Do-Do And Lot Of It!

Do-do… I was not prepared for the amount of “do-do” I would deal with as a Mom especially since I wasn’t around little kids much growing up. I didn’t grow up changing diapers, or even doing much baby sitting for little ones. So when motherhood slapped me in the face with a pail of dirty diapers I was taken by surprise! How does all this “do-do” come from these cute little dudes?

The essence of “the do” is dudes take in products and leave you with the by-product to clean up. If you think potty training means you longer have to deal with “the do” you are seriously mistaken. Your dudes will contanstly take in products and leave you to clean up the by-products throughout their life. Is this just the lot we are handed? Is there anything we can do about all this “do”?

Now I am no longer talking about the physical but about the practical here. Our dudes, no matter what age, are consumers. They have been marketed to since they were mere lads. Commericals, video games, cereal boxes, other peoples stuff, and even churches have become mass marketers in their desire to capture your dudes attention. They will be fed a constanst stream of products and how they begin to evaluate what is appropriate and what is not starts at a young age.

Back to the physical for just a minute to illustrate my point. When you nurse a baby their “do-do” is a different color, smell, and consistency than if you bottle feed. When Dude 1 was born, (this should have been a clue to his personality), he didn’t want to work at nursing so he quickly became a bottle-fed baby. I soon learned how to deal with Dude 1 and his by-products efficiently so I considered myself somewhat of an expert. When Dude 2 was born he was a natural nurser and took to it quite effectively. We had been home from the hospital a day or two and found he liked to fall asleep during the overnight feeding. I would change him in between changing sides to wake him up. Around 3am I am very sleepily changing this Dude’s diaper when out shoots a line of “do” from the collar of my night shirt all the way down.

Remember when I told you I thought I was an expert? At 3am no one expects that kind of violent by-product to be released. No one can prepare for when your used to one kind of “do” only have another kind of “do” shot at you at 3 am! What I didn’t realize at the time was this was a lesson in parenting for all ages of dude raising! Just when you get used to dealing with one kind of by-product they grow to a new stage and what comes out changes.

When they were young I watched all sorts of things that went in. TV, friends, movies, games, you name it and I researched it. Somewhere along the way things that went in changed like identity, worth, fear, failure and the likes. As a mom of teen dudes I very much had the same 3 am wake up call.

I will have to clean up the by-product of what goes in.

Do I want them to know who they are in a sea of peers trying to be like everyone else? Do I want them to protect the weak when all their peers pick out weakness and jump on it? Do I want them to love our family while their peers are pulling away demanding freedom? What comes out of your dude is simply because of what has gone in. Your still cleaning up “do”, the “do” just changes.

Since we primarily deal with cleaning up what comes out we must do a better job of making sure the right things are going in. Worth, identity, character, and morals come from what you teach them is important. Don’t tell them their worth give them opportunities to serve and feel worthy. Don’t let their tasks, (school, sports, attitude, behavior) define their identity instead point them to Jesus as he is where our identity is found. Teach them character counts and then give them opportunities to have character.

Our dudes are seasoned consumers but they are also cautiously watching YOU. You’re their example when it comes to dealing with feelings, and emotions. Being a mom of dudes is never easy but it is rewarding when you realize you will affect generations to come by how you deal with “the do”. Of course as they grow you will teach them how to clean up their own “do” and how to deal with other people’s “do” but that is a blog for another day. You will teach them by example so in essence you are teaching them how to “DO”.

Love you guys!

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Why Dudes?

I had this realization a few years ago when Dude 1 was just becoming a teenager.

I am not raising boys~ I am raising men.

This enlightenment came as a course correction in my parenting strategy. I began searching out information on raising teens but all I could find were books about raising a teenage boy. I, more than anything, want to raise these Dudes to be men and there wasn’t much information out there I could relate to.

Honestly, I was more motivated by what I didn’t want than what I wanted at that point. You know, what mom wants a 26 year old who lives at home, plays video games, and has never really grown up? Instead of that nightmare being a rarity in our society it has become the norm. Well, in case any of you need to know, let me just tell you right now~ I don’t do normal!

In this search I began to ask myself what does it mean to be a man. If your like me, a woman, you probably haven’t even thought about it. So, what does being a man look like today in our society? I found a vast gulf between MMA Fighters and scarf wearing poets, but what does the kind of man I want look like? Ah ha! I turned to the man in my life that I adore! He was my answer: Hubs!

