I am usually quite in awe of “lioness mothers.” You know – the ones who snarl and defend their young with loud roaring.
Me, I am more of a mouse, or perhaps a deer in the headlights.
When conflict looms, I freeze … and then berate myself for hours afterwards, thinking up all the witty retorts or scathing remarks I should have said.
I heard a rumor that all mothers have lioness souls. I wished it were true.
My roar tends to be more of a squeak.
You need to understand this before I tell you my story, so you can fully appreciate its wow-ness.
You see, I finally found my roar.
We were at the YMCA for my daughter’s gym class. The class has just ended, people spilling out the doors. “I’ll race you!” shouts my youngest.
Behind me I hear a scuffle, some yelling. Scolding it sounds like.
Some mother growling loudly at her child for something or other…
Then my daughter appears at my elbow, tears in her eyes.
“She yelled at me mummy. That lady growled at me for running!”
Say whaaaat? The shouting I heard was some woman was berating my child – for something as innocent as running?
The mouse felt her blood stir.
Three women were now ahead of me. Which one was the meanie?
“What?” I said, “A lady growled at you for running? Surely nobody would speak that way to somebody else’s child???”
My voice got louder as I gained confidence.
Sure enough, the meanie turned as she heard my words.
“Well I wouldn’t have tripped her if she hadn’t been running!” she yelled at me.
This woman had tripped my daughter and then growled at her? Even a mouse mother can’t stand back and ignore such gross injustice.
Feeling as if I were stepping off a cliff, I retorted: “She’s not crying because you tripped her. She’s crying because a stranger yelled at her! I would never dare speak that way to somebody else’s child!”
“Well maybe I wouldn’t have to tell her off if her own mother taught her how to behave!”
Indignation swells inside this mousey heart. Who is this outrageous woman???
“She was running! It’s what children do!” I burst out.
“Well you should teach her not to run inside…” the woman yelled at me.
And for the first time in my life I yelled back: “Pull your head in lady! What is your problem???”
The mouse roared. Loudly.
Around me, other mothers rolled their eyes at her and shook their heads.
The mean mother walked swiftly away.
I did it. I stood up to a meanie, faced down a bully. For the first time in my life, I found my roar.
And I finally know how it feels to be a roaring Lioness and stick up for your cubs.
It feels good.
Commentary from Mothering From Scratch:
Today’s post had us talking about many situations we encounter as moms. We found Simone’s story enlightening from multiple perspectives. What’s your viewpoint?
1. Has a part of your personality come “roaring out of you” as a result of becoming a mother?
2. What’s the difference between standing up for an injustice done toward your child and overreacting?
3. When is righteous anger necessary when it comes to mothering your child?
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Proverbs 31:8