Knowing THAT Momma
by Erin Lichnovsky
Ever wonder why that mom of many who calls you her friend, won’t return your phone calls? Maybe she is the friend who keeps cancelling on you after sending in her RSVP to your child’s birthday party. Does she have your child’s shoes in her home and you just can’t figure out why she won’t return them to you? Or maybe you have already hosted her and her family in your home, but she never reciprocates the offer and you just can’t figure out why. I wrote this article five years ago when I had 7 kids living in my home. As season’s change and children grow, we can easily jump to the wrong conclusion when “that family” skips church, or is inconsistent in friendship. This is from my heart, my world, but it also may be you, or someone you love.
RESPECT people who find time for you in their busy schedule, but LOVE people who never look at their schedule when you need them. ~author unknown
IF YOU WANT TO BE MY FRIEND
I will disappoint you.
I don’t see every text message – sometimes my kids take my phone and read it before I see it and your message never makes it to me
I have 10,000 emails in my inbox. I scan daily for you, to see if you tried to ask me something or pass on a good deal, but if I don’t hit “reply” it doesn’t mean I don’t love you. I may have seen it on my phone and haven’t yet figured out how to forward or reply from the Android. I still love you and want you to email.
Please don’t assume I’m too busy, or too broke to come to your outing. God always provides and we have faith daily for special treats. If you have a special treat you want me to share, if God wants me there, He provides the funds.
We know in our family that perfectionism is an idol, and we’re not going to attain it. Our parenting style can be summed up in two words “Me Last”. If I hand your child a broom, a lawn mower, or a bottle of Windex, and ask them to help us clean, it’s not so I have free help (though that is a perk to being your friend J ). I have kingdom work on the brain as they are cleaning and folding our laundry. I promise they will play way more than they fold clothes.
We have one dog, we don’t want any more pets.
At least not now.
If your cat has kittens and your pup has puppies, I’m happy to advertise for you and help you find them a home…just not mine. I still love you.
If you send your kids here to play and they leave shoes, jackets, or an article of clothing: I will have no idea which ones are yours or not and I cannot promise you that we will find it. There is a clothing black hole somewhere in our house. I’m not trying to take your things, I’m just overwhelmed. You are free to take anything out of my house you want to compensate.
My home phone is a necessary evil. I would cancel it I could, but I can’t. We never answer it, unless a kid happens to pass by. It is old, I won’t replace it. There are 160 voicemails on the phone starting from 10 months ago and now when you call and try to leave a message it says, “The mailbox is full”. I just can’t get to this, so the best way to reach me is email or texting my cell, or just knocking on my front door. If you left me a message on my home phone, I promise you I never heard it. I am not ignoring you, I still love you.
Please do not be offended if I don’t respond to you. I think about you often, pray for you throughout the week as God places you on my heart.
I love you
If you send your kids over to my home, they will get love and be watched carefully, however, I have teens and I can’t guarantee that there won’t be a stupid YouTube video on someone’s computer screen or a TV show with a rating you disapprove of. We do have filters on our computers.
I’m one mom, and have been outnumbered 7 times over. I depend on the Holy Spirit to watch my kids and to convict them of sin when my eyes do not catch something. I will love your kids the same.
Because so many children come in and out of my home, I sometimes forget someone is not my child and I may lecture your child or start into one of my “coaching” sessions at any given moment.
I hate chatty phone conversations, but I love you. If you need me, please call me and tell me why you need me. I am a horrible mind reader and do not know how to “read between the lines”. Just tell me, I will listen, and love you, and pray with you right there over the phone.
Please don’t call me if you are just bored and want to chit-chat. I’m not that kind of friend.
If your family invites my family over for dinner, I understand that the typical Southern courtesy is to reciprocate the offer. I REALLY want to do this. I love the IDEA of having people over. I would like to do it frequently. I’m often planning the meal I want to serve you, thinking of seating arrangements for all your kids, etc. But somehow, my family has a calendar that I don’t always have control over and I can’t have your family over like I want. Be patient with me, I’m thinking about you.
If you invite my family over several times and we decline, it’s not that I don’t love you. There are always different needs that arise in our home and they change daily. I have to gauge the temperature of the family, and the husband before I make commitments.
If I RSVP to attend your shower, birthday party, or special event, and I do not attend barring family emergencies or unexpected hindrance.
I ask you for grace.
Because of the nature of our family dynamics, when you send me the invitation two weeks out, we all fully intend to come. Fatigue and work situations cannot always be forecasted and sometimes we have to back out of an RSVP. I think this is sinful, I know how hard you worked to prepare for us. I’m torn between propriety, and loving my husband and honoring him. I will make it up to you one day, I just don’t know how. Please give me grace. I’m praying for your event if we don’t show up.
Please don’t feel sorry for me. That really bugs me. I’m so blessed and thankful I often cry for no reason. My family is healthy and precious, my parents are alive and spunky, and I love the Lord. He is my sufficiency. I prefer prayer over pity.
I WANT you to invite me to your PARTIES, Mary Kay, Young Living, Discovery Toys, Electricity…ALL of IT! I love supporting home based businesses, the best way I support you is through promotion. I am 98% sure I won’t buy anything, even if I really love it. If you just need a warm body in the room and an enthusiastic promoter, I’m your gal. If you are trying to meet a quota, my feelings won’t be hurt if you don’t invite me.
We are a reformed Baptist family, and conservative Republicans. We talk openly about politics and religion in our home. Be forewarned.
I love to talk face to face, if you are busy like me, let’s go a walk together or have coffee or a margarita. I’m not too busy for you.
Please don’t think I’m too busy for friendship. I may be too busy to check voicemail or read all my emails, but that doesn’t mean I’m too busy for friends. I need you and I love you.
My kids all do theater, have produce stands, teach piano, tutor, and babysit. I do not expect you to attend their productions or support their businesses. You are free to do as the Lord leads you. They love it when you do support them, but I’m not thinking about it at all.
My husband supports my friendships, but he also guards me from toxic people and spending too much time away from family. He is wise and protective, but he loves my friends and he loves you.
Finally, if you have been my friend since childhood, high school or college days, please know that I still love you deeply. Your influence in my life is a seal on my soul. My heart is grateful to know you and I pray often for you and your family as God brings you to mind. I wish that I could re-connect with you, believing God that one day that will happen.
That’s me in a nutshell.
If you still want to be my friend, I’m so BLESSED! I love YOU! Let’s do LUNCH!!!
(This is me, but it may also be you, or someone you know. Take some time today to stop by THAT mom’s home. She’ll be glad you did! )
Busy might be an understatement for Erin Lichnovsky, a mother of 8. Married for 20 years to her best friend and love of her life, Joey. Erin decided early that she felt God’s calling to home educate her children with her husband. Even with having graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in communications, she stays busy at home teaching, cooking and doing laundry. She also fills her time working as the Program Developer for Parent and Child Education Services (www.pceinfo.org), planning development staff training and major events which include festive family Sock Hops and formal Cotillion ballroom dances. Erin also co-writes for www.CallMOM.co and hosts women’s retreats called “23 Hours”.
Squeezing a nickel ‘til the buffalo growl, pinching pennies, and developing specific winning strategies has kept Erin at home with her six incredible daughters and two amazing sons. That passion for family and frugal living inspired her to write a book to help moms learn to hire themselves and save money on the largest part of their budget… the GROCERY bill! Her book, The Classic Couponer, What Hath Aristotle to do With the Kroger© Mega Sale? Is NOW available on Amazon or in “Our Favs” here @ TheLaundryMoms.com!