I took my search to Hubs and he began to help me investigate what it is that women want and men want to be. We found the perfect example in Jesus and began to try and formulate a plan to take our male children from boys to men.

The Dude: Jesus is a real dude! He was highly protective, fiercely loyal, strong, brave, true, servant, yet kind, and loving. I began to realize that raising boys to follow rules could damage the character that I wanted to shape. So instead of having them follow rules I demanded character. I want them to be fierce, protective, loyal, strong, brave, true, serving, kind, and loving… Where have I seen that before?

If I want the male children I have to be men then I must insist that they act like men. No more mommy rescues, no more babying them in their choices, no more video games before chores, no more calling them “My boys”.

You see I am raising Dudes, and when you raise Dudes, you can’t make them into rule followers void of conviction. Right is right, wrong is wrong and I want these Dudes to stand up for what is right and protect others against what is wrong. How did I start on this journey?

I stopped calling them boys.

I call them Dudes. They are blazing a trail towards what it means to be truly masculine while trying to find their identities in Christ. My job: help them to understand how their choices and actions will affect the women in their lives. So whether your male child is young, just a baby, or growing into a man stop calling him “Your boy” and call him out to be a man. I hope you enjoy your Dudes as much as I enjoy mine!

Dude Land

I live in a land that I was not prepared for let alone thought I would flourish in. I live in a land of raised toilet seats , strange and horrific smells, and where the native language is more like grunts than English. I live as the only female in Dude Land.

At first, Dude Land seemed like a wild and free land where I could escape the whole “Mean Girl” phenomenon. When it was just Hubs, and Dude 1 it seemed like bliss. I could pamper, cuddle, and take care of all of their needs; then over the next few years we added Dudes 2 and 3 and chaos hit. Little Dudes or big Dudes they have some things in common and yet I was clueless.

I was ill prepared for what the last 21 years has taught me; especially considering I was raised by a single mom in an all female household. I was unfamilar with Dude culture, Dude language and struggling to make connections with such odd creatures. The first lesson that began to emerge was simple but profound.

Dudes have to be well-fed, well-watered, and well-slept.

I know, I know of course that makes sense but I can’t tell you how many times I set my own Dudes up for failure by violating one of the above rules. Yes, rules… Tatoo those on your arm if you have to but if you have a Dude of any age there are rules you must learn and follow. How many times have you seen your Toddler Dude, Preschool Dude, Elementary Dude, Teen Dude, or Adult Dude have an absolute melt down because he was either hungry, dehydrated, or tired?

Here in Dude Land nothing is ever really cleaned, picked up, or finished. It seems like when I finally manage to have a spotless area it is soon rearranged with some kind of sports gear, project, or empty dishes.  When one meal is finished here in Dude Land I am planning for the next. In Dude Land you always have to look before you sit on a toilet because no one likes a wet behind! Dude Land is all about giving Hubs and those 3 Dudes every opportunity to be men that make me proud.

Let me introduce you to the Dudes I live with. Hubs– He is an outstanding example of true masculinity. Both provider and protector here in Dude Land he helps me more than he probably knows. He is a great Dude and my husband of 21 years and makes me laugh more than anyone on Earth. Dude 1– He is presently 18 and a Senior in high school. He is legally blind and doesn’t drive which can be a total drag for both of us at times.  He has a wonderful sense of humor and is one of my hero’s! He loves football, NASCAR, and Brian Regan. Dude 2– He is 14, a Freshman, and a typical middle child; completely opposite of the first! He is an amazing baseball player, funny, and very dramatic. He is also very good with money~ We aren’t sure where he came from! He loves the Cardinals, college football, and singing. Dude 3– He will tell you we stopped when we reached perfection; spoken like a true baby of the family. He is 12 going on 27, in sixth grade, and thinks he is the answer to all the worlds problems. Joyous, yet with a serious side, he loves school, football, baseball, and music.

You can see all the Dudes are different! They are in different seasons, with different struggles, and have different needs. Please hear me for just a second here, they do all have needs, and one essential need is for a woman in their lives. A woman who understands them, and how they see the world. If you have had a Dude for more than a week you know they are very different from us.

I don’t know everything about raising and living with Dudes or even how I always manage to flourish in Dude Land but I invite you follow me if you live with Dudes too. I have learned some great rules and principles these last 21 years and would love to share them with you. I will share real life stories that have made me feel on top of my game and others where I have learned through failure. Feel free to post any questions or topics you would like to see. Let’s have some fun right here in Dude Land