I woke up at 2:00 am with lots of thoughts to put in this post. I am afraid I should have risen and written them then.
I have blogged about this before and I didn't really invent the term. Paul Washer, the homeschooling dad and evangelist, used the term when he spoke at our church. Here is how he used it:
He was with a group of people from church at a restaurant. He was waiting for his wife outside the bathrooms and his baby started to scream. He frantically looked for a pacifier which his wife rarely used. Coming out of the restrooms was a little homeschooled girl from his church. She saw the pacifier and kinda huffed and turned around looking for her mom. Her mom came out of the bathroom took one look at the baby with pacifier and said something to her daughter like, "It's Ok, honey, some people just don't know any better." Paul said he was ready to punch the lady.
So that is one picture of the gestapo homeschooling mom.
The truth is that it was very hard to homeschool 25 years ago and almost any family that did homeschool had to have a certain amount of strength. Sometimes this made those families hard to get along with but they did pave the way for the rest of us. Those days are over for now. It is time to end the reign of the gestapo mom.
Gestapo moms are those who having control of a small world in their own homes, seek to spread their control outside of their sphere of influence.
It isn't just a matter of being opinionated. Blogging is opinionated but to tell the truth the best blogs are the most opinionated ones. I enjoy reading people's opinions on their blogs, but the gestapo mom seeks not only to give her opinion but force her ideas on those around her.
The gestapo mom is not a Calvinist. She is an Arminian of the worst sort seeking through her own efforts to build her own kingdom. She is self-righteous and lacks humility. ( Please read this sentence in the tongue-in-cheek mode. She is metaphorical arminian.)
Instead of being strong she is manipulative. Her concern is more for outward appearances than true heart issues.
She is a perfectionist who is afraid to let those around her make mistakes. She is usually completely taken by surprise when confronted with sin in her husband or children. She is blind to her own sin unless she does something that makes her look bad and messes up her perfectionist image.
Her sons are effeminate, happily baking bread and cookies, proud that they aren't any good at sports. (Again, generalization, my sons bake cookies when they get hungry, too. Sadly, they usually taste terrible.)
Her husband obeys.
Her children are not allowed to be cold or dirty. She makes all their decisions for them even when they are beyond her reach. She has unreal expectations about their future plans.
Her children are obnoxious and opinionated, too. They are carbon copies of their mom, telling everyone their opinions and ideas, spouting knowledge (so-called) at the least provocation. She admires their boldness. "Mrs Rollins are you sure you want to let your 4 yo carry that (a tiny NASV Bible) to church? That is wrong."
As I said yesterday, she is boorish. She speaks confidently of things she knows nothing about. She is smug and sure. She nods a lot during the sermon. She looks down her nose at you and your children.
She is headed for a fall.
Have you met her?
In the mirror?