There are times I don’t know if I’m doing a good job at this parenting thing. Sometimes I just have to hold my breath, push through, believe that I am and enjoy the little moments that let me know I’m not totally screwing things up.

Prepare ye'self for some late #AddieInNYC overgramming.
My mom would probably tell you she did a pretty fantastic job of raising me, which she absolutely did — but even now at 31 I could pick apart what she did that bugged me, bothered me and probably cost me a few thousand in therapy.

I sometimes wonder what I do now that will cause Addie to roll her eyes at me later. “Oh, my mother.” I can hear it already, I know it so well because I’ve said it myself.

Perhaps it’s because I had such a tumultuous relationship with my own mom that I’ve always believed my relationship with Addie is somehow doomed. For the past eight and half years I’ve just accepted that there will come a time when she hates me, wants nothing to do with me and can’t stand me. I mean, isn’t that the way all mother daughter relationships are?

Part of me holds out hope that one day she will be sitting around with her friends talking about the time her mom took her to her first Broadway show, made her try chicken feet and forced her to figure out the subway system on her own. That she will be able say I did something right that helped her discover what she is meant to do in this world. I hope she always remembers time spent as just the two of us. I hope she understands I’ve tried my best and felt terrible when I let her down or had to say no. I so desperately want to give her everything but know in the end I’m giving her more by denying her a lot.

Seriously. I have fallen even more in love with her in the last few days.  #AddieInNYC
She has grown in ways I could have never imagined over the past four days. My heart has grown three sizes and wrapped around her twice this weekend. She is so confident and sure of herself — but every once in awhile she’ll reach out and grab for me, even if it’s just for a moment.

I don’t  know how this whole raising her thing will turn out in the end. I have no idea if what I’m doing now will mess things up later, but I do know I will always be someone she can grab for to steady herself, even if it’s just for a moment.

even if just for a moment

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Comments

  1. It’s possible I’m incredibly hormonal right now, but my heart just exploded and tears ran down my (smiling!) face. Absolutely precious.

  2. I have been very fortunate to (almost always) have a really great relationship with my mama, and yet there are still things that come up in therapy. So there’s that. But you know what else there is? There’s this: “I will always be someone she can grab for to steady herself, even if it’s just for a moment.” My mama has always been that for me and I pray so, so hard that I can be that to all my tiny humans. You’re doing a good job, mama. You and Addie make a great team.

  3. This is so beautiful. I think all of us moms of girls worry about disappointing them and them breaking away. I know I do.

    I try to remember that even though some breaking away is necessary during the teen years that usually girls always come back.

    I’m sure your daughter feels daily the tenderness that was evident in this post. She won’t always appreciate it, but on some level she will always feel it. And that is what will bind you together.

    You are doing a good job. You wouldn’t have been able to write this if you weren’t a good mom.

  4. “I so desperately want to give her everything but know in the end I’m giving her more by denying her a lot.”

    THIS.

    You are a fantastic mother. What a wonderful trip for the two of you.

  5. Sometimes I find myself hoping that if I ever have kids it’ll be a son because I’m afraid I’ll mess up a daughter like my mom messed up me.

    I found this blog though where a mom talks about how the best parenting advice she ever got was to ask her children now and then if she’d done anything to hurt them. I think that’s a good idea.

  6. I didn’t have a great relationship with my mom at all until after I got sealed in the temple. I vowed that if I had a daughter that I would never have the same relationship, and now that I have three…No way.

    There is no way I that I want to have a relationship like that with any of my girls.

    Chelsea on the other hand…is a different story. She’s my sassy, independent, protective, strong willed, defiant child in which I have to set a lot of boundaries with.

    What is it with 8 year olds these days, and that generation??

    I guess I’ll continue to find out as she gets older, and I’m ready for more gray hairs, and a lot of adventures with her and every one of my kids.

    Glad you and Addie are enjoying New York, and you are doing a fantastic job with her!

    xo

  7. I think that the fact that you’re even thinking about a this makes you ahead of the game. Maybe being conscious of the relationship and having these fears will actually foster an amazing mother daughter relationship. At least that’s what I tell myself. ;)

    And that last picture? Precious.

    Kelley
    http://www.kdiaries.com

  8. Probably the #1 reason (among many) I chose not to have kids. Both my parents made lasting and devastating mistakes. I can’t risk making the same ones with a tiny human.

  9. I don’t think we can raise tiny humans in the world without leaving some sort of mark. I think the key is to leave more in the areas of stability, love and wonder. Pretty sure you’re golden on this front.

  10. Bethany says:

    I have a fantastic relationship with my mom. but therapy still happens. its not a bad thing, and it wasn’t her fault.

  11. That girl adores you. You too have a special relationship says the observer over the past 5 years.

  12. It’s not the way all mother/daughter relationships are, just many. My mom was my best friend. We honestly never HAD a rough time. The day she died was the worst day of my life. The couple years after I didn’t know how I’d live, or if I’d live again. My father and my husband were realistically very very scared because I wasn’t me. I’ts been 6 and a half years and I still miss her everyday. I’m not sure it’s better, but it was good while it lasted.

  13. Oh, that was just so touching. And true. I feel the exact same way because my relationship with my mother has never been strong at all. I often wonder what I do that will inevitably hurt or damage my kids in some way that I don’t know.

  14. I worry I’m smothering my G because I don’t have the best feelings towards my mother so I assume G will feel the same someday and I better get all the loves I can while they’re still genuine.

    Do you have your therapist’s number handy perhaps?

  15. This. Exactly this. I’m in the midst of thousands of dollars in therapy (thank you God for really good mental health insurance)and so much of the need for it stems from my always turbulent relationship with my mom. I have one little boy who lights up my whole life and who I’m constantly afraid I’m royally screwing up. Yet, I keep my chin up and plow on – celebrating our awesome days (which, most are) and apologizing on the crappy days (that are thankfully fairly rare). It’s so nice to know that I’m not the only mother that lives with a little fear that I might be the reason my child hurts.

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