Are You a Mama Bear? How it Can Hurt Your Family (And What to Do About it)

Every once in awhile someone writes words that miraculously encapsulate what I’m experiencing, and quite possibly have never even formed into thoughts or words myself. Such was How Mama Bear Hurts Her Family, by Jeanne Harrison.

I have no doubts, if you’re “one of these moms”, this article will resonate with you too, and bring a wave of comfort and important reminders to the way you live your life and treat your family.

“The truth is, you don’t have to be loud and obnoxious to be a Mama Bear. You just have to care too much about the well-being of your family. You have to idolize it, to bow down and worship it, so that if anybody in your household isn’t okay, nothing’s okay. You see, the thing about Mama Bears is that deep down, we long to control our universe so that we can protect the people we love.

I’ve known that Mama Bears (like me) are protective and controlling. But this was the first time I realized we’re also selfish. So selfish, in fact, that we’re willing to short-circuit what God wants to do in someone’s life just so we don’t have to endure the discomfort of watching it.” Read the rest at Revive Our Hearts

4 Responses to “Are You a Mama Bear? How it Can Hurt Your Family (And What to Do About it)”

  1. Annie D says:

    Someone posted a verse the other day and I thought, “Gosh that’s one I forget to remember!” “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” He will do the same for my children, if I’ll just let Him…

  2. Kristen says:

    That resonates with me, but I would disagree that it comes from selfishness. For me, it comes from a lack of trust in God’s goodness and ability to take care of my family. It’s something I pray about every day! Trusting God is hard. Especially when it involves pain and helplessness.

  3. 6 arrows says:

    Well, it would be dishonest of me to say I’ve never been overly protective of my children, and I’ve been guilty of trying to control circumstances so life is as easy as possible (for them and me). I’ve learned the futility of trying to shield “my poor babies” from difficulties, though, because trials come, and they need strategies to cope with them without mom and dad holding their hands every step of the way, through their whole childhoods and beyond, fighting their every battle for them.

    This is a good article for our times, because I happen to believe there’s a connection between the mama-bear (and sometimes papa-bear) spirit and the increasing whining in our culture about how life isn’t fair, and about how people are saying things we don’t want to hear, for example.

    Issuing trigger warnings for all manner of diverse opinions, and providing “safe spaces” from same, have been blown all out of proportion. College-age young people (and often, older adults, as well) are living like they have a right to never have their thinking challenged by anyone.

    Or life happens, and it’s unfair, and when mom and dad aren’t around anymore to go to bat for them, the offspring have developed no tools for dealing with reality, because they were routinely protected from the bad stuff. And if something bad happens, then too often the overly-sheltered ones believe it’s someone else’s fault. They don’t know what to do, so they blame someone else for their discomfort.

    (This all is on my mind due to another article I read earlier this week about a student at Oklahoma Wesleyan University who complained about a chapel address on 1 Corinthians 13 because it made him feel bad about not showing love, and caused him and his peers to feel uncomfortable.)

    The university president’s answer was great, BTW: http://www.okwu.edu/blog/2015/11/this-is-not-a-day-care-its-a-university/

    Anyway, who wants their kids to grow up to be whiners? I think parents who struggle with overprotective, controlling tendencies (and, yes, that is still me sometimes), wanting to fix every hurt, every real or imagined problem our children have, would do well to remember that God is in the business of fixing what is broken, according to His will. Easier said than done, operating on that belief, to be sure, but we don’t make it easier for our kids when we try to shield them from the consequences of their mistakes, or the effects of living in a fallen world in general.

    My two cents. Sorry for the ramble, but great article you linked, Kelly, and certainly an important one. Sometimes what we think is the most loving way to operate with our children is not really in their best interests at all.

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