I manage to get three boys, one carseat, two large canvas bags of groceries, one over-stuffed diaper bag, one plastic bag of wet pants, my phone, my wallet, and our snacks from the morning into the house. It’s 1:25 in the afternoon and I’m ready for some lunch and a little down time.
I’m unloading groceries with the baby on my hip because he has a fever, while warming up an oh-so-healthy lunch of taquitos for the older two. A cup of milk for this one. Peel the Cutie for that one. Some snuggles and kisses for the baby. Tell me about school. Please don’t use that tone with your brother.
My head is in the fridge and I hear the doorbell ring. It’s the neighbor girl. “Can Noah come play?” She never takes “not now” for an answer. I explain to her that he’s eating his lunch, and, no, he won’t be eating his lunch outside and, yes, he will come out when he is ready, and, no, it won’t be too long. And then I hear her sassy little voice: “Your house is messy!”
Really, Lord? I really do not need this right now.
Except I keep on hearing from him that I need to embrace this little girl rather than push her away.
How do moms navigate neighbor friends (or any friends that aren’t the best influences on your kids, for that matter)? How much do I lean forward and how much do I stand firmly back in how I want to parent my kids?
I do not have this figured out in the least bit. But this I do know: I will keep on lifting it up in prayer before the Lord. I will keep on letting her know what our family standards are. I will keep being present outside whenever they play together. I will work to love that little girl the way that I would want a neighbor to show love to my little boys.
And I will trust in the midst of it, that the Lord is good and that he has a good plan for this.
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others." Philippians 2:3-4