Instant pressure relief.

I didn’t even try to preface God’s words with any ‘I will try Jaz’, ‘let me talk to Daddy and we will see what we can do’, or ‘it all depends on what we find’. NOTHING!  I said exactly what I heard.  Jazmine responded with, “Well I just want to try things in my childhood.” Masterful response but I was already free from any guilt threatening to overtake me.  Just a few weeks ago, I would have dismissed what God said with an excuse and try to make a way myself.

Praise God!

 

What Quiet Time Should Be…


I like spending time with Jesus by myself. All alone. Just me and Him. Bible open. Soaking it all up. 

I have recently gone through a biblical renovation as a mother and how I live with and in front of my children (more to come on that later). Those changes caused me to see this mornings quiet time differently.

Baby Grace had just completed her second round of breakfast and was playing nicely.  I took that time to catch up on my devotional.  I am trying to lose weight so I had taken a supplement a bit earlier and needed to eat something immediately. I got my cheese and crackers, opened my devotional and got ready to dive in.  Shortly thereafter, there was a whine and patting of my leg. I picked Baby Grace up and gave her her third round of breakfast.  Once I got her situated on my lap, I began to read scripture out loud. 

This was not the scene I had envisioned but God spoke to me just then. “What better way to have quiet time with Me then to share it with her?”  It was a very sweet and tender moment. Me, the baby I asked God, prayed, and fasted for, spending time with the One who brought us together. 

What an awesome way to begin a day. 

I Will Let My Child Be A Child

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My family was privileged to attend both a cotillion of a close family friend and a wedding of a family member in the last two weeks. Jazmine, my dancer, was excited about having opportunities to cut a rug at both events. I was excited for her.  Jaz dances ALL of the time! She dances at grocery stores, at the post office, at the library, at department stores, at the mall.  SHE IS ALWAYS DANCING!

I love it.  She is entertaining to watch.  I love the new moves she comes up with. She comes up with new moves every day. So, true to form, Jazmine got her party on at the cotillion!  She did her moves plus those she picked up from the 16-year-old crowd that was there. She didn’t do anything inappropriate because those whom she mimicked weren’t dancing inappropriately either. I was very proud of my daughter.

At the wedding reception, my child cut a rug! She couldn’t wait to hit that dance floor and as soon as it was open for all to dance, she was one of the first people out there.  She doesn’t wait for others to join her. She is not shy to dance and dance she did.  She moved her little (little in age not in size) self this way and that.  I saw a look from someone I respect that said she did not approve of how my Jazmine was dancing.  A family member came to me and asked why my daughter was twerking. I was IMMEDIATELY offended but smiled and said, “My daughter knows nothing of twerking.  All she is doing is dancing how she sees fit.” At that point, I joined my baby on the dance floor and cut up myself so everyone in attendance could see that she gets her moves from me.  I have intent when I dance.  I know how my body moves and I can make it shake, wiggle, jiggle, rattle and roll in all the right places. Jazmine has watched me dance for all of her seven short years. At her age and stage, she is supposed to move her body all around.  That is dancing for her. She is not conscious of what a titillating dance is. She has not idea what a flirt is.  She is cognitively seven (maybe eight) years old!  She is not grown. She was not dancing with her behind poked out.  She wasn’t dancing with her chest thrust forward.

So why was my baby girl gazed upon with looks of disgust?  By cause my baby got back.

She’s been shapely since she came out the womb.  I WILL NOT HAVE HER BODY SHAMED NOR WILL I  BAN HER FROM DANCING LIKE ANY OTHER CHILD HER AGE DOES JUST BECAUSE SHE HAS A BOOTY! That is not her fault nor is it something to take fault with. Grown folk pay big bucks for implants or padded pants for what my baby girl has.

My Jazmine is seven years old.  Her four-year old cousin was dancing as well.  Her cousin has a shape of a rail.  (There is nothing wrong with that.  I am not criticizing that.  I am simply making a point.) She too is a dancer.  I can ALWAYS count on her to bust a move as soon as she hears a beat. (I love that girl.)  No one said squat about cousin.  She did the same moves.  What was the difference then? Because the four year old is built like a typical four year old and my seven-year old is built like a brick house (at least a ten-year old).

