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What does it mean to be fierce?  I love this saying by Shakespeare, because I can relate to it.  There are times in my life, when I feel like I really need to be fierce.  But in a good productive way, not the destructive way.

I looked up a few meanings of this word. These are some synonyms that I believe are appropriate and accurate to what I am feeling.

Bold, intense, passionate, powerful, strong, vigorous, ardent, vehement, resolute

But my favorite meaning was the first one I found.

Showing a heartfelt and powerful intensity

I love that these attributes can be attributed to women, as seen by William Shakespeare.

I feel these strong emotions most often when it comes to protecting and providing for my family. Often it comes about when I realize that I need to step up and take control and “be the mom.” Every once in a while I need to remind myself to “Woman up” and do what needs to be done.

There are a lot of really difficult things that come along with parenting.  If I didn’t care as the mom, I could just ignore the normal stuff that comes with raising kids, but that really need to be addressed if what I want to raise responsible human beings.

I remember very distinctly when this feeling or phenomenon first comes into play with each child. I had my first beautiful little baby that I loved dearly and would do anything for him. Even though I was frequently tired, and often did’t get enough sleep. Sometimes, I just want to get away for some adult time once in a while. But it was never that baby’s fault. It just is what it is. I couldn’t ask the baby to be anything different that what he was.  I felt the same way with each of my little boys when they were babies.

Then at some point when they approach the age of 2, there is this decision that has to be made. A switch in thinking. Suddenly I realize that I have to say “no” or “don’t” and suddenly discipline is introduced into my sweet child’s life… along with tantrums and power struggles. All I really want to do as a mother is to play with the child and love them and enjoy what a blessing it is to have them, but without some structure and teaching (and fighting because let’s face it, they often don’t want to learn the lessons we need to teach them at the time) they will not be very nice people as they grow up. They have to taught how to get along, clean up after themselves, and to listen to their teachers and parents. Then when they get older, there are whole new sets of problems and hurdles to deal with.

I seem to ride this roller coaster of fun and discipline with my kids over and over again, all throughout their lives. Things seem to be going good, everyone is behaving, doing well enough in school and getting along, then “BAM” something comes up that requires parental intervention.

A few months ago I spoke about fear versus love as motivation. As I reflect on the purpose of my thought processes at the time, the determination that I made, was that I have to step up and be responsible for my children, sometimes before the problem hits the fan. Being afraid of the discipline part of parenting was causing me tension, so that whenever I needed to deal with any issues with my kids, it turned into a fight. This is really not the kind of fierce that I wanted in my life. The decision that I made at that time, is that I need to face reality, in all issues with my kids where correcting needs to take place.

I need to do the work.

I need to be vigilant.

I need to be observant.

Teachers and church leaders are not going to make the needed corrections in my kids that only a parent can do.

I made the decision that “because I love my kids, I will teach them, through words and example, but also through discipline and structure.”  The hard stuff is just as much a part of parenting as the fun stuff… each child needs a little of both. Discipline is hard for me because I hate conflict. Seriously. I try to avoid it at almost any cost. But the cost of my children’s development is too high. The conflict just needs to be handled differently.

Occasionally I need to be “Fierce”, but what I have learned is that I can also do it with love. I can show a heartfelt and powerful intensity in my parenting, without shaming, harming or embarrassing the people that I care about most in the world. It definitely takes some work, and that is why I need to be fierce.

Fierce enough to be resolute, strong and bold in my determination to do the work that is needed to show that I care about what my kids are learning about the world.

I want to be bold in my teaching.

Passionate about protecting my family.

Vigorous in my involvement with my family.

Resolute in working with them to be better people.

My job as mom is the most important job in the world to these 5 boys who look to me for the hard answers. I want to be there for them and be determined enough to do it the best that I can.


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