My Jazmine will not miss out on being a child just because her body is growing faster than her age.  If ANYONE has a problem with that, they can take it up with me.  I doubt they will want that but they are free to chat.

Addressing Problems In My Village

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A village

I felt attacked.

The words of some of the members of my village felt like knife lunges.

When Jazmine was born, I didn’t understand the purpose of a village. I had heard of the term but didn’t apply it to me.  Growing up, we had community; neighborhood, church and the like. I never considered that to be my village as my adult understanding saw it. Those adults whom I was close to as a child were all out-of-state.  No one lived close.  Whenever my parents had to go out childless, I, being the eldest, was the babysitter. On very rare occasions did another adult watch us. In that respect, I did not grow up with a village.

So it was with Jazmine.  When she was born, I sought out companionship because being a stay-at-home mom was lonely and I felt insignificant. That drew me to MOPS. As a homeschooling mom of a preschool aged child, I felt unsure.  That drew me to our first co-op. I was seeking a community then to help me through those mom changes. I didn’t view that community as a village for my daughter.

Being a mom for a second time (still praising God over this long-awaited child), it’s finally starting to dawn on me that my daughters do indeed have a village.  Our families, mine and my husband’s, are in close proximity to us. We have good friends in close proximity to us that we do life with.  Our co-op community has become part of our village.  There are several adults that I trust my daughters with and whom Jazmine knows she can go too if ever she needs help. That is why it was so hurtful to hear a few in my village speak to and make decisions for me the way they did.

Being a second time around Mommy has opened my eyes to many things that I used to put up with (which is code for I-didn’t-like-it-at-all-but-never-addressed-it-directly-but-instead-complained-about-the-issue-and-the-person-to-anyone-who-would-listen). The length of time we waited for Baby Grace greatly enhanced my appreciation of being a mother. I can easily detect any assaults to my motherhood. How I deal with such assaults has changed drastically from when Jazmine was born to now with Baby Grace. I have identified a list of rules that must be met if someone is to be in my village.  I am confident in what I can demand from others regarding my authority over my children.

That being said, all that new-found freedom came with a cost. (Wisdom is costly).  I’ve had to address some things with people whom I considered well established members of my village whom ought to have known better than to even encroach upon the rules. Praise God that He has groomed me to handle it with gentleness and grace but not lacking an ounce of truth. I was able to accurately and compassionately state my expectations of them to them. It was not one-sided.  I too had to make adjustments to prevent problems that I was unaware were happening (refer to rule #2). The result was very favorable for me.  I am quite pleased with the outcome even though my village member seems to be having difficulty with the changes. I am confident they will get over it 🙂

Requirements To Be (And Remain) In My Village

 

Rules of Xara’s Village

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1. I am Mommy and you don’t trump me.

2.When my child is in your care, you are required to tell me any incident that occurred while in your care when I pick them up from you.

3. I need to be informed of any disciplinary action that was taken upon pickup.

4. You must respect and abide by my words.

5. If you have a problem with me, you absolutely CAN NOT pass that problem on to my child and how you interact with them.

6. If upon observing me and my child, something I am doing could be done better or is out-and-out wrong, you are required to tell me the truth about myself in love.

7. If you are unsure about something involving my child, ask me and LISTEN to my response with both your ears and your brain.

8. If at any point in time you feel that you can no longer abide by these rules, tell me.  I will listen and respect your decision to exclude yourself from our village.

Explanation of the Rules

  1. As a member of my village, you can not willfully decide to go against what I have specifically addressed.  If I have said to you, the adult, that my child cannot wear the color green, you can not decide to allow them to wear green when I am gone from your presence. You do not have the autonomy or authority to go against what I have said to you. That undermines me to my child and opens the door for disobedience from my child towards you because, by your actions to disobey me, you have said to them that I am not in authority. That puts my child in a confusing place on whom they are to obey.  That does not help their growth in character and thereby excludes you from being in my village.
  2. If, while my child is in your care, she comes into harms way or is more than mildly disobedient, you are to tell me when I retrieve my chid from you. You do not get to decide the severity of the incident and then determine whether or not you are to inform me. If my chid absentmindedly scratches her face while watching TV, I don’t need to know about it.  If she trips and bruises her knee, I need to know about it.  If she puts her cup in the sink when you told her to leave it on the table, I don’t need to know about it.  If she doesn’t answer you when you call her and you’ve called her in her hearing more than once, I need to know about it. I will monitor the bruise and I will reinforce the “you answer when you are called” rule at home.
  3. If you spoke sternly to my child when she declined to answer you when you called her (as you should have done as a member of my village) you must tell me what you said and how you said it when I pick my child up from you. You absolutely can not refuse to answer my direct questions about it.
  4. If I have said to you the adult, that my child can not watch a certain TV program, you are not allowed to permit my child to watch it or have it on in her vicinity. I said no and my no is the rule.  If I say yes, she can have dessert even though you the adult know she didn’t eat all of her food, you can not wait until I leave and tell her she cannot have dessert.  I said yes and my yes is the rule.
  5. If you don’t like the way I parent, discipline, love on, or interact with my child, I have no problem with your opinion.  I will not, however, permit you to treat my child according to whatever problem you have with me. You can not over parent, over discipline, limit love, or limit your interactions with my child because if it. You are not permitted to over parent because you think I acted to harshly or over discipline because you think I acted too softly for your liking.  If you don’t like the way I cuddle my child after disciplining her, you are not permitted to lessen your expressions of love in your interactions with her.
  6. If you find that I over reacted to something or that I should pay more attention to something in my child or whatever you observe, if, by informing me, will help me and my chid in the long run, you are required to tell me. If what you observe is happening in a heightened state, wait until emotions have died down first before speaking to me.  When speaking to me, you are required to tell me the truth in love and with the intention and motivation to help me.  If you’ve been dying to tell me your opinion of me and my parenting for the sake of saying how you disagree or point out previous mistakes I’ve made, keep that to yourself. I don’t want, need, nor desire your emotional download of a grudge you’ve long-held and refer back to for your own justifications. That does not help me parent. That shows me your lack of character. That shows me that you aren’t in my village to support me.  That shows me that you are in my village as a spectator.  Spectators observe and don’t do.  Spectators visit villages.  They don’t live there.  I don’t need spectators.  I need active, willing participants. Once you have identified yourself as a spectator, I will no longer consider you as part of my village.
  7. Do not make judgement calls on big issues with my children. If the movie is rated PG and you know my husband and I only allow her to watch some PG movies, CALL ME! You do not get to decide on the fly if you think she can handle something or not. If you are taking my child somewhere, and upon your arrival, you see something inappropriate and thereby decide to leave, GOOD! We’ve entrusted you with our child for a reason.  You are to use your judgement but call me with the unchartered territory.  Don’t decide and let me know after the fact or ask me what you should do and then decide not to do it after all.  Calling and getting an answer but not following through with what I’ve said is just as bad if not worse than not calling me in the first place.
  8. If any of my village rules bother you, please tell me.  You adult, have your own limitations as we all do. The last thing I need is to put trust in you to carry out the village rules and you know you can’t do it but you try to anyway. My child is at stake here. It is okay to not want to be alone with my child because you don’t trust your words to be life bringing around her. It is okay to not want to watch my child because you can’t handle the things I permit her to do (ie eat cake for breakfast). I totally understand. I will still talk to you and we can have child-free hangouts but you don’t have to be and will not be part of my village.  I understand.  Truly I do.  I currently, have a list of children whom I will not watch because their permitted behavior is too much for me.  I have had to catch myself before I over disciplined because I was pissed I had to deal with behaviors that, for me and my house, would have been nipped in the bud at first sight of them. I totally get it if my child is too much for you. You don’t have to be in my village. Before I became a mom, I didn’t want to tell  parents about any incident that happened when their child was in my care because I knew the parent would have made a bigger deal then I thought necessary about it. Of course, that was not my call but it bothered me that they, as I saw it, over reacted. My discipline was absolute and didn’t need to be rehashed for the parent upon pickup. I thought their rules were stupid so if the child didn’t act like they were going to pay attention to it, I wasn’t going to reinforce it. When I saw misbehavior, I would mentally catalog it and eagerly wait for the opportunity to say why their child behaved the way s/he did. Again, that was before I had children of my own but having felt that way myself about other people’s children, I am totally aware that others may feel that way about mine. Guess what? IT IS OKAY! I would rather have someone tell me they can not be in my village instead of having to snoop them out.